Director James Gunn may be following “High Fidelity” ‘s rules about mixtapes a little too closely:
“You gotta kick it off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you gotta cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
– High Fidelity
The first “Guardians” was most definitely an attention grabber. It was surprisingly fun, funny, with killer music and offered a cast of “a-holes” to root for (plus, it gave us a dancing Baby Groot). “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” does, in fact, take it up a notch by offering more jokes, more characters and a few plot twists but…doesn’t exceed it’s predecessor. Much like the best mixtapes ever made, GOTGVol2 takes it up a notch, but plays it safe. This isn’t to say that GOTGVol2 isn’t good, because it most definitely is. It’s just that when you’re the 15th child of Marvel, and an announced 3rd part, you have to save a little for the killer ending you’re building up to.
In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) has found an unlikely family in the misfit crew of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel). But nothing prepares him for meeting his actual father, Ego (Kurt Russell), the living planet. Quill isn’t the only one dealing with some family issues, as Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan) both have serious scars from their upbringing and with each other. Of course, the family is put to the test when they cross Princess Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign, who strokes a deal with the ravagers crew led by Yondu (Michael Rooker- who essentially steals the movie away), and his loyal henchman Kraglin (Sean Gunn). Through it all, the Guardians must learn to live and deal with each other, as a family.
Of course, Baby Groot is adorable as ever, but he isn’t the movie stealer in this one. Yondu, in my opinion, gives Guardians the layers it needs to succeed. It’s more emotional than the first, and a little more mature, but still goofy and fun. The women are all strong females, and they all have stories that make them truly fleshed out characters, not just pretty sidekicks.
GOTGVol2’s main issue could be that the first was just too surprisingly good because now, we expect more. Gunn knows his audience, and he gives us what we want…but not too far to be a game changer. While this is Marvel’s 15th feature film, GOTGVol2 is only the 10th with Disney, and lays a clear path for the Guardians to eventually join all it’s other superheroes…soon.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is now playing.