Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (d. James Gunn USA 2017)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment:

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Performances:

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Predictability:

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Technical:

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Introduction

On the surface, Guardians of the Galaxy (d. Gunn USA 2014), may not seem like the kind of film that would be as big as it was. It’s cheesy, straight forward and predictable. On closer inspection; it’s simple, fun, full of nostalgia and has a certain charm to it. Quickly, Marvel’s space CGI project became one of the big parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was more of a reason for Marvel to continue adapting its comic book characters to screen and further advancing its world. Now, Marvel have been steady increasing their game, bringing out more and more films into their interconnected world. In time, the Guardians of the Galaxy will find earth and the rest of the universe again – but we’ve a way to go yet.

 

Charm?

It has to be said, in the original film, the performances carried most of the film. It is with the charm of it’s characters: Groot (Vin Diesel); Star-Lord (Chris Pratt); Rocket (Bradley Cooper); Drax (Dave Bautista); and Gamora (Zoe Saldana), that the film was simple but fun and the soundtrack really hit its point home. Now, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (d. James Gunn USA 2017), the film is tasked with recapturing this magic and quickly. Do it again and bring in something new. But we start to see its charm wearing thin. They perform it able enough, but some characters are nothing but sideline or comic relief and often continue through plots that are dictated by the needs of the sequel. Often, in sequels, we shall have expanded back stories or added families as well as a greater sense of peril, as they go through another wacky adventure. It’s in the films plot that we really start to see the films flaws. In an almost desperate homage to Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (d.Irvin Kershner USA 1980), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 does not know where to take itself. In pursuit of these things Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 almost feels jarring next to its predecessor. None of it was set up to continue here in a workable film – it’s just a sequel trying to be a sequel in the most typical sense.

CGI and Narrative

We are in the days of CGI and Marvel knows this; has used it constantly for the stunning visuals in its superhero movies and so it was inevitable that they’d take to space. They know what they’re doing but they don’t show much that’s new or all that interesting. To make an antagonist epic and challenging to the protagonist a sequel will think that it should be made bigger as if it’s suddenly a monster movie. Furthermore, the antagonist does very little to actually challenge the protagonist making his threat actually very limited – What are we going to do tonight? Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world (of course!).

Conclusion

Guardians of the Galaxy provided loveable characters almost unexpectedly to so many and we do see them again here. They have some of their charm with them and they can carry the film for you – if you liked them to begin with. Unfortunately, the films biggest faults lie with the rushed plot that relies too much on typical cash grab ideas than any nuance of character. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is volume 2 as it’s the B-side of the first film. It’s the afterthought. It’s mixed the same but with none of the ideas of the A-side.

Synopsis

Star-Lord looks into his heritage and who exactly is his father.

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official site

Interview with James Gunn

Interview with Cast

Interview with Cinematographer

Easter Eggs

Why is Guardians of the Galaxy an important step for Marvel?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (d. James Gunn USA 2017)



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