In the 15th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” fan favorites like Star-Lord and the anthropomorphic Rocket return in another fast-paced action film to save the universe from destruction once again. Loved for its dedicated humorous approach to the superhero genre, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series’ newest installment features fresh faces and impressive cast members like Kurt Russell as the new antagonist Ego and Sylvester Stallone as the Ravager Stakar Ogord.
Additionally, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” introduces a backstory to the protagonist, Star-Lord, character while also developing the new reputation that the Guardians have as protectors of the galaxy.
Overall, this sequel’s viewing experience was just as entertaining as the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” and maybe even more so, with the colorful scenery and witty acting being the highlights of the movie.
Picking up right after the end of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the sequel follows the bands’ latest adventures with a storyline that involves them escorting a shipment of batteries and getting sidetracked working for Star-Lord’s father, Ego. This sudden plot shift was the only criticism that could be made of this movie; the writers could have transitioned the Guardians’ protection job to the discovery of Star-Lord’s father with something a little better than a simple deviation from their previous goal. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” had a story focused on the return of Star-Lord’s long lost father with the plot relying on themes of betrayal and loss. Using this sort of plot didn’t harm the humor at all, and the movie made good usage of physical comedy and clever jokes, keeping the laughs going. Knowing that the movie and its series is renowned for its comedic value, the cast fortunately retains much of the engaging, positive energy that the first movie was lauded for.
The lineup of Guardians hasn’t changed since the original movie, with Chris Pratt playing the lead character Star-Lord and Zoe Saldana playing the redeemed Gamora, a villain turned good from the previous film. Dave Bautista plays the bulky Drax the Destroyer and Bradley Cooper is Rocket, a pyromaniacal raccoon. Pratt’s and Cooper’s performances were unsurprisingly hilarious, but Bautista’s role as the “gentle giant” jokester shined particularly bright. There was a good synergy between him and Mantis, the latter being a captive of Ego whose naivety was a source of witty banter throughout the movie.
Humor in this movie relies a lot on the dynamic between Mantis and Rocket and the colorful personalities that they each have. Rocket and Baby Groot — a revived, personified tree — are put in several scenes together, and they share quite a few funny moments. Groot’s infantile demeanor combined with Rocket’s impatience are unexpectedly funny as their humor usually shines through in the middle of huge action scenes, providing comedic breaks throughout the movie.
Cinematography and the general feel of this movie are just as entertaining as the humor between characters. Scenes shot on Ego’s home planet are full of saturated hues of turquoise and scarlet, and the battles set in the emptiness of space have star and suns that look almost psychedelic. The movie’s opening credits follow Groot in slow motion while he traipses through the Guardians’ duel with a gigantic space monster, with Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” playing in the background. This sequence sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the movie, and it showcases dazzling combinations of sight and sound.
The second volume of “Guardians of the Galaxy” is sure to please. With witty characters and a higher production budget, the movie shines with fast-paced dialogue and gorgeous action shots. The script especially stays fresh with funny bits from Rocket and Baby Groot. While the transition between the plotlines of the first movie and the second isn’t exactly seamless, seasoned and familiar headliners from the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” like Star-Lord and Gamora carry the movie well enough for it to be considered a pleasantly worthwhile watch.