We’re in the home stretch now! Only a handful of films left and only a few weeks to go until Avengers: Infinity War arrives! Is anybody else excited? For now we have something else to talk about! A second album is always difficult, and when it comes after something as amazing as Guardians of the Galaxy it was going to be an almost impossible task. Was James Gunn able to replicate the success of the first film with #15 in the MCU Challenge Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ? Read on to find out!
So what’s the plot?
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!
Working as heroes for hire, the Guardians get on the wrong side of a group of people called the Sovereign. Surviving a space battle by the skin of their teeth, Peter’s father reveals himself as Ego, an immortal Celestial. After some father-son bonding, Ego reveals the real reason he has sought Peter out was to help take over the universe. Unfortunately this plan doesn’t go so well when he reveals he was the one that gave Peter’s mother cancer. Rebelling against his dad, Peter and co fight for survival and stop Ego in his tracks. Add to this Yondu facing banishment and mutiny, teaming up with the Guardians and becoming the hero he always wanted to be by sacrificing his life to save his adoptive son, Peter. This film is all about daddy issues!
I don’t want to start negatively but…..I guess I’m going to. I do not like this film as much as the first one. It is only the second time I’ve watched it and whilst I still enjoy it, I think the novelty of this funny, rag-tag group has worn off slightly. My main issue is that the main character of the story, Star Lord, doesn’t actually have that much to do! His main scenes are as follows:
- Escape from the Sovereign (Rocket is just a prominent)
- Discovers his parentage (the whole team are there with him)
- Ego explains the world (Ego is more dominant by far)
- Ego battle (Rocket, Yondu, Gamora and Nebula all get more screen time!)
Every single one of his main scenes is either focused on another character he is just there with everyone else. The action set pieces were good, not great. I like the escape from Sovereign, the overwhelming number of pursuing remote controlled ships was a neat idea and having Star Lord and Rocket fighting over the Milanos controls at the same time was exciting and fun. The battle with Ego (with the Sovereign in the background) is fun but kind of gets reduced to a superman fight much like the battle against Zod in Man of Steel while the rest of the team are having their own little adventures around in (which I found more interesting!). One of my favourite scenes is when Yondu, Rocket and Groot are working their way through the Ravager ship. Yondu whistling arrow is just so awesome!!!!
The music is good but it felt a bit forced at times. In the first film the music perfectly complimented the visuals but with this one a lot of the time I wasn’t even paying attention to music. The comedy again was good but some of it fell flat. There were a lot of the ‘awkward silence’ or cringe worthy moments which should induce laughter but most of them lasted that little bit too long. The best comedic/musical scene is the opening battle which sees the Guardians fighting a huge monster in the background to Baby Groot dancing!!
It’s a clever way to have a battle and a musical number, much like the first film but is it just me or wouldn’t it have been nice to see more of the battle? I am really disappointed with how some of the characters were written, which I’ll go onto in a minute and it makes me worried for future sequels if the novelty is wearing off already. Hopefully the cast will be better utilised in Infinity War, maybe the merging of cosmic and Earth-based MCU will breathe new life into the team!
So, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord…..I was unimpressed. I like Chris Pratt, he was fantastic in GotG Vol.1 so I was expecting a lot more with this than we got. There’s not problem with the jokes but most of the comedy has been given to other characters. I think Gunn was trying to give Peter some meaningful development and whilst that did happen I think it was at the expense of what was a great character.
Star Lord’s greatest moments are the emotional beats, particularly learning his mother’s fate and when left helpless while Yondu sacrifices himself. Both scenes are heartbreaking and Pratt knocks them out of the park. I did not like his relationship with Gamora, I don’t mind the relationship teasing but stop going on about it! Either do it or don’t! That’s two films now where apart from a small comment at the end of the film suggesting she feels the same way, they are no closer to being together! Sort it out! So overall, an average performance with some highlights, hoping for much more in the future. Honourable mention to super Pac-Man oh and pretending that David Hasselhoff was his father as a kid!
What does Gamora do in this film? She makes the killing blow on the monster at the start, has some romantic interaction with Peter and spends the rest of the time having a reluctant fight with Nebula. Zoe Saldana looks bored and I don’t blame her. Her one one cool moment is when she picks up an entire canon from Nebula’s ship and fires back at her! That is what the deadliest woman in the galaxy can do!
Every scene with Nebula is stolen by Karen Gillan and though I like these interactions, Gamora isn’t the one controlling the scenes! I’m annoyed that I don’t have much to say about her but that’s because she barely did anything! Was she greener in this film?
Rocket Raccoon was turned up to 11. He was the obnoxious weapon master in the first film and now he is just a dick, needlessly insulting literally everyone for no real reason. Rocket is still the criminal side of the Guardians, case in point, he steals the special batteries they were supposed to be protecting, causing the Sovereign to go on the hunt for them! There is no need for him to be like this, even if you consider the self-preservation argument, it’s a bit much!
However, I loved him. He is hilarious, it’s the first time we see him use his tech knowledge and fighting skills to properly kick ass, and we get a couple of genuine touching moments. When he ambushes the Ravagers creeping up on him it’s so great! Teaming up with Yondu to escape the Ravager ship, equally good, being the father figure for Baby Groot, lovely and funny, having the realisation argument with Yondu that they are alike, enthralling and making the hard choice to save the rest of the Guardians while leaving Yondu and Peter behind, a huge gut punch! Rocket is a contended for my favourite character in the film, he wasn’t overused and I would gladly see more of him in the future. I cannot wait for a scene in Infinity Way with Rocket, Iron Man and Shuri to be on screen together!!! Arrogant tech overload!!!
Without Rocket there would be no Groot! But which Groot is this?? James Gunn recently confirmed that Baby Groot is more like the first Groot’s son then a copy so this is a brand new one! New body, new memories, new attitude. Baby Groot is equal parts cute, funny, more cute, and epic. Most of his scenes are fun but his character is restrained by being so young. Most of the time you see him the camera cuts away from something serious to Groot doing something cute.
Having a space battle? Groot is eating sweets. Need him to fetch a simple item? Groot collects random items that bare no resemblance to the desired item! The big bad destroying everything and killing your friends? Groot gets confused over the working of a bomb and runs off with it! I’m sure I will be buried alive if I say that I don’t like the character but (sensing a theme with this film) he wasn’t used enough.
One thing I hate is the torture scene. When captured by the Ravagers Groot gets dressed up in his own little Ravager suit and then is tormented by the group. If Groot was a normal sized being this would have been a really intense torture scene! Remember he is a young child! Could have done with out this film! But Groot blows Ego up, he saves the day! Can’t wait to see more of teenage Groot in Infinity War!!!!
Drax is the comic relief. That sounds odd to say when discussing comedy film but his character change is perhaps the most disappointing. ‘Drax the Destroyer’, he is supposed to be one of the galaxy’s most formidable fighters, but in this he laughs……a lot. He does little fighting, and what he does is lacklustre. Every scene is Drax making an honest but funny comment, laughing really loudly at something he finds funny or insulting Mantis.
It is funny but this is not what the character is supposed to be. I don’t think there is a single moment that is stand out, in the first film Drax was a sombre, stoic character with accidental jokes. In this, he is a goof and I don’t like that. Sometimes I’m annoyed that I laugh at what he is doing but I suppose if I’m laughing I must be enjoying it. Bautista’s performance is too over the top, was it his fault or was he written that way? I’ll probably never know.
I hated Nebula in the first film. So imagine my surprise when I enjoyed every moment she was on screen this time around. Karen Gillan took the character from the first film and built on in so well that she had created an engaging and incredibly strong character. Her interactions with Gamora are great and once you get the scene where she explains that she has fought so hard against Gamora is because she only ever wanted a sister.
I believe the emotion in this scene and her determination to bring Thanos down one way or another towards the end of the film is exciting! Nebula goes from Guardians captive to undermining the Ravagers and doing her own thing in a flash. After watching the first film I never thought I would say this but I want to see more! One of my Infinity War predictions is that Nebula will come close to killing Thanos but he will stop and kill her at the last minute. Either that or she will sacrifice herself to save her sister. They do need to do something about the voice though, it’s still a bit grating.
Talking about character that have grown on me, let’s take a look at Yondu. Like Nebula, in the first film I didn’t like him. He was a bit of a superfluous character and a bit too ‘alien’. But having gotten used to him over the last few years it was so refreshing to be shown something totally new from the character. Yondu starts off the same, brash, arrogant and pissing people off. Reeling from being exiled from the Ravagers for trafficking children to Ego, Yondu finds a kindred spirit in Rocket and then pulls out the daddy card, have been the father figure Peter needed all his life.
You see Yondu’s vulnerability, his love for the Ravagers and Peter and acceptance of his fate at the end of the film. Yondu is the real hero. He may have been largely responsible for the deaths of loads of beings after delivering them to Ego but when he discovered the truth he secreted Peter away and essentially raised him as his own. I am not ashamed to say that I nearly shed a tear during his funeral scene, especially when the other Ravagers turn up to give him a proper send off. I would have liked to have seen a road trip (or space lane trip) with Yondu and Rocket, their scenes together were some of the best in the film and without a doubt Yondu is the best character in the film, plus he’s Mary Poppins y’all!!
Kurt Russell is awesome, that is a fact. Ego is one of the better villains in the MCU, that is also a fact. His character was rushed though. The first time we see him, in a flashback with Peter’s mother, is great set up for the rest of his story, and the Marvel de-aging machine is on form again!
When he swaggers into the Sovereign chase and then reveals his identity to Peter it’s really good! He’s sure of himself, he’s cocky and maybe a bit too relaxed?
Ego’s planet was weird and beautiful (and the biggest grin came across my face when you see that he is a giant face on the planet!) but I did not like the exposition pods! Why are they there? Why not make Peter see them in his mind like he does with the ‘eternity’ thing. The pods are weird looking and don’t make sense to be there. The bonding scenes where he is teaching Peter about the celestial power are great, especially the baseball scene! The evil reveal was too quick. It practically happens in the middle of a sentence but he did get a face full of laser blasts for his trouble.
I don’t like the final fight with Ego, he is absent for a large part of it having been put to sleep by Mantis and when he is there he is just flying about or hitting Peter with rocks. I really don’t think they should have gone down the universe ending route with Ego but I like the character, even when he has no skin!
I have very little to say about Mantis. Her only purpose in the film is to give Drax someone to interact with. She is a sort of a willing slave to Ego and puts him asleep for a large portion of the final fight but other than not emoting like a normal person she is pointless.
She tells Drax the truth but the rest of the Guardians learn it themselves, she has a couple of touching moments but you can take her out of the film and literally nothing changes. I hope there isn’t too much of her in Infinity War.
I’ve hated on the film quite a lot but please rest assured that I do like this film! To prove it, here’s my list of things I liked and some I didn’t!
- Drax thinks the monster’s hide is thinner from the inside!
- Is the fight/dance sequence too long?
- Gamora and the fold out sword!
- The Sovereign are ridiculous and annoying.
- Sovereign remote fleet is cool!
- Quantum asteroid field! One-upping Star Wars!
- Drax takes the fight to the Sovereign outside the ship!
- ‘Trash Panda’
- The robot brothel and Howard the Duck should not be in this film.
- Sylvester Stallone is one of the chief Ravagers!!
- HATE HATE HATE Taserface and the extended scene of Rocket teasing him, rubbish!
- Kraglin does not work as a larger character.
- Groot finds a human toe!
- Yondu’s arrow taking out all of the Ravagers is awesome!
- Comic accurate fin!
- Hundreds of space jumps! Trippy visuals, a glimpse of some Kronan fighters and Stan Lee Cameo chatting to some Watchers!!!
- Peter wants to build some crazy shit!
- Ego is a space slut!
- The mining laser ship was so cool
- ‘Does anybody have any tape?’ – Scene lasts too long.
- Ego crushes everyone but they are magically ok.
- “He may be your father, but he wasn’t your daddy!”
- Peter gets a Zune!
It’s a good film, but I have a lot of issues with it. I’m expecting a lot of changes for the sequel, especially because it comes a relatively long time after Infinity War, who knows what the make-up of the team is going to be. The comedy was very hit or miss, the romantic angle was pointless, Ego’s turn was too fast and obvious, Gamora was wasted, Nebula, Rocket and Yondu were brilliant but Star Lord, Drax and Groot were not where near as good as the first film. Must do better Gunn!
That’s enough from me, here’s what twitter has to say about the cosmic sequel!
Retro Ben – @RETRO_ben_YT
Nice new characters and an epic Ego. But too Disney-like.
nerdschatting – @nerdschatting
It’s a serviceable sequel however U feel it spends a little too much time trying to be ‘cool’ with music fitting set pieces rather than actually having a story that is cohesive. That being said, a beating heart and Yondu’s sacrifice is beffiting. Difficult second album. Score? 3 Groots out of 5 members of the Sovereign appearing via remote control.
Tanner Slavin – @Tanner_Slavin
Guardians 2’s visual effects were great! Baby Groot was precious! It was cool to see the team interactions. They all worked so well off each other. Ego was an ok villain, not the best but not the worst. Yondu was cool.
Logan Slavin – @DiamondSpiderP
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was almost as good as the first one! It was interesting to see the changes of Groot after growing up with the Guardians! He steals some of Star Lord’s moves and he’s a bit more hostile! But not only has he changed, he’s also adorable!
ronnie cassol – @ronniehowlett3
Funny and moving. Kurt Russell is an excellent villain.
DAISY IS QUEEN – @zachmaster014
This is my favourite MCU movie. It’s the most visually stunning, has some of the best humour and action. But most importantly, it has the most spectacular character writing and best emotional moments in the entire MCU. I adore pretty much everything about it.
Hunter_IW – @26_InfinityWar
Not as good as the first – better visuals but way worse action.
Robert – @thatRobster
A sequel was always going to be difficult to a perfect introduction but they did a good job! I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Becky – @musicgamer460
I loved it.
DM Sammo – @StevenSimmons
Fantastic film that dips a little too far into comedy compared to the first. Ego is a fantastic villain and the familial connections make the stakes feel real but moments of seriousness feel undercut by the comedy. Ego and Yondu shine.
James Carroll – @IAmJACsMusings
GotG amped up to 11, Vol. 2 is less a case of difficult second volume, more Gunn locked and loaded GotG is deeper, richer and cleverer than it’s predecessor, if not as instantly iconic nor anarchic in its punk rock aesthetics or impact. Ego, we’ve all got to grow up sometime. Following the near perfection of the first Volume was always going to be a tricky proposition, but this sophomore space saga soars true enough and will surely, in time, serve as a solid central entry in a worthy Guardians of the Galaxy stand-alone trilogy.
Chad Hirsch – @ChaddyDaddy_19
Personally I like the first one better but Vol. 2 was still a terrific movie. Pratt really gets to showcase his acting range as this film really digs into Quill’s family and history. He blends his classic wit and charm perfectly with a surprising amount of dramatic depth! Kurt Russell’s inclusion as Ego really elevated the films stakes, Russell is a legendary actor and he made Ego very likeable up until his true colours came through. But the real scene stealer was Yondu! The Ravager funeral was beautiful! RIP Yondu.
20thCenturyGeek_Pod – @20thCenturyGeek
An average sequel. I enjoy the cast, chemistry and the premise is strong. Yondu is stand out and utilised brilliantly. However many of the jokes stick around too long and it degenerates into a tedious and rote 3rd act. someone needed to say no to Gunn a bit more.
Krista Vaughan – @kvaughan737
It was a so-so sequel for me. Full of decent special effects, okay music, and family drama (daddy issues). Rooker stole the show for me, his performance as Yondu was great.
The DynamosBros – @TheDynamobros
This was actually my favourite MCU movie. A lot of you are gonna disagree with me, and that’s okay, but Ego is in the top 5 for MCU villains.
Mauricio RMC – @enrealidadnouso
I think I could make a copy paste of my comment on the first movie and it would fit perfectly. I like James Gunn’s previous films, but his GOTG, detest them.
Something positive? Kurt Russell and Elizabeth Debicki.
Something bad? Zoe Saldana in a very minor role.
Something stupid? All post-credit scenes.
Something honest? Ben Browder cameo. It’s almost a kind of ‘Yes, this is a copy of Farscape’ moment.
Lilian Sue – @LSue23
The emotional resonance of Peter’s relationships with both his biological father and Yondu really broke my heart. But outside of that, it didn’t seem to progress the larger MCU further.
Mike Lamb – @MichaelnLamb
Guardians of the Galaxy is just a really fun movie. Volume 2 will not disappoint. It is really really funny and it is loaded with tons of action. All characters really grow on you. it’s a movie for everyone to enjoy!
Lewis – @LewisNotADick
A fun exciting follow up that had heart power humour. Looked good, felt good. Better than the first for me.
Princess Buckethead – @izzyl
Found it easier to watch than the first one, Drax and Rocket are my faves. Yondu sacrifice very touching. Like Nebula too.
Faye – @ABitFilmMadFaye
Guardians of the Galaxy is a really brilliant film, it made me laugh soo much. The Guardians really come together as a team/family (in the end). So many great songs in it, starting with the beginning of course with baby Groot dancing to ELO’s song.
STARCHLORD – @ssppudd
Not as good as the first one imo, however, it is one of the best MCU movies. It expertly juggles humour (groot dancing and rocket in general) with tension (ego’s relationship with Star Lord and Yondu’s sacrifice) it made 2 characters that I wanted to die, 2 of my favs in the MCY – Yondu and Nebula. My favourite character in the MCU is Rocket Raccoon (as anyone in my DMs can attest) so seeing him and Groot go along with Yondu’s redemption added more humour and made me care most )in all honesty). Would highly recommend. 9/10.
Jimbob Squarepants – @VintageGt
Found it disappointing on release but then on further viewings at home it’s grown on me a lot. Yondu’s redemption and death was a superb arc and gave the movie heart. Some of the forced humour still doesn’t sit well but all in all, I like it. Not as good as the 1st but still a 7/10.
Light and Nerdy – @lightandnerdy
Had a lot of good moments but perhaps didn’t have the same wow factor as the first film? Always a tricky job for a sequel but the first film had such an original creative impact it was always going to be tricky to follow up. Still had some really heart warming moments though.
T0MMY – @Tomiouss
The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are good because they fell like a breath of fresh air from the grounded action and twists and turns that other MCU movies give us.
Geek Speak Polls – @GeekSpeakPolls
I still feel kinda cheated that Baby Groot is not Big Groot, but his son. Guardians Of The Galaxy was not supposed to be a daytime soap opera.
Matthew Fisher – @CouchPotato_MVP
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 was a more emotional story than Vol. 1 but it was still a very enjoyable movie. I liked how this sequel put Star Lord in a difficult dilemma, choosing the family he found on his own vs the family he never knew. It added more depth to Marvel films. Of course director James Gunn balances the drama with plenty of excitement and humour that’s just as funny as GotG Vol. 1 (Drax had some terrific jokes, to name some). Furthermore, this new soundtrack was stellar, featuring songs that nicely captured the feeling of certain scenes. Finally, the cast continued to excel in their respective roles, making this team not just a collection of cosmic heroes but a family that truly cares for each other. That’s what makes the Guardians of the Galaxy stand out so much.
“What about credit scenes?” I hear you shout? Well there were 5 of them! Yep 5!
- Kraglan practicing with Yondu’s arrow and fin, accidentally stabs Drax.
- The original comic Guardians of the Galaxy team reassemble!
- Queen of the Sovereign has created a perfect being named……Adam (Warlock)!
- Groot is now a stroppy teenager!
- The Watchers leave Stan Lee to his own stories.
Was this too many scenes? I didn’t mind, broke up the credits a bit!
Well there you have it, another film crossed off the list! Only 3 films to go and just over three weeks until Infinity War arrives! But let’s not look too far ahead, for next up is a big one. #16 in the MCU Challenge is Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first official Marvel Studios Spider-Man film. Spidey returns with a new actor, a new story, some new gadgets and a fresh new take on his story. I’ve only seen it once and loved it so am really looking forward to putting it on! I hope you’ll join me again! Until next time!