The first Guardians of the Galaxy (which my brilliant friends and I aptly named GalGuards) is my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) thus far. It was the movie that proved to me that Marvel knows exactly what it’s doing with these films and even if they make a movie out of a C List Marvel Hero, I know it’ll be amazing. With that being said, I was equally excited and nervous about director James Gunn’s newest Guardians film but upon a second watch, I’m here to say that GalGuards 2 is just as good as the first.
Story: Unlike the other MCU sequels, GalGuards 2 picks up shortly after the end of the original, as the Guardians are quickly thrown into another bind which involves some weird gold people and Star Lord’s long lost father, Ego. I won’t describe much more because the story is quirky and wonderful and it’s better to go in as dry as possible on that front. It’s funny and sad and action packed and just 2 hours of pure goodness. Now, it has some problems, two are worth mentioning. One, the movie is absolutely predictable so long as you have a brain and that is slightly disappointing at a few points during the second act. And two, this movie takes the shotgun approach to joke making; they throw everything at you and hope you’ll like a majority of it. While this is certainly true (you’ll be laughing your booty off for the duration), some of the jokes just fall flat. Nevertheless, the writing here is magical to say the least, even despite it’s few problems.
Acting: There are a ton of actors and actresses here and they are all worth mentioning. It just wouldn’t do the review justice. So instead of talking about each one at length and making this review 12,000 words, I’m going to pick out each actor and actress and jot down a word or short phrase to describe them and their performance in this film. So without further adieu:
Dave Bautista-Pure Gold (I ain’t joking on this one)
Bradley Cooper- Also Gold
Vin Diesel-I am Groot
Michael Rooker-Like that character from Walking Dead but I care about
Pom Klementieff- She’s Mantis
Sean Gunn- Not awful
Karen Gillan-Better than Dr. Who
Sylvester Stallone- Yeah…he’s in this….I was “shocked” too
To sum it up, the vast majority of the cast (and even supporting cast) is fantastic, however there’re just a few performances that keep me from giving this film the Selfridge 10/10 Seal of Approval.
Presentation: When it comes to visuals, there are two kinds of Sci-Fi movies; ones that are hyper-realistic and look like they are “real” and ones that are just super pretty and colorful. The new Star Wars movies (i.e. Rogue One) is the example of the former and GalGuards 2 is an example of the later. I didn’t think this movie looked that great when I first saw it (in non-IMAX 3D), and I didn’t realize how beautiful it looked until I saw it again in IMAX. Now granted. Usually everything looks better in IMAX, but this movie is just so pretty and colorful and literally every pigment of color pops, whether it be the red ground of Ego’s Planet or the blue hue of Nebula’s skin. The point is that this movie looks special. There’s just no other word to describe it. And it’s important to note. If you’re going to see this (which you must) either see it in IMAX 3D or in standard non-3D because the 3D glasses take away this wonderful effect if you’re not in IMAX. Oh, and the music (both the motion picture soundtrack and the original score) are perfect. James Gunn really knows what he’s doing.
Effect: I don’t know if I’d say this movie is better than the original. That’s a big leap that I’m not willing to make until I sit on it a bit longer. What I will say is that this movie is what comic book movies should be. Unless you are taking a different approach to a comic book character (like Nolan’s Batman Trilogy or Logan), this is what the dictionary example of a comic book movie should be. It’s the perfect blend of comedy and action and everything that happens is well earned. Definitely one of the best MCU movies and certainly the best MCU sequel.
Other: Remember, IMAX 3D or standard. Don’t go for the normal/non-IMAX 3D. Don’t do it. It’s a trick. Otherwise, that’s it. This movie is wonderful. Go treat yourself.
(Does a quick glance over what I’ve written) Yup. I think my work is done here.