Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Review

5/01/2017 05:14:00 PM

It's not unusual for Marvel to do something totally different with their sequels. From the shocking direction they made in Captain America: The Winter Soldier until the controversial Iron Man 3, Marvel used to do a very expensive experiment with their risky, but highly calculated formula and turned it into a billion dollar success. So why the hell not they don't do it on their most peculiar film yet, Guardians of the Galaxy?

Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a totally different sequel. It doesn't follow the first volume's winning formula or try to expand the universe even bigger—which nearly every franchise would do. Instead, Vol. 2 is focusing itself on answering questions. If the first movie is more like Joss Whedon's Firefly, then Vol. 2 feels more like Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. No, I didn't mean that this vol. 2 is a far better movie than the first outing. I'm talking about the overall theme and how different it is from its predecessor.

GotG Vol. 2 opens with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) meeting his long lost dad, Ego (Kurt Russell), who mysteriously appears in space without a space suit and rescues the Guardians from their new client, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), after an awry trade for Nebula (Karen Gillan). She then immediately hires Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his space bandit crew, The Ravager, to hunt down The Guardians and destroy them for good. But some of The Ravager crew have their own agenda.

There's not much to tell about GotG Vol. 2 without spoiling all the fun. That's why, all the trailers they have released only show you the first 15 minutes of the movie. Oh yes, you read that right. If you're already blown away by the trailer, just prepare to be amazed. The visuals and action sequences in GotG Vol. 2 are so freaking insane; way much bigger, funnier, and crazier than Vol. 1.

The main theme in GotG Vol. 2 is now all about family (which may explain why some of the interesting characters from Vol. 1, like the Nova Corp. and The Collector, didn’t make any appearances). Peter Quill tries to uncover his dark past along with his mysterious dad figure. Gamora and Nebula try to form a healthy relationship as sisters. The other supporting characters, Rocket and Yondu, now also have more screen time to tell their own back stories and grow the characters even deeper because they spent lots of time together along with Baby Groot. And finally, the hilarious screen duo, Drax and Mantis, will make you laugh so hard every time they are appearing on the screen.

But of all those returning and new characters, Yondu is actually the one who truly steal the spotlight (okay, second to Baby Groot if he's too adorable for you). Writer / director James Gunn just made him one of the best supporting characters ever in MCU. His back story and the real reasons why he's such a dick back in Vol 1—and on the first half of Vol 2—will make you cry like a baby. His role in Vol. 2 reminds me a lot to the ambiguous Professor Snape from Harry Potter series.

Also, like any other Marvel movies, there will be lots of easter eggs, extra credits scenes (there are FIVE!), and an unexpected introduction to the brand new Marvel superheroes due to release as part of the MCU Phase 4 in 2020.

Unfortunately, GotG vol. 2 still has one major flaw that all Marvel fans have been clamoring about for nearly a decade. The villain in Vol. 2… sucks. The first GotG has been remembered as the first movie ever in MCU where the upcoming Avengers' big bad baddie, Thanos, and Infinity Stone were introduced properly and did real shit to our heroes through Ronan The Accuser. Unfortunately, they are not coming back in Vol. 2. Instead, Marvel uses a new roster of boring villains. And to make things worse, lots of them are just a set up for the inevitable MCU phase 4. I won't spoil you who the main villain is, but he / she is nothing compared to Thanos. It's not as bad and as forgettable as Malekith (yeah, you probably have forgotten who the hell he was), but it's not that far away from him.

Verdict: Weaker in plot, but stronger in character development and relationship, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now a Star Wars-esque family drama, with stunning visuals and incredible chemistry from the ensemble cast to make it just as amazing and as fun as the Vol. 1.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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  1. Great review for a great movie! I agree that the character development in volume 2 is stronger, and that's what makes it so endearing. I know volume 3 is already underway, and I will be very curious to see how it all comes together!

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