Movie Review: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Last night we were treated to an advanced screening of the latest offering from Marvel – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Here are details at a glance:

  • Opening to the public on 5 May 2017!
  • Run time: 136 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13

As a family we fell in love with the first “Guardians”. It was fast-paced adventure with plot twists and plenty of action. The story line was solid and took us along for a great ride. I was a little late to seeing the first movie, but it paid off since I only saw it about a month ago and it was still fresh in my mind as I sat down to watch this sequel.

Vol. 2 starts off 3 months after the Guardians have saved the Galaxy and are now being hired to protect certain treasures and hunt down “baddies”. The scene opens up with the Guardian’s protecting the Sovereigns very valuable batteries from the Abilisk, a giant, multi-armed monster who has very thick skin. They succeed in this and are rewarded with Nebula, Gamora’s sister, who they plan to rockgrootturn in for the ransom money. She was caught on the same planet trying to steal the same batteries. As the Guardians are leaving the Sovereign’s buildings it is revealed that Rocket has actually stolen the batteries, which results in the Sovereign sending a fleet of drones to attack the Guardians which takes us on a high speed Egochase through an asteroid field and we see the Guardians crash spectacularly on a planet after a mysterious ship destroys the remaining Sovereign fleet. It is here that we meet Ego, Peter Quill’s father (played by Kurt Russell) and finally learn about the other half of Peter’s heritage. He turns out to be a celestial being and not everything feels right to Peter’s friends.

Drax-EmpathAlong with Ego, we also meet several new characters – the main one being Mantis, who is played by Pom Klementieff. She is an empath that has the ability to feel other people’s feelings when she touches them and can also do a certain amount of feeling manipulation. She works for Ego to “help him sleep” but quickly becomes friends with Drax and he starts to teach her things she doesn’t know. I really loved this new character and how she gelled with the Guardians. It felt really natural.

The sets are absolutely incredible in this film. There is amazing detail and it is said that (according to the VFXperts) Ego’s planet VFX is comprised of a trillion polygons. This is considered to be the biggest visual effect ever made. The color and sheer magnitude of what I saw on the screen left me in awe.

YonduThe movie is high action and I feel it was more violent than the first. The death count was certainly more visible and folks were killed mainly through impaling and deep freeze as they are pushed out the spaceship and into space. There is no gore or blood shown but you feel the cast get smaller and smaller.

Holding true to the first movie, the soundtrack to GotG Vol 2 is stellar and I think anyone who was alive in the 80’s in the US will appreciate that. My British husband wasn’t as keen on the music, but he doesn’t have the same nostalgia I do. Also, a little tidbit: the film’s subtitle is a nod to “Star-Lord’s Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1” cassette tape. There are several other 80’s nods in the film that my husband did enjoy – Pac Man and Trolls specifically.

G-PI also felt this movie has a lot more humor and over all joy than the first movie. The jokes are a bit cruder and there are sexual innuendo, penis jokes, and general ‘potty humor’. Crass language was kept to a minimum, but there is a modicum of it sprinkled throughout the movie. There is also the continued “unspoken” love story between Peter and Gamora and feelings are starting to be shown a little bit more than in the first movie.

As far as sequels go, this is one of the best ones I have seen come out of a series. It doesn’t feel like a bridge to the next movie. It is great as a stand alone film and keeps the viewer engaged the whole time. There is so much more of the story told here, lots of answers are given that were left hanging in the first film,and the characters become richer and more developed as the story progresses. Relationships are changing too, which is fun to see and as a “family” forms and more people are brought groot2into the fold, this is bound to happen. There is a certain amount of softening that is happening here too, and yet we are left with a certain unease. Plus, Baby Groot completely steals the show. Could he be any cuter, seriously?!

My husband and I were discussing if we would let our 9-year old watch this right away. He is going to love the action sequences, and the potty humor (because male), he will love Baby Groot and Rocket but the level of violence is a high and we have some concerns there. The movie also has a depth to it with a layer of guilt and making things right, admitting mistakes, professing love, and standing up for what is ultimate the right thing. When we considered that he watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom last year and saw a heart ripped right from a chest which is pretty jarring (even more so for me apparently), we are rethinking waiting. It will be a movie he will really like, but a little time might make it better for him especially in being able to understand the more difficult situation. There is a lot that will go right over his head.

That said, I highly recommend this film if you love Guardians. I don’t think you will be disappointed in the slightest! I would definitely give it a solid 8.5/10 stars.

____________________________________________

Disclaimer: I was give free entrance to this movie screening and am not required to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed are my very own.

 

 

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