Claudio Says GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 2 Is A More Than Worthy Sequel.

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FILM REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

BY CLAUDIO ZELAYA

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It’s the freakin’ Guardians of the Galaxy…only they didn’t say freakin’! “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is James Gunn’s second time at bat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and if Marvel sequels have taught us anything, they’re 50/50.  Some directors feel the fatigue of being on a big franchise for as long as Gunn has been, but Vol. 2 clearly showcases his ability to keep ideas fresh in a similar world. What you don’t get in a bombastic storyline, you get more of in character development. The Guardians have been formed and now we learn how they fare in their interaction after some time dealing with each other.

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The movie throws you into the deep end pretty quickly. As the marketing has shown, we already know Kurt Russel is Ego the Living Planet, aka Peter Quills dad. The Guardians are just finishing another botched mission when they come face to face with Ego and from there the plot becomes about building the relationships around them. Like I said, the overall plot isn’t that complicated and it doesn’t need to be. You get a more fleshed out Star Lord as he tries to find a connection with his new father figure. On top of that, his relationships with Gamora and Yondu are also explored with the latter going to a place I’d never imagine. Who would’ve thought that Yondu would be my favorite character in this movie? Michael Rooker really dug deep for this one and his prior friendship with Gunn from previous films culminated in one of the most satisfying scenes of this entire movie.

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This cast is huge and a big worry going in was if each character would get enough screen time or would they just cash in on Baby Groot as much as possible? Thankfully, that shtick didn’t bloat the movie. While adorable, Baby Groot served a purpose without needing to rip someone apart like his bigger form did in Vol. 1. Drax, played by Dave Bautista, also has moments showing what an actor Bautista has become. Drax still needs to work on his people skills but his honesty is a great reprieve from the heavy parts of the film. His dynamic with Mantis, played by Pom Klementief, is something I want to explore more in Vol. 3. As a huge fan of the Dan Abnett run of the “Guardians of the Galaxy”, I’m overjoyed with how this movie treated Mantis and explained her abilities.

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At the beginning, I said Gunn still finds a way to keep ideas fresh in a similar world, and that is best displayed in how he directs action. Every action scene is creative in its own way and not just different coverage from different angles with quick cuts and edits. Directing like this separates the Vol. 2’s from the Thor: The Dark World’s. However, as much as I gushed about this movie, the only complaints I have are the humor and Nebula. Some jokes don’t land in the first half and run on way too long. Jesus, calm down with the dick jokes. We get it! Also, as much as I like Karen Gillan, in general, her portrayal of Nebula didn’t add to the character as much as the story demanded. Her relationship with Gamora is a great idea, I just wish some lines weren’t overstated and executed better.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” automatically hits the top 5 best Marvel films. Despite a couple flaws with the humor, which we’ll never get away from because Marvel, I can’t see many people not coming out of this smiling from ear to ear. I came out knowing the Guardians more than ever. Fans of the comic will also go nuts with the easter eggs dropped inside! If you’re a sucker for good dad movies, you’ll love this like I did. I need Vol. 3 and my “War of Kings” story arc yesterday!

 

FINAL WORD:  StarStarStarStarEmpty Star