Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review: GotG Vol 2 Misses a Beat
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive hit because it had something that many other superhero films didn’t have. It was self-aware and a little off-beat, making it one of my favorite superhero films in a long time. Of course, I was ecstatic to hear there was a sequel in the works. The whole team was back, including Baby Groot, which I mean, come on unless you have a heart of steel, you will love Baby Groot.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 tells the story of our heroes back to help save the galaxy. While on a mission for the Sovereigns, they end up in a bit of trouble when Rocket decides to steal something from them. This results in the Sovereigns hellbent on destroying the Guardians. Hot on their tails, Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his crew are trying to capture the Guardians. Surrounded on both sides, the Guardians are assisted by Ego (Kurt Russell), who we later find out is Peter’s absent father. Peter and the others head to Ego’s home planet where they discover more about Peter’s father and his motivations.
The problem with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts with way too many storylines that don’t work cohesively. We have the story of Ego and Peter with their daddy drama. We are also expected to give equal attention to Gamora and Nebula’s sister drama, Rocket, Groot and the drama with Yondu, Yondu’s problems with his crew and the Sovereigns and their issues with everyone else. It is a fine balance when writing a story with so many characters to make sure the audience isn’t inundated with so much, and unfortunately, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t strike that balance.
The music of the first film was so memorable and fit so perfectly into each scene. It is totally missing from this film. I honestly couldn’t pick a scene where the music was nearly as memorable as the first. Much like the music, the characters aren’t nearly as engaging. The film relies too much on our prior admiration for the characters and this film does little to solidify that admiration apart from one character. This is probably the result of too many storylines happening at once that our attention in diverted so often.
When Kurt Russell was cast as Ego, it seemed like a match made in heaven, but somewhere, something went wrong. The role didn’t seem to fit Russell at all and in many ways, took me out of the film. Kurt Russell really never disappeared into Ego. It always felt like watching Kurt Russell instead of a character. This led to a significant disconnect for me with the story between father and son. Another exciting addition to the film was action superstar Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord but sadly, Stallone was wasted in this film. He plays a tiny role with zero action sequences. I mean how in the world can you use Sylvester Stallone in a film and not give him an action sequence?!
Honestly, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn’t terrible, it is just a significant letdown when comparing it to the original. Of course, Marvel knocked it out of the park with the visuals once again. The film is stunningly beautiful with colorful scenes and amazing special effects. The performances by most of the characters were great, but especially Michael Rooker as Yondu. He really brought emotion to the character and the entire film.
Unfortunately, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t live up to the hype that it has created. It is a letdown from the original, and the first is by far and more entertaining and engaging film. A mishmash of storylines make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 far less effective than it should’ve been and detracts from the emotional pull of the strongest storyline. Groot and some kick ass visuals are the saving grace for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.