Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Action, drama, constant 80’s references. The beloved Marvel sci-fi series returns in an anticipated sequel. The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was an unexpected success and just like a lot of people, I loved it. The movie took these incredibly strange characters and made a fun, action-packed, and still emotional story with them. It introduced new characters to the Marvel cinematic universe and allowed them to do stories in space for the first time. The sequel has the charisma that the first one has but not as many fresh ideas.

The story continues from where it left off with the guardians now working as a team and learning to cope with each other. They come in contact a with planetary leader who claims to be Peter Quill’s father. After being brought to the planet that he inhabits, Gamora reunites with her crazed step-sister, Yondu and his ravegers come back for revenge, and Star-Lord comes across shocking truths about his father.

The film is to the first GOTG a little bit like what Age of Ultron is to the first Avengers: It continues the story in a decent way and still keeps its character’s likability, but doesn’t have the same charm that the first one had. My biggest problem with it is that the jokes don’t land quite as hard as the first one. The first Guardians of the Galaxy kept the jokes nice and simple and not too outrageous, and it worked really well. The second one is a little too jokey to the point where it gets too childish at times. Some of the jokes work alright though. The scenes with Rocket and Groot still work really well, but for the most part, it doesn’t balance action and comedy as well as it did with the first one. They also throw a lot of pop-cultural references at times where they should be emotional, which really kills the effect. The humor’s not bad but it’s not set up very well.

One thing that I am impressed about it is that it takes characters from the first one and adds on to their character traits. The five main guardians themselves are still the same as they’ve been before—more or less. Star-Lord is still the same comedic heroic type he was before. Gamora is still the roughneck who fails to understand humor. Rocket is still the brains of the group who acts more human than the actual humans. Drax is a lot more light-hearted than he was before, and it works surprisingly well. He’s more fun to watch now that he understands humor. Groot, of course, is a baby which has gotten people everywhere saying “that’s so adorable”. He’s cute and can be funny, but I’m still waiting for him to grow back into the big guy we all grew to love. Nebula and Kraglin are both given more to do and are shown having softer sides. Yondu comes from being a huge jerk to a hero. Mantis, although not as self-reliant as her comic book self, is very sweet and sympathetic. Ego is not the most impressive Marvel villain but the story goes to some interesting places with him.

Sequels seem to be the week spot of the Marvel cinematic universe. The sequels aren’t bad but they don’t always have the originality that the film before it had, with the exception of the Captain America sequels. Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 isn’t that bad either. It doesn’t have as much heart or the same comedic timing that the predecessor had, but some of it really works and still has the energy. On top of that, how cool is it that we’ll be seeing these characters team up with the Avengers really soon? Maybe Adam Warlock will finally join the team. Or maybe Iron Man will join and get into that weird relationship with Gamora. But never mind that, I’m thinking ahead too much. Guardians 2 is a decent sequel, even if it’s not everything fans were hoping for.

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