3 v. 3 : Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
What an epic and fun ride! We weren’t expecting anything less but it can be tricky to re-create the magic of an original like Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Man 2 suffered by being just good enough. Yet, Captain America thrived in the Winter Soldier in ways the original did not. But, Guardians vol. 2...
Guardians 2 carves out its own identity while not straying too far from the success of the first film. It stayed true to its core...FUN!
It’s time to pop on a space suit and hop out into the unknown! Get ready to dive deep into the Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2.
It’s 3 👍 v. 3 👎 time! Three Good face down Three Bad from the show and you decide which comes out the victorious champion. Your opinion is the one that matters.
The Good 👍
Fun to the Extreme
Guardians are just a lot of fun. They don’t have to apologize for being brazenly fun. Some of the absurdities, like battling a planet, are a little more palpable as the action takes a back drop to the colorful and fun characters. The humor was spot on. The music was perfect to establish the mood of the film. The color palette, tone, and pacing continued to flavor the movie with a tangible sense of fun.
The entire team is a great mix of real character personalities. Even the new characters were interesting and fun. The movie started off with Baby Groot enjoying himself thoroughly and innocently dancing in between a major action set piece. The movie never stopped being fun even when it go serious and that is something very special. It’s what a big summer blockbuster should be.
Yet, Guardians 2 didn't just go for humorous and fun beats. They put their characters in dramatic and compelling stories. Rocket, Yondu, Gamora, Ego, and especially Peter Quill all had compelling and emotional storylines of their own. But, none of them took away from the fun of the movie. None of them fell too flat or carried too much weight.
Ego and Peter Quill provided the context for the conflict of the film, and their opposition was emotional and dark. Yet it didn’t require Peter or Ego to brood and bring the energy of the film down. It didn't require a dark pallet and sad somber music.
Rocket and Yondu also shared very powerful character moments yet each of them stayed light and fun. The balance on display of the film was exceptional.
Peter Quill meets his father, learns a terrible truth about his father, and loses his actual father. Yet, he is still a hilarious goof ball as he daydreams David Hasselhoff is his dad and that he can conjure a giant Pac-man! Guardians proves that they can not only have as much fun on camera as possible, but that they can struggle with powerful heroic conflicts without making the film overly heavy.
The colorful cast had some notable additions. Nearly all of the new cast added something notable and fun to the adventure. Stemming from the successful ensemble formula from Avengers, every character had a memorable action, humor, and emotional beat. Mantis was hilarious in her odd interactions with Drax. She also was able to impact the final conflict and provide some purpose to her involvement in the film.
Ego was an odd character, but he worked well enough among other excellent characters not to bring the movie down. The accomplishment of showcasing one of comics most extravagant characters was impressive. Ego is a living planet for crying out loud and they didn't shy away from it. They didn’t retcon the character and just make him an alien that looks like a human. They didn’t relegate him to his planetary form. Ego was accessible, interesting, and served up a compelling and intimate conflict. This was quite the feat for a larger than life character, even if some plot points around him were ambiguous.
The Bad 👎
Good, not Great Villains
We had two major villains and neither was legendary though neither hurt the film. The Marvel formula for the heroes worked again carrying the film. The villains were good but not great.
Ayesha was interesting despite being very robotic. She is after all the leader of a race of genetically manipulated humanoids called The Sovereign. Life after CRISPR, cringe. The Sovereign acted as a foil for the colorful Guardians gang which worked well. Yet, their emotional impact was blunted. They were detached from consequence as they remotely piloted their spacecraft. The action set pieces proved they were especially disposable - for such a powerful civilization.
Ego, Star Lord’s father, ascended to the mantle of the primary villain pretty quickly. Comically, he throws in the zinger right in the middle of waxing poetic about Quill's mother. His "ego" driven plan revealed he had an agenda beyond just being Star-Lord's dad.
Battling a Celestial was epic. However, Ego brought up a lot of questions the film didn’t really answer. None of which hurt the film too much as the pace and fun continued without missing a beat. But we did pause a few times and thought, wait...what?
For one, Ego describes himself as learning to create a form for himself before he sets out to find other life....that form was clearly human. That is odd if you haven’t met humans or any life before. Perhaps this was a clue to Ego's intentions and meant to be a logical inconsistency. How would he know to become human? This is especially odd as humanity wasn’t even who he finds first. For that matter, why did he keep the human form when he travelled to other planets with all manner of aliens? And for that matter, why did he age his form? A lot of this may have been done to convince Peter and make him comfortable, but the delivery was a little confusing.
Next, we didn’t really follow some more ambiguous plot points. For instance, why did the plant Ego leaves on earth look so alien? If he can create anything, why not create a plant that looks earthly on the outside. These are just a few questions we had about Ego and his plot. None of them were absurdly executed plot holes, but we were left a little befuddled.
These are pretty nit picky since the character is a living planet named Ego. The execution of bringing one of the more amazing fictional characters to the MCU was really pretty good considering, but it wasn’t perfect.
A Man Can Take Only So Much CGI
The more distracting part of Ego wasn’t the confusing logic. It was the overly extravagant CGI action pieces inside the planet. Some of those camera shots with Groot or Rocket could have been 10)% CGI. Guardians is larger than life and it remained fun despite the over use of CGI. We get that. But the final action sequences were a little cluttered with after effects. The insanity ranged from massive amounts of disposable ships from The Sovereign to giant CGI rock and mind tentacles.
It took away from the intimate drama between Peter Quill and Ego. But hey, his dad is a planet. It’s impressive they made the conflict as personal and intimate as they did with this much CGI. We can live with it, but it was approaching our limit. It's tough for movies like this in a sequel to get bigger and larger when CGI is such an important tool.
Confusing Earth Connection
The execution of Ego’s impact on earth was confusing as well. What was the ambiguous expanding blue electric foam on earth? What impact will this have on bringing the team to Earth? I suppose we can applaud the fact that it wasn’t a swirling portal to the sky. Thank goodness! The real battle wasn’t on earth or any other planet, and this isn’t a street level story so it didn’t hurt the film greatly. But, it was a little too ambiguous. Cool easter egg having his Grandfather in the SUV being chased down by the goo.
As for our verdict, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 was an exceptionally fun adventure follow up that succeeded at being hilarious and enjoyable as well as poignant and powerful.
But was it as good as the original movie? You tell us in our upcoming SUPERflix Movies POLL.