Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a lot to live up to based on what its predecessor accomplished as far as critical success and in terms of how well it was received by most of the general public who took the time to see it. Because of that, it was safe to assume that changes wouldn’t be drastic even though you could expect some attempt to produce something even bigger this time around. While James Gunn and the team behind it manage to achieve that in some ways, they also actually whiffed in a few important areas as well.
We catch up with the galaxy’s most infamous guardians as they go further than they’ve ever gone. In this adventure, the crew begin to unravel the mystery behind Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) lineage, but some of their old foes aren’t letting them move simply move beyond their past issues. With that in mind, the team knows they’ll need to depend on one another more than ever as their latest obstacle turns out to be a kind of force like few have ever faced during the universe’s deep, long history.
The good news here is that the character personalities and the chemistry that they have with one another is pretty much amazing. We got the chance to know them the first time around, and now we get to see them having fun as individuals and as a team. You’ll find it hard not to enjoy yourself as you laugh at their antics and get behind who these guys are once again. That’s especially true if you loved the first film they each starred in as a collective unit.
You’ll also come to understand that these guys are relied an awful lot. The reason for this is because almost every second of what we see is extremely character driven. Although it’s good to have them do what it is that they’re doing, you can’t ignore that there is no concrete story to be followed by viewers through the vast majority of the film. This causes the majority of what is here to feel empty or meaningless until we finally reach the final act. That’s when things start to come together from the perspective of storytelling, but it also makes the flaws seen earlier more difficult to overlook.
While I can’t say too much due to not wanting to spoil anything for potential viewers, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also lacks a genuine villain through large chunks of its run time. The antagonist plays well when it’s time for everything to come together, but you’ll find that an authentic threat in the form of a major villain is missing through much of the movie. That shouldn’t be a surprise since these things don’t usually have good or even interesting villains, however, a more definite main bad guy should be a more obvious feature to focus in on.
As I basically said just a couple of paragraphs above, once the team battles the antagonist in the final act, things begin to pick up and move in a very positive direction. This portion is by far the best part of the entire picture. It makes me wish that they would have done more with the antagonist beforehand. It also shows us how important it was to build a story that could have effectively carried us through all of it since they’re aiming to bring out so much emotion onto the screen by the time this reaches its conclusion.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a strange one since it’s kind of hollow while at the same time managing to have one of the more emotionally driven attempts at an ending that you’re probably ever going to see in a film about superheroes. The thing is, the conclusion makes total sense when looking at the entire picture as a whole. It’s just let down by its unnecessary length and all of the filler that’s involved during its time-wasting periods.
Director: James Gunn
Film Length: 137 minutes
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Distributor: Marvel Studios
- Score - 6/106/10