The Galactic Misfits are back, ready to keep the train rolling on one of Marvel’s most surprising success stories of late. But comedic sequels can have a hard time to capture the magic of the previous entry, so can the gang strike another home run?
Starlord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Draxx, Yondu, and and Groot all return with the focus of this film being on Starlord reuniting with his long-lost father (Kurt Russell), at a time when bickering amongst the group are causing a few rifts to appear. It is one aspect of a story that certainly is trying to reveal the pasts of the characters, and coming to terms with previous faults. All set alongside the expected slabs of comedy and old school soundtrack that you’ll be expecting to see.
I’ll be keeping away from spoilers, so that means so specifics, and no ention of what happens in the credit sequences. But it does feel a little odd that outside of the main plot points mentioned above, that really all that is provided in terms of meat to the story. Kind of like the first film, you get a series of events throughout the galaxies alongside what is kind of still a rag-tag group of mercenaries. The opening title sequence with Baby Groot dancing to the music while a big boss battle happens in the background, sets the mood straight away.
So what has changed from the previous movie to this sequel? You have some more background into some of the characters, particularly Starlord and Yandu, as well as the group being separated rather than working together all the time. It doesn’t necessarily lead to two paralel story lines, but rather a case of characters splitting apart until they are reunited near the end. Most of what I’m going into here isn’t all that important in something that focuses on the comedy and visuals, but I need to bring that up all the same.
Let’s start out with the visuals, since for the first time in what must be three years, I saw a film at the cinema in 3D. Since so much of the visuals are very bright and vivid, thankfully nothing is darkened by the glasses. And some of the 3D effects are rather nice, even though the effects when two characters are just standing and talking to each other are jarring. Why make those scenes 3D?
But that’s not to be worried upon, since the effects and aesthetic being shown off are really good. Loads of variation to the locations, a lovely and bright colour palette that’s a perfect supplement to the popcorn, and some rather excellent CG. I mean just the work alone on Rocket is as before, bloody fantastic. You never get taken out of the film by seeing him as some CG inclusion, you always see him as a character who immerses into the scenery extremely well.
The storyline itself (the primary arc) is an interesting one, and one that the film needed to discuss before things could progress elsewhere. It brings in some nice new characters, with Pom Klementieff adding a nice contribution with her side-character. By the end the overall effort is to expand things in the roster so that there are more open avenues to explore, and the choices they make sound very interesting from my viewpoint.
But from here I need to discuss one of the issues that from the moment it happened, began to dampen my hype for this movie. I mean, the dancing Baby Groot sounded cool, but that sequence running for two minutes made the joke die pretty quickly. No, it is when the Guardians begin to bicker about nonsensical stuff and split up, it hurts the overall vibe of everything. They had fights in the first movie, but they always felt funny from how they were all trying to one-up each other. When in here they start off telling each other off for every little thing… it just isn’t as funny.
And so you’re left with a fairly large segment where two arcs are being very specific at what their focus is, and the free-flowing sense that there was in the first film ceases to exist in here. You can debate as to whether this was the right choice to make or not, but I had to flex a lot for this movie in order to keep my attention going, purely from being a fan. Not a good situation to be in.
At least the points where there is comedy to be found, there are plenty that gave me a good laugh. Lots of nice little jokes here and there, fun action sequences (especially Yandu’s big piece), and the space travel piece with Rocket and Yandu leading to some hysterical faces. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. And that is the saving factor for this, with everything else going on, there are still enough giggles to keep you in your seat, enjoying the visuals and the characters on screen. All the ingrediants for a summer blockbuster? You bet your ass they are.
It’s hard for me to decide if my thoughts here are a being a bit harsh, or if I’m giving a bit too much breathing room to what is in essence, a fairly standard flick in terms of plot elements. I needed to bring up those flaws where it simply is not as fun and free-flowing as the first entry, but at the same time, I had a lot of fun with it and it is visually speaking, excellently put together. Director James Gunn probably did the best he could with this considering it needed to retain what made the first a success, while pushing the story foward and getting through some of the setups that had to happen. Unlike “22 Jump Street” which could be whatever the hell it wanted, this is setting up a lot which is yet to come.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is not a carbon copy of the original, even when so many of the trace elements have been retained. Being introduced to the rag-tag group is more interesting than seeing them coming to terms with their pasts, especially when the focus is on comedy and not drama. But with all that being said, it is still very good. If you enjoyed GotG, you will almost certainly walk out of this having had a damn good time. Just… not as spectacular a time as you may have been hoping. I know, that sucks, but things could have ended up a lot worse than that.
Thanks for reading!