3 years ago, James Gunn had the seemingly impossible job of making a movie that not only had to tie into the larger marvel universe but featured a completely new and mostly unheard of team, a team which consisted of a talking raccoon and a tree that can only say three words. With the MCU in full force and still building on the success of the Avengers, this was a big risk for marvel, a risk that certainly paid off. James Gunn created what is believed to be one of Marvels best films and now, 3 years later, Guardians of the galaxy vol.2 has been released with expectations set incredibly high for the teams return to the big screen. Can Gunn come up with another winner for marvel?
Guardians of the galaxy vol.2 picks up a couple months after the original. The team are currently working as a muscle for hire type squad after their galaxy saving actions from the first film. Right from the start you are gripped through an amazing opening sequence with is not only shot brilliantly but perfectly sets the tone of the movie with the song choice of Mr Blue Sky by E.L.O. You get a brief little catch up with team at the start as they bicker over whatever they can as per usual, further helping the audience slip back into the style and feel of the film straight away.
After finishing a job for a group called The Sovereign (or as I call them, the gold people), the guardians meet with them to claim their reward which turns out to be Gamora’s sister Nebula who they intend to return to Xander for her antics in the first film. The team leaves and all seems to be fine but Rocket’s thieving habits get the guardians into trouble resulting in a dazzling space battle action sequence. Through this we get some funny moments and an interesting game of catch with Baby Groot. We understand straight away from this that despite being an alien tree, Groot truly is a baby at this stage, the group needs to constantly look out for him rendering him nearly useless to the team (for now at least). This dynamic with baby Groot throughout the whole film really pushes the family aspect of the team and gives it a true meaning.
From this encounter the team end up stranded on an unfamiliar planet but aren’t there for long when a man named Ego and his assistant Mantis find them. Now, anyone who saw the trailers will know that Ego is Starlords father, when he reveals this to Quill he is hesitant to believe him. After a discussion with Gamora, Peter decides to go with Ego in search of proof of his claims, taking Drax and Gamora with him. This sets up the rest of the film and introduces another new dynamic to the film as the team are split up for a long portion of the film.
For the rest of the film we find out more about Ego and who he truly is while getting a bit of insight into who Mantis is to. Meanwhile Rocket and Baby Groot have an encounter with the returning Ravagers and a familiar face in Yondu. A mistake by Groot leads to the pair of them being captured but that isn’t without Yondu coming across a problem of his own. This split between the characters allows them to be fleshed out even more than the first film and gives some characters their own moments to shine and steal the show (more on that later).
We get more development in Peter and Gamora’s relationship when their opinions differ on Ego as well as the beginning of a friendship between Drax and Mantis. Peters new found trust and isolation with Ego leads to huge twist in the film and sets up the finale in a dramatic and heart felt manner. With the other portion of the team stuck with the ravagers we get to see a different side of Yondu after a change of heart and some hilliarious moments from Baby Groot as he tries to help out his Friends.
The team are able to reunite for the films finale which is done with classic marvel action, dramatic, meaningful and just simply awesome. Nebula comes back into the fold for this battle, working with the guardians this time. Through this we see a completely new side of the relationship between her and Gamora which adds to an encounter from earlier on in the film. We also see Mantis step up and the great chemistry between the original team we love. Baby Groot gets another moment to shine and we see Starlord in a state we have never seen before. The action packed delivers in every aspect and gives a heartfelt ending to one of the characters.
The final moments of the film are emotional ones, we see the characters embrace one another and seem to let any grudges between one another go. This looks as though it signifies the true formation and partnership of the team as we head to towards Avengers infinity war next year.
In terms of performances, everyone hits the mark. Chris Pratt shines as the lead, with his undeniable charisma and entertaining personality. Zoe Saldana helps keep the rest of the characters and the portions of the film that need to be be, serious. Kurt Russel puts in a strong performance as Ego, Dave Bautista is incredibly funny throughout and Bradley Cooper voices Rocket to perfection again. I can’t really credit Vin Diesel as he only says 3 words that also happen to be editied so that they are high pitch.
I can however talk about the character, and I truly mean that because I could’ve written this whole review on Baby Groot alone, trust me. Apart from what I’ve said already, what I can add is that Baby Groot always captured everyone’s attention when he was on screen. He was the only character who was largely different for the original but it was like a completely different character all together. Baby Groot was always an easy route for comedy and pure cuteness but the way it was done is what made it great.
In conclusion, this film was absolute pure Marvel perfection in my opinion, not only matching the original but bettering it. Everything from the characters, to the story, to the special effects, to the general style of the film, everything was spot on brilliant. Even the sound track was great, never before have I seen a film that relates the sound track directly to the main character, making songs form the 80’s work perfectly in the present. Guardians of the galaxy vol.2 is without doubt one of the best films I have ever seen and although it doesn’t give me the best look for my first review, I am giving this film a 10/10.