By Ivan Mateo
Following the surprising success of the first “Guardians Of The Galaxy” back in 2014 with a little-known superhero lineup, “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” released to much anticipation with James Gunn back as director.
This was surprising because of the fact that the initial film was a risk. Starlord, Groot and the rest of the crew were not household names. Now, they are.
Later this month on May 27, Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: BREAKOUT! will be opening at Disney California Adventure Park, replacing the classic Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The month of May is chockful of Guardians of the Galaxy.
“GOTG2” opens with our merry band of heroes on a mission for the Sovereign, protecting batteries from being taken by a giant tentacle-like creature.
Starlord (Chris Pratt) exclaims, “Showtime, A-holes!”
Each guardian fancies their respective styles of combat.
Starlord shoots lasers, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) specializes in close-quarters combat.
Starlord even jokingly comments on Gamora using a gun instead of her usual sword in the film. Drax (Dave Bautista) is the muscle, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is the weapons expert and explosion specialist, while Groot (Vin Diesel) is a baby this time around who likes to dance.
The opening sequence is wonderfully fun and clever.
The guardians return to Sovereign planet, and Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the leader of the Sovereign, presents them Nebula (Karen Gillan) in exchange for their protection of the batteries.
Little does the crew know, someone takes the batteries away.
This unleashes a domino effect on their journey with the guardians in full-flee mode.
Ayesha enlists Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his crew of Ravagers to retrieve the Guardians and the stolen batteries.
One of the more enjoyable characteristics of the “GOTG” series is the playful banter between the characters.
So much yelling takes place between the characters, one part snarky and another part sassy.
Fewer characters appear in “GOTG2” compared to the first film, so the vibe surrounding our heroes and heroines is much more intimate.
The focus of the film centers more on the interpersonal relationships between certain character pairings.
The sibling relationship and rivalry between Gamora and Nebula definitely needed to see exploration.
The two daughters of the supervillain and destroyer of worlds, Thanos, were forced to fight each other constantly and, in time, became embittered rivals.
They hate each other and want to kill each other.
Can their sisterhood be mended in any way?
Through the course of the film, Raccoon and Yondu end up together, where their similarities are explored.
Rocket is always lashing out at the guardians, especially at Starlord because he feels underappreciated and does not belong.
The central relationship navigated in “GOTG2” is that of Starlord and his father, Ego (Kurt Russell).
Starlord often wondered where his father had been all his life since his father was never there for him and his mother.
Now, Ego wants to make up for lost time and play catch-up.
Ego is charming just like Starlord, but are his motivations genuine?
The introduction of the character Mantis, an Empath played by Pom Klementieff, is quite welcome.
She accompanies Ego and possesses the unique power of feeling a person’s emotions and provides a different dynamic and perspective.
The fighting and the gunfights are nothing to write home about. They are solid, but felt slightly lackluster.
The Guardians rarely fight together as a team as much this time around because they each confront their own complicated problems instead.
Groot adores with his cuteness. One might think Marvel played up Groot’s cuteness to maximum levels and risked overloading the audience with too much Groot, but the studio found just the right balance.
Rooker’s performance as Yondu had more layers this time around because his story takes him on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. His psyche is given the proper exploration it deserves as he connects with certain members of the crew.
The anticipation for the Guardians to meet the Avengers in next year’s “Avengers: Infinity War” is now in full effect. Think of the possibilities!
How will Hulk react to Groot? Whose snarkiness will reign supreme: Iron Man or Rocket Raccoon?
The possibilities are infinite.
The soundtrack uses the same formula of classic hits from the past with Starlord’s Walkman in hand.
The gang’s all here: Starlord with his charm and goofiness, Drax with his bluntness and big, bellowing laughter, Gamora with her badassery, Rocket with his brashness and weapons expertise and Groot with his cuteness.
The first film hit audiences with a blast of unique characters, classic music, playful banter and space combat.
The sequel offers up more of the same from the first film with continued comedy and adventure.
Gunn’s recipe for success works once again.
That all works perfectly fine, but it is just not as novel this time around.
Be sure to stay during and after the credits, where there are a whopping five mid- and post-credit scenes, ranging from lighthearted and funny to connecting other films in the Marvel franchise together.
“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.
The runtime of “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” is 2 hours and 17 minutes.
“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” is playing in theaters now.
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’ poster
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