I do not get excited to see many films, in fact the only films I have been excited to see in the last couple years has been Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
THIS REVIEW MAY HAVE MINOR SPOILERS. IWILL TRY TO AVOID GIVING PLOT POINTS BUT PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT.
Disney has taken over the film world, especially with the purchase of Lucas Film, they literally own almost every film franchise I love. It was interesting to see what they would do with franchises such as Star Wars but for Marvel, it seems like a good fit.
This is down to the nature of Marvel films, whereas DC is all about being dark, which I have no problem with, Marvel has built a cascade of films which are enjoyable and fun. Even the films people did not enjoy as much, they still stand out. The stumbling block Marvel has been criticised for has been its sequels. They don’t seem to get them right.
I have never read a comic in life so I am not 100% sure of all the nods and the directions films should be taking, what I do know is, I enjoy Marvel films. As I have never read a comic, I originally had no idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy were. As it was Marvel I was going to watch it. On top of this it had a great cast and when the first trailer arrived, it looked awesome.
When I spoke to anyone about Guardians of the Galaxy, they all said the same thing, “The film surprised me”. It was clear why. Even though Marvel had introduced space and alien characters, they were all humanoid and the films were mainly based on Earth. With Guardians of the Galaxy, the whole film was based in space. Not only that, we were introduced to heroes who were not humanoid. In this film, we had a Racoon and Tree….Twig….Thing. The dynamics of how the film was in regards to other Marvels films were in new territory. I would say it was the first-time Marvel did not play it safe.
Where we left off
As a recap, the Guardians of the Galaxy are a misfit team, thrown together by all trying to achieve their own goals which crossed each other’s path. Peter Quill is a human, picked up from Earth by the Ravengers, a pirate like group who steal and fight and sell to the highest bidder. Gamora is the daughter of Marvels big bad, Thanos (who we have seen in the Avengers) who is escaping his cruel treatment, especially when it comes to Thanos pitting Gamora and her sister Nebula together in combat. Then we have Rocket and Groot, two bounty hunters trying to make some money using the bounty on Peter Quills head. Finally, we have Drax, his daughter and wife were killed by the films main villain Ronan and in the larger context Thanos. The team I thrown together and find themselves protecting an Infinity Stone (Connecting the Guardians to the larger Marvel Universe) and finally defeat Ronan.
The film linked well to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but at the same time was a fun independent film you could watch if you have never seen a Marvel film before. It is a space adventure filled with 80’s nostalgia and a great soundtrack. The film seemed to have been cast superbly for our heroes with Chris Pratt playing a Chris Pratt style hero. Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket, a wise cracking Racoon, Dave Batista playing the emotionally impotent Drax and finally in some inspired casting, Vin Diesel as the voice of the Groot.
The first outing was a huge success and we can’t wait to see them integrate with the Earth based Marvel characters, until then we have Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
The film begins with a more established team working together on a job they are getting paid for (not in money) as they have now the reputation of saving the Galaxy from Rohan in the previous film. We are also introduced to Baby Groot, a Disney merchandise money maker which seems to fit the film perfectly.
The team still run into trouble but the characters are not as two dimensional as they were in the first film. This is due to the team influencing each other and Guardians of the Galaxy are now on a personal journey. Quill feels alone even with his new family around him. The question of his heritage is brought up in the final moments of the first film and this is deeply explored in volume 2 with Kurt Russell putting in an excellent performance as Ego. You can see Quill in Ego and vice versa and we learn more about our human hero.
The relationship between Gamora and Nebula is explored and evolves a great deal. Fans loved Karen Gillam’s performance and she fit well into this film.
Rocket’s story is based around his own insecurities; we learn from the first outing that he is sensitive about his laboratory creation.
Drax is evolving as a character with a family around him. You see him using emotions and dealing with social situations as Drax only could.
Groot, well he is just great.
The dynamics of the characters do change with each of them spending time by themselves interacting with a great supporting cast of new and old characters. As mentioned Quill is with his father. Gamora and Nebula cross fists throughout this film. The exchanges between Rocket and Yondu are a highlight and Drax interacts with another character with the emotional pallet as his with Mantis.
What was awesome
Once again we have a great film for people who may not have seen a Marvel film in their life (apart from Guardians of the Galaxy). The action was great throughout the film but what I love about the Guardians of the Galaxy is the relationship between the characters. They are a dysfunctional family. Regardless of how different they are, they all fit.
The film is funny and it is not all on Chris Pratts shoulders. Humour is throughout the team and we learn to love them for it.
This Stan Lee cameo could change how we look at all Stan Lee cameos.
Yondu is the stand out character in the film. Michael Rooker needs to be in more films. The character is explored as well as his relationship with the Ravegers and Peter Quill.
You will fall in love with Baby Groot, Disney will make major merchandising dollars with this character but it done so well.
Kurt Russell is great in this film. In the first couple scenes with Ego, you can see how much like Peter Quill he is.
More cameos……just watch and see.
What was not so great
Drax is a great character but they try and pedal the same joke with him throughout the film. He isn’t bad in any sense but maybe they could have held off on the laughter every couple of minutes. He starts off funny, gets a bit boring and then is funny again so don’t worry.
Big stars in small parts. Like the first film we have Glen Close as a very minor role as an important character, we have the same with Sylvester Stallone as Staker Ogord. Again, this does not take anything away from the film itself apart from waiting for the character to do something amazing only to be left disappointed. I believe this is Marvel Studios just flexing its muscle in the cinema world.
Another great outing by the Guardians of the Galaxy, I will need to re-watch but this possibly be better than the first. The characters are so much better and the film does not just rely on the charm of Chris Pratt.
This film is a film you can take anyone to see and they will enjoy it. As mentioned previously, you do not have to watch the other fifteen Marvel films to understand this one. If anything, this film has a lot less to do with any other Marvel films than the first.
The film is funny and action packed with every character being likeable. Even with my negative point, this was nit-picking. It is also a film which is better in the cinema to get the full scale of its greatness. So, if you need something to do, watch Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
I do not understand why people still leave the cinema early during a Marvel film but GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY DOES NOT HAVE ONE POST/MID CREDIT SCENE….IT HAS FIVE.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is out in the UK now and will be in the US on 5th May 2017
For other countries please view here