Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

guardians 2

** Warning: There is a strong possibility of spoilers ahead **

So May 2017 saw the much awaited sequel to the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy hit our cinemas and it is just as action packed, just as funny, with just as many over-ambitious villains as before. It’s a sequel that delivers.

The film opens with the Guardians doing what they do best… guarding. Throwing the audience straight into a fight scene featuring a huge tentacle filled monster and lots of flashy guns. Then we are introduced to the character destined to steal the movie: Baby Groot. Essentially the vegan equivalent to a minion, this little tree will steal your heart, that you can be sure of. As reckless as he is adorable, it’s difficult to not desperately want one. His cuteness is almost enough to make you forget about the devastating death of adult Groot in the first film… but not quite.

After Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) defeat the inter-dimensional monster, they find themselves on the wrong side of a sovereign-race where everyone is gold (I would be lying if I didn’t say it looked like a human statue convention). The Guardians then find themselves crash landing on a distant planet after an intense chase scene through an asteroid field. But all is not lost for Quill’s long-lost dad Ego appears with a rather blunt but endearing woman with emotion sensing antenna on her head. He turns out to be a literal god living on a planet which is actually himself, with the planet’s core essentially representing his brain. Like if you can relate. There’s probably a reason he’s called Ego. I would have a big one if I was a god in the form of a planet.

Sadly, Ego turns out to be a bad guy, and describes his plan of universal domination by planting a few shrubs here and there and henceforth the entire universe will consist of him, killing everything that exists. It sort of puts Donald Trump into perspective, am I right? In a dramatic twist that rivals any M. Night Shyamalan movie, blue Yondu (Michael Rooker) turns out to be a good guy, and explains how he actually saved Quill from his father, who kills his children when they can’t wield his god-like, planet forming powers. Talk about pushy parents.

The guardians then reunite and make their way to Ego’s brain, and fight more sovereign drones, who just want their batteries back. (Spoiler alert: their efforts were all in vain I’m sad to report) As Baby Groot runs into Ego’s brain to plant a bomb to destroy Ego once and for all. The Guardians fight off the sovereigns and Ego himself, which climaxes with Quill embracing his god powers and turning his fist into pac-man, because why not?

I must confess to physically laughing out loud in the cinema when watching the sequel. It’s not cheap humour either

But then the film suddenly becomes emotional and deep. After having fresh hope of having a father figure, Quill loses his biological dad, but in the process realises his real father is Yondu, the person who has taught him everything he knows. But just as this unlikely union is made, Yondu sacrifices himself for Quill. Trust me when I say it is emotional. The guardians hold a funeral for Yondu and he is respected as the good person that he really is. Amid Yondu’s farewell, Gamora and her extraordinarily aggressive, maybe robot maybe human sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan) become friends(ish) again, so I guess all’s well that ends well.

For me, this is one of Marvel’s better recent releases. There are a number of reasons why:

Firstly, this film is funny. And I mean funny. The first film had a few comedic moments, but I must confess to physically laughing out loud in the cinema when watching the sequel. It’s not cheap humour either. Yes the film is goofy in it’s own respect, but the jokes are good quality, enhanced by the skill of the actors delivering them.

The film is also visually stunning. The graphics are literally out of this world, with the colouring of the film enough to blow you away. I would definitely expect it to be worthy of an Academy Award nomination, following in the footsteps of the prequel.

But the main thing I loved about this film, is that it had depth to it. Unlike a lot of superhero-eske films, it has a plot filled to the brim with emotion and powerful relationships. It presents real world threats and risks in a way that will reach the masses, but it is a serious film. At the heart of it, through the talented actors, stunning CGI and well-timed jokes, is a powerful story which will touch those who watch it.

Watch the trailer here: