Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 REVIEW

Alright, the first Guardians of the Galaxy was a SURPRISE hit back in 2014. It was essentially Marvel’s Star Wars, which is ironic considering Disney owns the rights to both Marvel AND Lucasarts. 3 years later, writer AND director, James Gunn, as well as MOST of the cast from the first film returns for another crazy adventure. Along from the usual Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, and Karen Gillian, we get new cast members such as Sylvester Stallone as Starhawk and Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet.
The film revolves around the Guardians trying to retain their newfound family as they unravel the mystery of Starlord’s true parentage. That is basically the main focus of the entire movie. A story arc that was set up at the end of the first film. I am kind of amazed that out of all the films in this giant Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are hellbent and being its OWN THING rather it being a straight up 2-hour teaser trailer for the next film. There are those comic book easter eggs and references that the comic book fans will either crave or cringe at. The film does have a definitive beginning, middle, and end.
The performances are gonna be amazing going in, but I didn’t expect Michael Rooker to give one HELL of a performance. He was the most satisfying of the bunch to watch on the screen, and I am not a fan of the Walking Dead mind you. He put a great amount of groundedness and goofiness in his performance.

The villain this time around is actually a decent one! Yes, for once, we finally get a good MARVEL VILLAIN! Normally, the villain(s) are just throwaway bland characters with decent performances. The villain here is not even that. There are massive stakes that are involved and it was handled beautifully.

The one thing I need to admire about this film is the fact the film didn’t need to go “bigger for the better” in terms of it’s scope. Most Hollywood sequels, the studio and directors aim to make the sequel “bigger and better” than the original. It does and doesn’t for this film becasue while we get some really awesome action set pieces, it is the character development. We get to see how they have evolved from the original. We get to see what each individual is going through, except for Drax for some reason.

If there is one thing that I find kinda of distracting…and that is saying A LOT…it is the “Sovereign.” It that alien race of gold people. They were there at the beginning, you know, something for Guardians to work with. It was a way to see how the Guardians have been operating. Then they just became unnecessary to the plot. Like during the final conflict, they appear out of nowhere. If Gunn where to remove that completely, the ending wouldn’t have changed all that much.

All in all, I thought this was a really enjoyable entry to the MCU. A great way to kick off the summer. Great action, kickass music, amazing performances, and a surprisingly smart villain. If that Sovereign was reduced a little bit, then this film would have been even more of a thrill ride. I am glad I saw it and you should as well. Go check it out at your nearest movie theater.

FINAL VERDICT
+ACTION
+STORY
+CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION
+MUSIC
+GOOD VILLAIN
-THE SOVEREIGN
FINAL GRADE: A-

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