I was extremely excited yesterday to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the latest release in the Marvel Studios arsenal of super hero films. The trailers had been teasing the heck out of me, and the only thing I could think about was how to get my own Baby Groot. He’s freaking adorable. I imagine that he’s useful for things like getting objects from high shelves or opening jars, which is far more productive than my doggies that just eat, sleep, and “fertilize” the back yard. The buzz around the sequel had been intense with audiences anxiously anticipating the return of the galaxy’s least likely saviors. Directed by James Gunn, the movie sees a return of the characters from the first film, as well as a few new faces.
The movie opens up with the Guardians on a paid mission to protect a major power source from an attack. The characters share the usual witty banter we’ve come to expect and love while preparing to do battle. The only person not bothered by a potentially violent alien monster is Baby Groot, who breaks into a wonderfully performed dance routine done to one of Star-Lord Peter Quill’s mix-tape jams. It’s a scene reminiscent of the first Guardians of the Galaxy where Peter danced himself into our hearts and that abandoned city where a desired treasure lay hidden. It was a happy, feel good moment with loads of laughs that set up for the tons of chuckles to come.
The ragtag team is triumphant in defeating the sparkly rainbow-spewing space beast. But things soon go from pretty good to pretty bad when Rocket takes something valuable from the Guardians’ contract employer. Naturally a chase ensues, prompting the team to make some hard choices involving survival, relationships, and family.
Marvel Studios has once again shown why it continues to reign supreme in the super hero movie genre. (Take notes DC!) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is action-packed from beginning to end with excellent battle scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat. The character development is done very well. This is often a task that proves to be a difficult feat for writers in this particular genre. You will find yourself heavily invested in the outcomes as if you knew the characters personally. The dialogue is fantastic. I laughed so hard during the entire film. I mean this was some serious bellyaching, tear-streaming laughter. If anything, you’ll leave the movie theater feeling much lighter than you did going in.
While there were some obvious successes with the film, there were a few shortcomings that I noted. I think the biggest one would be the lack of an urgency over the threat to the galaxy. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been a catastrophic event that impacted an infinite amount of beings. But, it was kind of . . . lame. Like, I didn’t understand the motivation behind it even after it was explained. There was this feeling of, “Is this it?” I found the subplot with the jilted employer mildly interesting. To me, it wasn’t important to continue after the initial movie scenes. Also, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 befell the same tragic pitfall of many sequels. It borrowed too much plot formula from the original movie in an effort to recreate that magic. It’s never the same the second time around. And, it’s a shame that the writers and director didn’t consider this.
Overall, I’d give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 four out of five stars. It’s a great movie despite some of it’s flaws. Check it out for a gut-busting, fun-filled thrill ride. And no, you can’t have Baby Groot. He’s all mine.