Weekly Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)

The Guardians of the Galaxy return in this sequel which finds them pursued by a powerful alien race known as The Sovereign. While they attempt to escape, Peter Quill discovers the truth about his father.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. When the first film was released, it received pretty good reception. I remember hearing many viewers praise the quirky nature of it all. It was filled with ’80s nostalgia and a sort of humor that was great for the adults. The film grouped up a band of misfits that do heroic things without fitting perfectly into the hero mold.

Needless to say, this sequel had some pretty big shoes to fill. Most sequels attempt to repeat what worked well for their predecessors. More often than not, they don’t succeed.

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 9.37.10 PM

In my opinion, this was the case for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It follows all the same notes as its predecessor, amping up its attempts at humor and relying heavily on what worked for the first one, but it just doesn’t have the same charm.

This doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t entertaining. It’s still a fun ride. If you were a fan of the first film, then you may very well enjoy this one. For me, it just didn’t feel as witty. It felt really forced to me.

Throughout the movie, I couldn’t help but feel that the humor was really strained. While the first movie had some pretty witty humor, this sequel relies on drawn out jokes and Drax laughing at anything that is moderately funny. It doesn’t have the same appeal. As cute as Baby Groot is, I knew from the opening title sequence that this installment was going to be different in a way that I wasn’t going to like very much.

In terms of the story, it felt really meandering to me. There is a large portion of the movie where very little action takes place to move the story forward. It ends up being a whole lot of exposition that doesn’t accomplish much. As an audience member, you know what the eventual outcome is going to be, but the story just doesn’t move on. It’s very unfortunate.

With that being said, the performances are still great across the board. The actors involved do their job as well as could be expected. I was really impressed with Michael Rooker in his role of Yondu. For me, he was the best part. When the story reaches its eventual end goal, the pay off is quite nice. I just wish it had been a better journey to get there.

Unlike the first film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a theme. The movie centers very heavily on family. That was a nice touch. It was one of the only redeeming aspects of the movie for me. The story is just so clunky though. There are so many things going on that it feels like the story lacks a direction. I found it incredibly disappointing.

Let’s hope that when audiences are treated to (or tortured with) an inevitable “Volume 3,” the creators take some time to develop the story a bit more. I’ve noticed more and more lately that Marvel films are becoming more spectacle and less substance. Hopefully, future films will break away from this trend.

I will admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first installment when I originally watched it. It took a couple of additional viewings before I came to really enjoy it for all that it had to offer. This may be the case with this sequel as well. Only time will tell.

As of right now, I would only recommend Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 if you were a fan of the first film. If the first film wasn’t a good experience for you, then I’m not so sure this sequel will be any different.

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