Seen April 26th
You know how the first Guardian’s of the Galaxy was one of the most gloriously silly and out there Marvel Movies that they’d made up until that point? Well… yeah, still gloriously silly and out there, just not as out there as the first one felt.
Guardian’s of the Galaxy Vol 2 is an absolutely goddamn amazing movie. Visually it’s possibly my favorite of all the Marvel movies, it’s certainly the one that plays with color the most. It feels like the movie where they suddenly remembered “Wait, we’re based on Comic Books, we should be bright and bold in every single frame” and sure enough, they are. Scenes that happen on the main planet in the film are glorious to witness, just the contrast in colors is enough to make your eyes widen just a little so you can take in everything. Scenes with space battles are stunning, you are never lost during a climatic fight scene. You know who is doing what and when they throw a curve ball at you, you aren’t completely lost.
Kudos to whomever the hell was in charge of animating Groot in this movie. In the first movie he was one of the best bits, but in this one he is objectively the greatest thing in the movie. The film makers know this because they pretty much dedicate the entire opening credits sequence to Groot being the most precious thing. Also the opening credits are up there with Deadpool’s in terms of genuinely funny and beautifully shot, a glorious long take that floats around and just… let’s just say I was bouncing in my seat with joy over how insanely good their use of the long take was, and it was for the opening credits so you know that’s a good start.
The entire main cast is superb. Chris Pratt somehow found a way to make his character even more endearing. Zoe Saldana steals every scene she’s on screen with just a look. Dave Bautista took Drax from the first movie and kicked it up to 11, I’m sure he was great in the WWE (Which I’m told is a sport that people do that involves movement and doing things) but the man needs to just act now because he is insanely amazing in this film. Kurt Russell is in this film and good god I don’t think the man has ever been better which is saying a lot considering his filmography contains some truly iconic performances but in this film he does everything and then some. I also really appreciate all the cameo’s they threw in there, besides the obvious Stan Lee role that’s in every Marvel movie. There’s one cameo in particular that… OK, not spoiling who but let’s just say if you know me and my strange tastes, you will know the amount of pure glee I had upon seeing one specific actor turning up for literally 1 line in the movie (And he plays himself which is another trope I can’t get enough of). Oh and he also get’s to sing at the end the movie in the credits. Oh yeah, stay until the movie is completely over, there’s like 4 freaking scenes in the credits but there’s also a ton of fun little moments of the actors dancing around or random text changed to “I AM GROOT”.
The soundtrack is, as expected, flawless. Mr. Blue Sky, The Chain, My Sweet Lord, Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl), they pull in some truly spectacular songs that fit every scene they’re in and in some cases are even plot points. The first movie may have had Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede but this film has the goddamn Electric Light Orchestra for the opening track and it’s perfect.
So after all that praise there is one problem… Guardian’s didn’t push themselves far enough. Sure there are some moments where this movie really does go further into the strange that the first one bathed in, but it it’s not constant. The entire Star-Lord/Gamora romantic plot feels like a recycle job from the first movie, right down to a dance scene between them and while it’s sweet and a little updated from the first movie, it feels like we’re just doing the same thing again with a slightly different coat of paint. There’s some points in the movie where they’re genuinely trying to do 4 stories at the same time which means splitting up the main cast and while all those scenes are great, there’s a genuinely hilarious sequence with Rocket and Yondu trying to get Groot to bust them out of jail for example, it means most of the movie is spent with the main group apart meaning that there’s a few spots of “Well ain’t that a coincidence” when it comes time for them to reunite and means that we don’t get to have many major group scenes for much of the movie, it’s just certain pairings (It went all Scooby Doo on us).
Is this movie better than the first? Fuck yes, no doubt in my mind. They take threads that the first one left over and play with them, answer a few questions, create new ones, it’s all good. But after we’ve seen films like Deadpool or Logan show how far this genre can go, hell showing how far Marvel is capable of pushing themselves when they want, it feels like they didn’t push it all the way. It’s absolutely great fun and a genuinely great movie but there is a niggling thought that there is something more this film could’ve done to push it just a little further and they didn’t, it’s not a great feeling but it’s one I am hooked on.