Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2: It’s Nice To See You All Again – My *Spoiler Free Thoughts

The majority of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, while pretty much always entertaining, only some of the time really stick in the memory. The first Guardians of the Galaxy is a prime example of that and is why it is personally one of my favourite in this universe.

So undeniably, I was rather excited about Vol 2 and perhaps more importantly, the addition of Kurt Russell to the cast. First and foremost, we’ve got to talk about Guardians Vol 2 as its own movie; would this movie work for people who did not see the first?? Does that even matter??

The answer to that first question is sadly what most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe falls under. No, I don’t think it would be particularly easy to get into the Guardians of the Galaxy on screen just by watching Vol 2. But then, does that really matter?? Because that’s not really what Marvel does. The universe they have created is like nothing else movie fans have ever seen and has us all in wonder and excitement about its throughlines and over-arching stories.

Even though director James Gunn specifically stated that this movie WOULD NOT tie directly into “Infinity War” (the 2018 movie that the entire cinematic universe up to this point has been building towards) and it doesn’t, I can’t help feeling that the majority of this movie would not hit as well for those who are unfamiliar with the first (and excellent) Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Where the first Guardians movie was an action-packed, hilarious cosmic romp, this movie brings more character based storytelling and this is certainly a strong part of it. Without knowing what we know about Star-Lord, Rocket, Drax, Gamora, Nebula and even Yondu from the first, the character moments wouldn’t feel as meaningful but thankfully, I’m sure the vast majority of people seeing Guardians Vol 2 are well aware of all that happens in the first and all this will be successful.

This is more of a Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) movie than anything else. It is, at its core, a father/son story between Peter and Ego, the living planet (Russell). Yeah. A. Living. Planet. The scenes between Pratt and Russell work so wonderfully you’d be forgiven for thinking Chris Pratt was actually Kurt Russell’s son. Michael Rooker’s Yondu also gets in on this father/son action as he was the one who actually raised Quill and is himself rather a big standout in this second film.

All this was certainly a welcome emotional element to the film as was the sub-plot of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillen), sisters who had been torn apart emotionally by their father, the MCU’s favourite large purple guy who sits in a chair, puts on a glove and doesn’t really do anything (yet).

Guardians Vol 2 has everything you would want from it at this point: an awesome soundtrack, (mostly) funny jokes, some kick-ass action, KURT RUSSELL, another awesome prison escape scene with Yondu, Rocket and Groot and opening credits featuring a dancing baby Groot while a battle rages on behind him that while not quite as good as Pratt dancing to Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” from the first, was a wonderful way to open the movie!!

The things that we all loved about the first have not gone away, but yet Guardians 2 feels uneven. Not just more so than the first, but in general. The character of Taserface is about as ridiculous and threatening as his name is, some of the jokes feel slightly more forced than in the first and I do wish we had gotten more from Sylvester Stallone but these, in the grand scheme of things, are only rather minor issues.

A major issue, and its an issue I have with near enough every single MCU movie (no, not the villain – that’s actually rather a strong point here) is the fact that there’s absolutely no stakes. Even when it may look impossible that characters survive situations, you know full well they come back because they have already been billed for “Infinity War”. This was most notably, a big issue I had with last year’s Captain America: Civil War, a great comic book movie without a doubt…but even in that film…a film that’s LITERALLY CALLED “Civil War”, you know no one’s going to die and/or be truly angry at each other because they all have to team up again for, yep you guessed it, “Infinity War”.

Guardians Vol 2 is a lot of fun, it’s great entertainment, it’s a damn good movie that I will absolutely be buying. I love parts of it. I like the majority of it. It’s not perfect and that’s absolutely fine!! I laughed a lot, I smiled a lot, it did what I wanted it to do. But…

There is one particular line where Drax (Dave Bautista) says “we don’t have friends, we’re a family” that felt WAY too Fast and Furious for my liking and for about 20 seconds completely took me out of the movie but we can look past that. Also it should be mentioned that the Stan Lee cameo confirms fan theories and that was very nice to see.

Go and see Guardians Vol 2, make up your own mind about it. Maybe you like it more than the first, maybe you hate it, maybe you’re smack bang in the middle. Did you love parts of it and not others?? How awesome was Kurt Russell?? (minus the strange museum of his life he has). All that you have to remember is that it’s possible to “like” a movie. You don’t have to either LOVE or HATE everything you see.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts on Guardians Vol 2 and check me out on Twitter and Instagram!

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