"Are we really saving the galaxy, again?"
"Great! We can jack up our prices if we're two-time galaxy savers!"
Having established themselves as a force to be reckoned with across the universe, the Guardians of the Galaxy encounter a godlike entity named Ego who claims to be Peter Quill aka. Star Lord’s long lost father. Making unlikely allies and bizarre discoveries, the gang must once again fight to keep the galaxy safe from looming destruction.
Guardian of the Galaxy is an incredibly hard act to follow, it was funny, action packed and above all incredibly fun. It changed the perception of what a superhero (or more specifically a Marvel) film could be so needless to say writer/director James Gunn had a rather daunting task ahead of him when he began production on the follow-up to his much beloved 2014 original. With the sequel, cleverly entitled Vol. 2, Gunn has managed to do something special, not only has he captured the same tone and excitement that he cultivated for the first film he’s actually built upon what he created, expanding the universe and added depth and growth to the rogues gallery that make up the characters in the film.
The first Guardians was a film about finding your place in the galaxy, bringing together disparate lowlifes and thugs and creating a family. Vol. 2 cleverly expands upon this, constructing a film that's about that family, it's dynamics and where people belong within it. More so it’s a film about fathers and father figures, with almost every character in the film being affected in some regard by a father figure they have or have lost. It’s a film about discovery, acceptance, love and compassion… and did I mention it’s a super fun action adventure at the same time?
The narrative isn’t always the strongest aspect when it comes to a space adventure, however Gunn has done a pretty damn good job with the Guardians films, using character motivations to inspire and fuel the narrative. The structure he creates with Vol. 2 is an interesting one. By taking the characters we’d grown to love as a team and spreading them across the galaxy, he’s created a story that gives each of our heroes their own moment in the spotlight, building their personas and connection before linking them back together again for the inevitable showdown. It’s incredibly effective and only works to heighten the growth of the characters.
While the main team themselves are all back in fine form (Dave Bautista especially, with him been given a little more to do in this film), however the film belongs to Michael Rooker as Yondu. The supporting character from the first film has been amped up in the sequel and not only provides major linking elements for the story but he's also the emotional heart and soul of the film. This is due to Rooker’s incredibly layered and heartfelt performance of a man remorseful of the life he has lived, the man he was and the man he is now trying to be.
I’ve purposely left this review as vague as possible, focusing more on the tonal aspect of the film and whether it works as a sequel instead of necessarily the performances or narrative, this is because it’s the film best seen with as little info as possible.
Capturing the fun and excitement of the first film and managing to build upon it, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues this years streak of interesting and different blockbusters created by talented filmmakers who clearly care about their characters and their audience and above all want people to have fun at the movies.
7.5 out of 10.
Reviwed by Chris Swan.