I’m sure everyone loves these movies. I’m sure everyone expects me to jump in her and talk about how amazing this movie was. “Oh everyone loves the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. He’s just going to pine over how much he loved it.” Well guess what… You’re not wrong! However, everything I have to say will be objective per the norm (with a few exceptions here and there).
Although there’s no real mention of time that has passed, I feel safe to assume it has been the same amount that has passed in the real world. That being said, the relationships between these characters and the characters themselves have evolved in a believable way for the passage of time and the behavior clues us in to the gaps in-between without pushing too hard.
I like the continued will they won’t they dynamic between Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Star Lord (Chris Pratt). It keeps the romance to a minimum, but acknowledges how a horndog like Peter Quill would react to a hottie like Gamora being in close proximity. It also shows Gamora’s difficulty letting anyone in. She was raised to be an assassin by her adopted father and made to constantly fight her sister. She’s not going to be very mushy. To quote Drax (Dave Bautista): “There are those who dance and those who do not.”
Gamora’s relationship with her aforementioned sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) progresses fairly reasonably as well. The promotional art for the movie hints that Nebula may join the guardians, but I’ll go ahead and say it gets very interesting. I can’t really say too much more without being too spoiler heavy, but it feels earned and real. Nebula herself is a big ball of angst, which works for a character with her past.
Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), while adorable, isn’t much more than comic relief here, but even with the extreme drop in usefulness (he’s still kind of useful), the team still treats him like a valuable family member. Groot has always been the glue that holds this patchwork team together and that doesn’t change here.
Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is awesome. That continues to be the case here. He is the only one who hasn’t changed much in terms of personality. He is still pretty ruthless and abrasive in the way he handles his relationships and he still hates being called a Raccoon. There are some beautiful character moments between him and Yondu (Michael Rooker) in this one that again, make these characters feel more real.
Yondu, who suffers a terrible blow to his ego (no pun intended) in his first scene (With Sylvester Stallone of all people) and it haunts him for the rest of the movie. His love for Peter is only doubted a little in the first movie, but it definitely shines through here. Also, they give him a fin that looks more like his comic book counterpart. Michael Rooker is just so talented in his ability to play deplorable characters that are also somehow indisputably likable.
Newcomer Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is fun to look at in terms of effects and makeup, but she doesn’t contribute much, other than to be the butt of a lot of Drax’s jokes. I had hoped she would be a bit of a fighter, but that could’ve easily have been too overwhelming.
Now Drax! He is the character I was mostly impressed with. He is the character that shows the most difference between the last movie and now. He is still serious and rude, but he is infinitely more lighthearted. His obnoxious laughter brings levity to a great many scenes. At first this was a little weird for me, because I was comparing him to his previous role. Then I thought about what happened for him at the end of that movie. He helped kill Ronan (spoiler alert?). It appears to be something that has cleared his conscience as he has fulfilled his life’s mission and he is free to enjoy things much more. He considers his friends to be family and acts as such the entire movie.
I won’t spoil the ending, but Kurt Russel’s Ego was perfect. He was a bit different from his comics self, but he was played to perfection. He was as convincing as the character as he was in gaining Peter’s trust and Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) was just menacing enough to make me worry a little bit, but I loved her for delivering what was to me the best of the five end credits scenes.
There were a few cheesy moments and the run time feels a little longer than necessary, but all in all Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was another excellent space comics movie. The Howard the Duck Cameo was a grin puller and there were a few other things that were treats for comic fans. I was only sad that the rumored Nathan Fillion Cameo as Simon Williams was cut. This time though, with so many heartfelt character relationships and blurred lines, this sequel feels ever better than the original. My hat is off to James Gunn and Sean Gunn, who very much deserved his expanded roll!
Check back later for our post explaining the five end credits scenes!
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