Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review

Marvel strikes gold again with a film that follows it’s winning formula.

Warning: Some spoilers follow.

If you’re expecting something revolutionary from Marvel Studios with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, you’ll be sorely disappointed. While the original Guardians of the Galaxy was original, a lot of fun, light hearted, and genuinely funny, Marvel has now incorporated a lot what made the first film successful into it’s main series of films. Thor: Ragnarok, for example looks a lot like it’s a spin-off in both setting and tone to Guardians. That’s not to say Guardians doesn’t follow in it’s predecessors foot steps in delivering a blast to open up the summer. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a great, fun, and genuinely funny movie.

A big part of the appeal of this film is the chemistry of it’s cast with Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in the lead as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and Gamora. Chris Pratt is basically playing superhero Chris Pratt but it works well for the character and he makes a believable leader for this team of misfits. Pratt’s also got some great material to work with and has many touching moments with two characters central to the plot. Saldana’s character is more tragic and she could easily feel out of place in a film with the tone Guadians Vol. 2 has, but she, along with Karen Gillam, who plays her sister, Nebula, make their tragedy work for some dark laughs throughout the film. Dave Bautisa, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel are all great as the rest of the Guardians. It must be said that Baby Groot is such a fun highlight for the film. Michael Rooker is also a stand-out and turns in a heart warming performance as Yondu, he also has one of the coolest action scenes in the film. Also, “I’m Mary Poppins ya’ll!” has to be one of the funniest lines ever delivered in a movie.

Before Marvel made loads of money with it’s series of films, it was always assumed that quality of villians was important to the success of a super hero film. Kurt Russell, who plays Ego, Peter’s father is okay, but he’s mostly forgettable like the rest of the most of Marvel’s recent villians. It’s amazing that terrific and, in some cases, legendary actors like Russell, Corey Stoll, and for goodness sake Robert Redford have played mostly forgettable villians. Like those previous films, it doesn’t sink this film. The focus of this film, like it’s direct predeccessor, are it’s heroes. And those heroes shine here.

Marvel Studios has a formula and the formula has worked well for them. They produce fun films that make a lot of money at the box office. Aside from the two latest Captain America movies, they are usually fluff and that doesn’t change here. Guardians Vol. 2 is another fun bit of fluff, it has nothing ground breaking or thought provoking to say, it really just wants you to have a great time at the movies. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, sometimes it’s welcome. That being said, like most of their films, this film has a lot of heart. The film is centered around Peter’s parentage, growing up without a father, and losing his mother at a young age. You root for Peter the whole way through and feel his pain.

Is Marvel breaking new ground with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? No, but their formula still shines and the worst thing you could say about this film is that it‘s formulaic in Marvel’s way. In this case it means the film is a lot of fun, has a great cast in an action-filled, genuinely funny adventure film!