Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Yes, I played the soundtrack to this movie while I typed this.  And that would be the answer if you, the reader, asked, "Did you listen to the film's soundtrack while you typed this review?"



Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – 5 out of 5


When Marvel Studios unleashed Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 they were taking a huge risk.  While comic readers like myself have the potential to be familiar with the characters, the mass audiences didn’t.  Everyone and their mother have some sort of knowledge of who guys like Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America are but there are even comic fans who know nothing about Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot.  However, thanks to a great cast, fun story and the genius that is James Gunn, the film would go on to be one of the biggest highlights throughout the entire MCU and, remains today, my personal favorite in the franchise.  Needless to say, I was SUPER excited to see Gunn’s follow up with Vol. 2.  Did this next adventure live up to its predecessor or did it succumb to the usual shortcomings we see in sequels?  As you can tell by the score, this one delivered!

                                                                                                              Marvel Studios
The gang's all here!


The Guardians are back and after they “accidentally” upset the Sovereign race when Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some priceless batteries from them, they stumble upon a man named Ego (Kurt Russell).  This Ego is a mysterious man who claims to be both a Celestial (a near god-like ancient race) and Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father.  While Ego wants to bring Star-Lord into his world, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) must deal with her psychotic sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax (Dave Bautista) makes friends with Ego’s unique assistant Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and the Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker) is dispatched by the Sovereign in order to collect the Guardians for the crimes that has transpired.  However, it’s soon realized that all may not be what it seems with this new insight to Star-Lord’s past…

                                                                                                                Marvel Studio
Kurt Russell is so damn talented but what makes me jealous of him is his
stupidly fantastic head of hair.


The first film is an outrageous space adventure that shows what levels of comedy were capable in an action-packed comic book adaptation.  This time around the humor feels amped up, the action is bigger, and there’s even a great deal of heart coming along for the ride.  Yes, the first film had its touching moments (like who could forget Peter Quill seeing his mom after he touched the Infinity Stone?) but GotGV2 really pours in some real heart and makes excellent use of its themes of what it means to be a family and parentage.  James Gunn really shows what an amazing craftsman he is as he showcases a perfect balance of humor, heart and action and there’s never a single moment where one is overpowering the other.

                                                                                                             Marvel Studios
I would also like to point out that Dave Bautista has some amazing
comedic timing as Drax!


Like last time, the cast in this film is incredible and their chemistry has only become tighter.  New additions to the cast, like Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell and even a small role filled by Sly Stallone are done exceptionally and every actor brings their character to life terrifically.  This undeniable chemistry only enhances Gunn’s writing and presentation as it makes the gags and jokes funnier and the tender moments even sweeter.

                                                                                                              Marvel Studios
Seeing Baby Groot (still voiced by Vin Diesel) cry instantly breaks my heart.


My only real drawback I found in the film was a lack of an apparent antagonist for much of the beginning of the film.  Yes, the Sovereign plays a big role but they did feel like First Act baddies who are just around to set up the action while the main villain didn’t really have their presence felt for what felt like a long time.  Ultimately, this complaint is incredibly minor because once the villain is established and begins their plan of action it was easy to forget that I questioned who or what the Guardians were going to be fighting a little bit earlier in the film.

                                                                                                              Marvel Studios
Chris Pratt is seriously my inspiration.  He goes from being a chubby funny
dude to a fit funny dude that women love.  I need that transformation in my life.


                                                                                  Marvel Studios
I don't want to meet the person that doesn't love
Baby Groot.
The overall experience I had with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was incredibly positive and this James Gunn masterpiece once again showed me why we still go to movie theaters and how much fun the trips can be.  With great characters, a fantastic story filled with heart and comedy, a tremendous cast, awesome special effects and very exhilarating action, this latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a non-stop thrill ride of laughs, some tears, and adrenaline with every single moment delivered to by a soundtrack of fantastic classic rock that sets the mood and tone perfectly.  James Gunn does it again and leads a talented cast and crew through a fantastic film that I plan on seeing several more times in the theater and watching endless once it arrives on Blu-ray.  

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