Film Review: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"

Theatrical poster of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Photo from Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook page)

Theatrical poster of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Photo from Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook page)

Being the 15th entry in the exciting Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” brings more laughs, funkadelic music, and Kurt Russell than the original film back in 2014.

After saving the galaxy from tyranny, The Guardians are out helping those who are in need of assistance. The film opens with them guarding some valuable batteries from a giant squid monster (while Baby Groot dances to the opening credits music). They succeed and return to the people who tasked them to do so, the Sovereigns. In return of helping them, the Sovereigns give the Guardians Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) sister, Nebula, who is wanted.

Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some of the batteries, which results in them being attacked by the Sovereigns. They are shot down and crash on a planet where they later encounter a man named Ego (Kurt Russell), who is apparently Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father.

The team then splits up with Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax (Dave Bautista) going to Ego’s home planet to discover more about him, while Rocket and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) stay behind to repair their broken ship (and watch over Nebula).

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is an interesting entry in the MCU. It’s not as stake heavy as other entries in the series, but it’s also not trying to be like the others. It appears that director/writer James Gunn is simply trying to make a solid sequel to everyone’s favorite team of galaxian misfits, and for the most part, he succeeds.

The comedy, as well as the heart, are still present in this film and are in fact pushed even further than the original. There’s a lot more laughs to be had in the film, especially from Drax, Rocket, and the adorable Baby Groot. It’s a lighter tone than most of the other MCU films, both Guardians films, and that’s what makes them so refreshing. Neither “Guardians of the Galaxy” films feel like they have to be connected to the overarching storyline.

The film also has a lot more emotion in it. We get to learn more about the backstories of Star-Lord and his father, Nebula, and Yondu (Michael Rooker), making for more character development. A lot of it does push the characters further into their lure and even makes some of the scenes impactful. There were numerous emotional scenes in the film, and it all worked.

Most of what “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” does pays off well, even better than the first, but not all of it is. The biggest issue is easily the film’s pacing, which is all over the place. It never felt very fluid within its transitions in scenes and goes back-and-forth between its slow and fast paced moments. It was also irritating to watch scenes that were building up to something, but then it changes to another scenario, completely breaking the emotional tension between the characters.

There was also an actor in particular that’s been built up tremendously through the film’s marketing and it all boiled down to basically nothing. I won’t give away who that actor is, but in the end there was no need for them to be talked about so much for how little they were in the film.

Teaser poster of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Photo from Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook page)

Teaser poster of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Photo from Guardians of the Galaxy Facebook page)

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has a fair amount of flaws, but all of the MCU film are flawed. Even with some very choppy pacing and some missed opportunities, it’s still a solid entry for Marvel. The most important thing to remember about this film is that it’s not trying to be as epic as “Captain America: Civil War” or “Doctor Strange;” it’s simply continuing the story of characters we’ve grown to love from a series that didn’t have much business being around in the first place.

As a film, it’s not as polished as the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but it’s still entertaining nonetheless. Fans will see it regardless of how it’s been received so far, but the film is definitely worth a watch regardless.