Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
In order for a sequel to capture the originality of its predecessor, it has to diverge from simply copying and pasting, and branch out into an innovating and unexpected realm. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 seemed to lean in to this change, it stopped being a satire of other action films, and began to take itself a bit more seriously, however, along the way it got lost in so much backstory and set-up.
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 finds our heroes finishing a job for some golden aliens. They have become mercenaries in a way, and they’re fine with it, but they occasionally bump into trouble as they backstab or double-cross their employers. After stealing from the golden aliens of the opening scenes, the Guardians are chased and bump into a being called Ego (Kurt Russell), who is Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father and a celestial planet. The film then jumps to catch up with some of the Ravagers from the first film, most notably Yondu (Michael Rooker), Star-Lord’s original captor, and how he’s down on his luck and being shamed by other Ravagers and his own crew for his showing of compassion towards Star-Lord in the first film’s finale. Guardians vol. 2 delves into these characters and their sorrows as they scatter some fun action and another killer soundtrack in between.
I have to give credit to director James Gunn, as he was able to capture the tone of the first film very well, but unfortunately he throws the whole original story structure out of the window so that the film essentially has no objective until the final 20 minutes; it’s all simply a soul-searching exercise. And while I enjoyed the whole father-son theme, it was simply a bit of a let down.
The characters are deepened as we get some insight into their troubled pasts, making them easier to latch on to for future installments – you can only expect this is a ploy by Marvel as the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War will kill some of them off. However, you can’t help but feel that Marvel is perhaps stumbling a bit as it’s movies become less stand-alone features and more like episodes of a TV show, which although enjoyable, it snuffs out some of the movie magic.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 it was just a bit of a let down compared to the first film, and that might be a bit of an unfair comparison, as this film didn’t have the surprise factor anymore. Nevertheless, even as we are showered with a bunch of new lore, and we get to see our favorite characters again, we can’t help but shrug a bit at the end of this one.