[This Review Contains Spoilers]
Originally Posted May 8th, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an incredibly entertaining ride that I thoroughly enjoyed watching, although it is not perfect. I really liked the first Guardians because of the fantastic characters and well-written story. Vol. 2 doesn’t quite live up to the first one, but it delivered on many of the elements that I was excited to see.
Firstly, the humor in this movie was top-notch. Nearly every single joke in this movie worked and there were so many memorable and hilarious moments. Vol. 2 is 10x funnier than Guardians 1, and that says something because the latter was also hysterically funny. However, despite it working very well, I do think that they used a little too much humor overall. There are moments that feel unnecessary that are simply there so a joke can be told and their placement becomes very predictable by about halfway through the movie.
The characters, once again, are fantastic. They all have the same quirks and personalities that made audiences fall in love with them the first time around and are given even more depth in this movie. One of my favorites in Guardians 1 was Drax and he still is after seeing Vol. 2. He was absolutely hilarious and had countless moments that had audiences in stitches during my viewing. Star Lord was also one of my favorites because he was the deepest and he continues to succeed as an excellent main character in Guardians 2. But the truth is, every single major character in the movie was great and each one had their standout moments. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the villains. Ego, who was revealed to be Star Lord’s father, just spewed exposition and was a flimsy character. Not enough focus was given to his writing and dialogue to make the father-son relationship between him and Star-Lord feel tangible and emotionally involving. The reveal of him as the actual main villain of the movie should have been more emotionally impactful on the audience. The secondary villains of the movie, which were the gold aliens, felt somewhat unnecessary and dull, although there was some unexpectedly well- written humor involving them that I enjoyed.
The story was somewhat messy and felt as though it was going in ten different directions at once. I think that a more simplified plot would have benefited Vol. 2. The gold aliens in particular muddled the story and added a plot element that probably should not have been in the movie. The mutiny involving Yondu’s crew also felt somewhat misplaced and blurred the focus of the film even further. There were also many moments that felt placed just for humor purposes that should have been taken out of the movie to help it flow better. The third act, however, felt very focused and did not have these same issues. I also thought that some of the emotional moments at the end of the movie were not completely earned. The relationship between Star-Lord and Yondu was supposed to be the emotional core of the movie, but those two characters were barely on screen together and this element was not given the time it needed to blossom.
The action was all top-notch and was better than it was in the first movie. The sequence involving the asteroid belt was extremely fun and the Yondu arrow sequence is honestly one of my top five favorite Marvel set pieces to date. The third act has nonstop action and it all works ridiculously well.
Surprisingly, the universe building was also one of my favorite things in this movie. The costume and creature design, as well as the set design, are both perfect. The universe feels even more limitless after Vol. 2 and there were so many creative and exciting locations.
Ultimately, Vol. 2 is a somewhat messy and choppy movie that perhaps could have been slimmed down, but there is no denying the fact that it is a thoroughly entertaining and fun addition to the MCU. I look forward to seeing it again and I cannot wait to see the Guardians again in Infinity War.