Guardians of the Galaxy unexpectedly became one of my favourite Marvel films when I finally got around to watching it last year. I loved the humour, the action, and the characters, so the sequel was something I’ve been looking forward to seeing since the release of the first trailer.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees our heroes attract the attention of a powerful and elite alien race called “The Sovereign” when Rocket Raccoon steals the valuable batteries the team were hired to guard. Whilst the team are on-the-run, we’re introduced to Peter Quill’s father, who suddenly appears hoping to make amends after his long absence from Peter’s life.
This sequel did not disappoint. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sticks to its guns with the familiar combination of fighting, space chases, and silliness that made the first film such a surprise success. And it does it well. The jokes are funny, the opening sequence featuring Baby Groot put a smile on my face, and the main characters are rarely safe from threats.
The plot of this film is actually several plots woven into one. Peter Quill discovers his parentage, whilst Nebula wrestles with her issues with Gamora, and Yondu faces a Reaver mutiny. Whilst all this is happening, The Sovereign are plotting their revenge against the scattered members of the intergalactic superhero team.
For me, the highlights of this film are the moments that focus on the secondary characters. Yondu features in a jaw-dropping fight sequence in which we get to see the full effects of his mind-controlled arrow, and Gamora and Nebula take part in their own private, but epic battle. These were some of the most interesting fight scenes I’ve seen in a while, and the production team did a great job in making them look flawless.
Baby Groot is consistently adorable and funny, and he made even an ice queen like me go googly-eyed. The scenes with Baby Groot are often the most creative, and so were definitely a highlight, without feeling too gimicky.
One thing I would have loved to see more of in this film is the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. This pair have such an interesting and dynamic relationship, to which I would love to see more screentime dedicated. One thing I would have liked to see less of meanwhile, is Drax. The character started to really grate on me during this film, with his constant put-downs and blunt remarks. However, that’s not to say he didn’t have his comical moments.
I can’t help but wonder if the film relies too much on its humour. Almost every action scene seems to be lightened with a joke from either Rocket, or Drax, or Quill, and there are points at which this almost feels tiring. It’s not that the jokes are bad or unwelcome, but the humour feels a little forced at times. The other flaw I found with this film is that there were parts that didn’t quite manage to hold my attention. This might be more of a reflection on my inability to watch something on a screen for over two hours, but it might be that this film was just a little too long, and not quite clever enough to keep my brain active.
Negativity aside, the biggest surprise in this film was THE FEELS. This film was so much more emotional than the previous instalment, and touched on the themes of family and loss. I went into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 expecting to laugh, and whilst I did laugh, there were also some genuinely sad moments that I was definitely not expecting.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was enjoyable, funny, and watchable. It wasn’t groundbreaking, or shocking, or revolutionary, but it was a genuinely enjoyable and fun film which benefited from many of the same elements as its predecessor. Guardians of the Galaxy continues to be a valuable asset to Marvel’s ever-growing line-up.