Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 superhero, space opera, live action science ficiton film based on Marvel Comics characters. It's rated PG-13 due to violence and language and is appropriate for teens and up.
After saving the galaxy, the Guardians of the Galaxy go from rejects to rockstars. So how do you follow that up? Explore the individual characters backstories and what family and friendship mean.
Characters. The characters are as compelling in this film as the first. Because we've been introduced to them, the writers did something smart and focused on backstory and development instead of just bigger and louder fights. The backstories were interesting and added to the characters we already know instead of trying to change them.
Action. This film had a lot of great actions scenes. They were a little video-game looking and feeling, but still enjoyable.
Themes. This movie really focused on what it means to be family, and looked at that from several angles and used the idea to drive the narrative. It was a smart way to go and made this film necessary to expand the story and not just a sequel to rake in more money.
Ego, the Living Planet. When I heard Ego the Living Planet was the villain, I wondered how they would do that. Visions of Galactus from Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer flashed thru my head of one disappointing approach they could take. But they kept him very true to the comic while still making him a believable motion picture villain. He was great and a high point of the movie.
Humor. The jokes just weren't as funny in this film as in most Marvel films. There were a few that had me laughing a little too loudly, but most of them fell flat.
Pacing of the First Half. The first half of the movie moved very slowly, and the gratuitous action scene at the beginning didn't help. There seemed to be a lot of pauses to build up to jokes that weren't very funny. I get what the director was thinking and trying to accomplish, but it just didn't work.
Content. This movie felt like it had too little story. The first dragged because so little happened and so many pauses. The filmmakers should have either cut out a half hour and tightened up the plot or added more story.
Video Game CGI. The first film created a world that felt very real and very used and worn out. That fit with the nature of the movie and the characters. This film felt like a video game with less convincing CGI and the characters not interacting with it in a believable way. This film would have benefited from either more sets or better direction.
The Sovereign. The Sovereign were lousy villains. They were stiff and uninteresting. I get that they were supposed to be this perfectly designed society, but they came off as filler so the good guys had something to blast.
What I Would Like to Have Seen
I wish this movie had more story and more interesting villains (Ego was great, but he wasn't revealed as a villain until the end). I also wish the jokes had been funnier and a little more of the dirt and grit from the first film had been preserved.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fun space opera action flick. The characters are still great with each one's backstory explored and a great new villain in Ego. The jokes weren't as funny and the other villains, the Sovereign, were disappointing. The first half was slow and felt dragged out from too little story, but the second half was great and everything I expected from the film. I give it 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.