Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review: A Mixtape You’ve Heard Before
I come to you today with sad news, Marvel Studios has finally made a “meh” movie. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn’t a bad movie such as Iron Man 2, or an amazing one like The Avengers. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a “meh” movie.
expressing a lack of interest or enthusiasm.
“Meh. I’m not impressed so far.”
Before you throw your pitchforks at me like I’m some “hater,” I’m not. Honestly, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is my favorite movie franchise of all time. I’ve fallen in love with characters that I’ve read so much about growing up. Seeing these characters on the big screen with their iconic personalities and superpowers is still a huge deal for me today.
James Gunn’s first Guardians movie felt inventive, exciting and hilarious. Part of that reason is that we frankly have never seen a Marvel movie like it before. Going into GOTG2, the expectations from the masses were already at an all-time high. Could this be better than the first? Could it be the Empire Strikes Back of the Guardians films?
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) true parentage. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and her one-note sister, Nebula, are dealing with their daddy issues. At this point in the MCU, we have yet to see the infamous Thanos in action. Hearing these horror stories between the two sisters raised by Thanos was genuinely a great way to express just how evil this guy is.
Drax (Dave Bautista) isn’t given much of a character arc; he’s still the same lovably hilarious Drax from the first film, only now he laughs, a lot. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) has gone a bit mad, (yes, Rocket is even more ruthless and cynical this time) stealing things he doesn’t need. Rocket is afraid of any semblance of attachment following the “we are Groot” incident. This would’ve been a fantastic story line. However, the last few minutes of him realizing this feels forced, to say the least.
I believe in the saying that “sometimes less is more.” When it comes to Baby Groot, they shove his cuteness down your throat and tickle it to the point of a gag reflex. The opening sequence is all Baby Groot, dancing to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” is wonderfully adorable, which had the entire theater laughing. Unfortunately, for the remainder of GOTG2, the gag wears itself out, as does the audience’s need for entertainment.
Now, there is a lot to like in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2; I’m talking some incredible stuff. My favorite scene in the movie is this quiet and almost intimate scene, in which the best character in this film, Yondu (Michael Rooker) single-handedly takes out dozens of Ravagers. The difference between Yondu’s murderous rampage and Rockets is that Yondu’s motivation is crystal clear. I won’t get into any spoilers, but man, Michael Rooker gave one unexcepted and emotionally heartwarming performance, that will go down as one of the best in the MCU.
Ego (Kurt Russel) started off a bit weak, laughable even. However, if you know the source material and the direction his character goes in, what ends up happening is done superbly. The relationship between Ego and Quill and the meaning of what is considered a father becomes the heart of the story. I just wish the sub-plots weren’t so uninteresting, (besides Yondu’s) that took me out of a movie I wanted to love.
The first hour is a bunch of cheap gags and slapstick humor, which of course, is expected. The jokes in this first hour take away any severity or weight from the narrative (cough Age of Ultron). The sequel gets dark, and I mean dark, which I admired. However, when you have an emotional moment, so moving that the audience is in pure silence with tears coming from their eyes, and then throw in a David Hasselhoff joke, that moment is instantly ruined. Also, what the heck is Sylvester Stallone doing here? He’s listed in the main title credits, yet has around five lines in the entire movie. It was a distraction and a pointless one at that.
Again, I hate saying this, because when those particular moments in the film do work, they’re exceptional. I’m talking best moments in the MCU exceptional. It kills me to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is more or less a filler episode. You won’t regret watching it, but you’ll probably never want to watch it again.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on May 5th, 2017