The summer movie season is here! And man is it a busy one…
Every weekend for the next four months is packed with various, exciting blockbusters, sequels, reboots, indies, comedies, dramas, etc… everything your heart could desire. Some of them are already looking like trainwrecks and some look unstoppable.
Kicking the summer season off right is our first sequel and our first superhero film of the summer season. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the much anticipated sequel to Marvel’s 2014 breakout hit Guardians of the Galaxy. The beautiful thing about that film was, if you weren’t a huge comic book nerd, you had no idea who these characters were or what to expect going into the film. It was really the first time Marvel took a gamble at one of their lesser known characters – and it paid off!
That film was so groundbreaking just based on the appproach in the filmmaking style. Music was an essential aspect of the film, the visuals were bright and stunning, the script was sharp and satirical- it was an incredible feat of filmmaking.
Vol. 2 takes the same approach in it’s winning style of filmmaking… which is fine except that the story eventually falls short in comparison to the first film. And since audiences know what to expect out of a Guardians of the Galaxy film now, you can’t just coast by on beautiful visuals and a solid soundtrack.
Part of the problem I had with the story for this film was that the entire ending of the first film was leading up to the importance of Starlord’s (Chris Pratt) father- who was he?/ why did he leave?/ etc. The answer to that question is quickly revealed in the form of Kurt Russell within the first 15 mins of the film and all the momentum they built from the first film kind of died with that reveal.
I think Kurt Russell is great with the part given him (even though some of the dialogue gets a bit heavy-handed at points and some of the humor seems forced), but it’s a character I never really end up feeling deeply about until it’s revealed that he’s also the VILLIAN!
So the entire cliffhanger we’re given from Vol. 1 is quickly answered and stepped on rather quickly in this installment. Now, I’ve had friends that say if you read the comics there’s actually a lot more info in the film that the average theater-goer (me) would’ve missed. Which is all fine and dandy when it’s just an aside or it’s a wink at the hardcore fan base (I’ve been in those screenings where the die-hards get something and the average movie-goer is scratching their head), but when it comes to the actual plot- everybody needs to be onboard.
All that to say, I actually really enjoyed the film!! Plot-wise I don’t think it lived up to the level that other Marvel films are at, but the experience watching Vol. 2 is nothing if not pure joy. It’s fun, fast-paced, and hilarious!
Guardians Vol. 2 opens with what I think is one of the most beautifully and creatively shot superhero actions sequences ever. That’s only because the camera solely focuses on dancing Baby Groot (him and Drax steal the movie) while he narrowly avoids all of the destruction and fighting going on around him.
What Gunn does best is knowing just how much humor to inject into a heavy action movie without it seeming slapstick or out of place. The movie flows so effortlessly between action and comedy and that’s a huge credit to Mr. Gunn’s smart direction.
As always I look forward to the next installment in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and hope that the script for the next one is on the same par with previous Marvel films. MObie’s that are witty, exciting, entertaining, but also strive to humanize these characters who are put in extraordinary circumstances. That’s what really puts Marvel far above all the other superhero films- it’s attention detail, brilliant filmmaking, and it’s love of the characters (and their fan base) that inspires them to be the best.
⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 out of 5
Awards Potential: Best Visual Effects