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I am not the traditional comic book movie fan. I tend to not be as aware of the back stories or interconnected Easter eggs but I do my research. When I saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy, I remember feeling that I found my new franchise. I have always enjoyed groupings in comic movies, much like the Avengers (though I am not the biggest fan of them) & X-Men (a franchise that, although has had major let down, has always done well in presenting larger cast). Guardians, however, is much more my speed of humor, action and emotion when it comes to investing in how the dynamics of each character is significant to the whole. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still delivers that refreshing take on a collective group of not so super super-heroes, and adds new elements of character arches without ignoring the original.


First, all original Guardians, Groot now being Baby Groot,  are presented in medias res (that’s Latin for ‘In the Middle of Things,’ yeah look it up) doing what they do best, botched but successful jobs. If you did not understand the appeal or draw of Baby Groot before, I dare you to not enjoy the adorable juxtaposition of an infant plant strolling along to captivating music while his friends fight for their lives. It truly is representative of how the brand places itself as badassary mixed with heartwarming.  I was concerned at first because it seemed that in the beginning of the film, Rocket, voice by Bradyley Cooper, and Drax, played by Dave Bautista, humor was being forced and obvious. However, as the arches develop, it becomes more of how the characters interact with new characters that makes their roles more fun. As the story continues, it becomes apparent that this film’s focus was how these characters will deal with their own personal issues rather than the coming together of the first volume. We get to see a different group of characters as they each go on their own paths before coming back together for a bigger and badder team. Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, by far had one of the best performances in making the audience not only empathize with the former villain but actually understand specific actions from his past. Not to mention how the dynamics of Nebula, Karen Gillan, and Gamora, Zoe Saldana, struck a major cord with how displace rivalry can be done really well in an action movie.


There were minimal flaws that will really depend on how an audience member enjoys these types of film. For a non-comic reader, though I have started the first Guardians, it’s fun, it has character development and is definitely visually enjoyable (I don’t know who was in charge of Kurt Russell’s hair but you deserve a stand-alone Academic Award for Best Hair Feathering in a Major Motion Picture). For those who are more invested in the first or are connoisseur comic fans, you get your part one gags and fun film from before, but you may find yourself comparing it when it’s not entirely meant for that. Without giving away spoilers, we do get to get the gang back together for what feels like an emotional hurdle that is wrapped up with the amazing back drop of action & wit.  Audiences should feel that volume 2 is deeper conceptually though volume 1 was more about the fun.  Also, major kudos to Marvel for revamping their opening credit logo to accurately represent what their films has become now, standards.


FINAL WORD:  StarStarStarStarHalf Star