Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Critics Consensus

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 388

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 107,746
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Movie Info

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

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Critic Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

All Critics (388) | Top Critics (55)

  • In Marvel lingo, Guardians 2 feels like a great six-issue arc, the kind of storytelling that used to be the backbone of superhero comics.

    Jun 16, 2017 | Full Review…
  • As Baby Groot's companions battle the tentacular horror in the background, we're treated to the delightful spectacle of the mini-veggie juking his way through "Mr. Blue Sky" in the opening credits.

    May 12, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Let's hope that Vol. 3 recaptures the fizz of the original, instead of slumping into the most expensive group-therapy session in the universe.

    May 8, 2017 | Full Review…
  • [Yondu's] presence kicks the idling movie into gear, and into a final third act for which all of the previous meandering can be forgiven - and the talk of family finally accrues the weight the film has been trying to put on it.

    May 5, 2017 | Full Review…
  • The reunion of the Guardians cements Pratt's mega-stardom. He has a shaggy young Kurt Russell vibe (think Big Trouble in Little China,). And Russell himself is a great addition to the ensemble, providing a dose of kick-back, kick-ass action

    May 5, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Thelma Adams

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Director James Gunn has a vision and he puts it across, but it ain't pretty.

    May 5, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  • Jun 25, 2018
    Checking all of the obligatory sequel boxes as it unfurls, a super-sized second helping of Guardians of the Galaxy brings more action, gags, and story to the fray but lacks - albeit slightly - the taut fun abandon that made the first volume gel so well. In this PG-13-rated sci-fi actioner, the Guardians (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, et al) must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage. Of course, expecting Vol. 2 to surpass the out-and-out awesomeness of the original simply asks too much of a follow-up. Guardians of the Galaxy ranks as one of the top comic book movies of all time, on par with Superman and The Dark Knight. Moviegoers are right to assume that the sequel abides by the laws of the Andrea True Connection. In regards to set pieces, comic situations, and screentime spent on each character, it's a case of more, more, more. Not all of it melds together in the fantastic way of the first go-round, however, because more plotpoints equal sprawl. It's not confusing, mind you--just busy and overlong at the expense of the overall joyride. What the movie gets more right than wrong is in furthering the Guardians' development as a family, showing that all familial units experience peaks and valleys. Returning players get fleshed out more, new players get added into the mix, and the dynamic between them all becomes the fulcrum. A huge gamble in that they weren't members of the Avengers or Spider-Man, the first Guardians thrived by spotlighting the largely unknown - yet fully formed - characters and their interaction with one another. Casting played a key role in this, getting everything letter perfect down to Vin Diesel's different inflections for his character's only - though oft repeated - line, "I am Groot." Here, their camaraderie is on fine display again, as is that of the influx of newbies (Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff, and Sylvester Stallone among them). Everybody's role gets beefed up, which beefs up the overall story. Vol. 2 is only 11 minutes longer than its predecessor, but it feels lengthier because of all of the padding caused by the numerous threads. Though they pull from the comic books as source material to a large degree, James Gunn and Nicole Perlman's script for the first flick has a monumental task in setting up this interstellar world and, yet, brilliantly feels like a amusement park ride as it does exactly that. The second finds Gunn, who returns as director as well, working solo. The heavy lifting of setting up the Guardians is done but, on the other hand, there's heavier lifting yet in following up such par excellence. This is not to say that he fails. In fact, much of Vol. 2 absolutely soars and the movie as-a-whole succeeds for the most part. It just suffers a bit of a Thanksgiving effect. The pants feel a bit tight after such a varied and filing meal that sets you up for another round. To Sum It All Up: Space Jam-Packed
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2018
    Given that it's been five months since I reviewed a horror movie, until Mayhem a few days ago at least, it also stands to reason that I have been without my beloved Netflix (and Prime) for that same amount of time. I have missed goodness knows how many movies, that have probably now been removed from both sites, I've missed the second season of Stranger Things, among other series and you don't know how much that pissed me right off. Thankfully, however, that has now changed and, at least for the next 2 months, Netflix is now available to me. Finding a movie to watch was not as overwhelming as I would have anticipated, given the fact that there must have been a bunch of movies added in my absence. I settled on this fairly quickly. I knew I wanted something a little lighter for my Netflix "return" and I was fixing to settle on the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Why? I don't really know, the first two sequels of the franchise were bloated and convoluted and kill any real hope I may have had that it would be a fun franchise. I'm still watching it, but jsut because Javier Bardem is in it. Jack Sparrow jumped the shark halfway into the second movie. My decision to watch Pirates was quickly set aside when I saw that this flick was available. I didn't even have to think twice about it. If you've followed my reviews, on Flixster/RottenTomatoes at least, then you'd know that I felt the original Guardians was tremendous. It was fresh, clever and different, at least stylistically speaking, from anything Marvel had ever done at that point. At the time, and this was prior to Civil War coming out, I felt that it was the best film in the MCU. You could make the argument it's also one of the best superhero movies of all time. It's all a moot point, to me at least, since The Dark Knight (in my opinion) is still the best superhero movie I've ever seen. They're all just fighting for the second spot. Granted, I have not seen either Logan (which I own on DVD) or Wonder Woman, so I'll have to watch those to make my assessment. Moving on, and it pains me to say this, but there's no way that this sequel ever comes close to the cleverness, freshness and fun of the original. It's probably the worst first 'sequel' in the MCU since Iron Man 2. That's not to say that this movie is not without its merits, because as the rating suggests, I really enjoyed this movie. But there's no denying that, and maybe this is wrong to assume on my part, that there was some pressure on James Gunn to create a movie that, at the very least, was equal in every way, at least in terms of quality, to the original. I doubt anybody would have expected him to surpass the original, because that would have been an impossible standard to surpass. But matching the original is, in theory, achievable. That goal was not achieved, let me just say that right now. Taken as a whole, this is a very good movie, but when you're down in the trenches, as they say, there's some really glaring pacing issues. We'll get to these pacing issues later. Before we get to that, I want to take some time out to point out how much of a fucking hero Michael Rooker is in this damn movie. Rooker has always been a tremendous character actor and if you disagree then we're just gonna have to throw down. Seriously though, he's always been great, but I don't think he's ever been given the chance to truly play a heroic sort of character. And you might think 'but Yondu is/was a total asshole in the original' and you would be right. But his redemption in the sequel and his relationship with Peter/Star-Lord makes up the emotional core of the film, like Groot was in the first film. You'd think that someone who's spent about 99% of his career playing villains might have a difficult time playing a hero, but Rooker is more than up to the task and he knocks it out. Trust me when I say that his journey toward redemption and realizing the love he had for Star-Lord has the power to make grown men cry. He's the best part about the movie by a country mile and don't doubt that for one second. If there's one thing that can be said about this that can't be said for the original is that it explore character dynamics on a deeper level. It's a more emotionally-driven film than you probably would have ever expected. Peter's desire to meet and have a father is clearly the driven force for the film, for the most part. But you also explore Nebula's relationship with Gamora, her sister, and how Thanos' relentlessness drove a wedge between them when the only thing Nebula wanted was a sister. Rocket's pushing everyone who gets even remotely close to him is also explored through his relationship with Yondu. Drax is the comedic relief and while there's some of his moments that fall flat on their face, which I blame on the writing being a little more forced, I think that Dave Bautista is pretty damn entertaining in the role. His comedic timing and deliver is on point. Mantis is a welcome addition, but they don't really do much with her other than use her for Drax to make fun of, hopefully she's a more prominent player in the sequel. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillian, Bradley Cooper are all very good in their roles, but I felt that the supporting characters took the spotlight here over the leads. And Baby Groot is fucking adorable, but he's clearly there to sell toys, it's as transparent as humanly possible. But, and this is where the problems are gonna start. The film sees Star-Lord, Gamora and Drax being taken to Star-Lord's father's home planet. For, you see, Ego (Star-Lord's father) is a God. And this is when the film just absolutely slows to a crawl. When I say slows to a crawl, I mean that quite literally. While there's a 'B-story', as it were, with Rocket, Yondu and Groot breaking out after most Yondu's Ravager crew (who've been exiled by the larger Ravager community for dealing in child trafficking) betrayed him. Basically Ego, who's traveled all over the cosmos and impregnated a large number of females from other planets and species, in order to find a worthy successor. Star-Lord is the only one who has been able to harness that power. Everyone else, he said, disappointed him. Which should be interpreted as saying that he murdered them. Naturally, he doesn't mention this to Peter. Star-Lord, blinded by the beauty of Ego's planet and the fact that he now has a father in his life, ignores the fact that there's something just off about this planet. Essentially, Ego wants to shape the universe in his image, which is why he planted some pods, or what the fuck ever, in all the planets he went to, so he could proceed to take over the world by injecting it with his influence. To do that, he needs another Celestial, which is where Star-Lord comes in. If this was all there was to it, there would be no problem. But from the moment that Drax, Gamora, and Peter arrive on Ego's planet, there's a large chunk of the film where it feels like nothing happens and some of its attempts at humor fall flat on their faces. Like Drax and Mantis making fun and laughing at Star-Lord for having sexual feelings for Gamora. That scene was cringe-worthy and it felt like they were just desperate for laughs. There was another scene back with Yondu and Rocket where they tell Baby Groot to fetch Yondu's fin and he brings everything back BUT the fin. And, again, while it's a fun scene, it still felt like a forced attempt at humor. I will say that once the reveal that Ego gave Peter's mother the brain cancer that ultimately killed her which, naturally, drives Peter into a rage which causes him to shoot his father (who's immortal until, of course, he isn't). After this moment, the movie, thankfully, kicks into high gear and the last 45 minutes of the movie are pretty great all things considered. I just find that spending so much time on Ego's planet really, quite frankly, doing nothing and just sitting still hurt the movie much more than they probably imagined. I'm surprised no one saw this and went, maybe let's make these sections of the film a little shorter. But they take up so much time of the film and it just feels like a lot of dead air. You could have accomplished the same exact thing in half the time. I don't wanna say it kills the movie, because it doesn't, but it was just the wrong creative choice to stick with this setting while not really accomplishing anything. I get that you can't rush Ego and Peter's time together, given the fact that this was a big deal to Peter, but, I don't know. Let's move on. As I mentioned, the last 45 minutes of the movie are an equal mix of fun, clever and heartbreaking all at the same time. Let's just say that there's an eulogy that Peter gives for a character that's, actually, legitimately a beautifully done. It doesn't feel like a forced moment of sentimentality, given everything that went down, the eulogy shouldn't have been done in any other way than what we got. Going back to the large action scene that climaxes the film, it's actually really damn good. Perhaps not as memorable as, say, the Battle for New York in the original Avengers. But the special effects are great, there's some really cool moments involving Pac-Man, you'll know the one. One of my favorite bits of the entire movie also happens during this scene, where Rocket. who's in a cave of some sort, asks Peter if he has tape while there's a battle going behind him. Peter says no and he proceeds to ask every member of the Guardians. This happens all off-camera but you can hear it from Rocket's position. It's silly, but it works in this universe. I'm trying to think if there's anything else I have to say about this. I think this review pretty much covered it all. On Kurt Russell's performance, I found that he was good, but Ego is another forgettable Marvel villain in a long line of them. The only one they really have that's any interesting, given that he's a major part of his franchise's story, is Loki. He's a recurring character in the Thor movies (and the larger MCU as well) so he's instantly more memorable since, sadly, a lot of MCU movies have this 'villain-of-the-week' type thing, where there's a revolving door of villains and none of them really stick or stand out in any way. Ego, as good as Russell is, is just another one in a long line of them. That's neither here nor there. Summarizing my thoughts, this was a wildly inconsistent entry in the MCU. I'd still say I enjoyed it a lot, but there's no denying that this is a huge step down from the original. I appreciate the more character-driven and emotional approach the movie took, it allowed you a glimpse at these characters from a different angle. That was the best thing this movie did. But the pacing was terrible for the first 90 minutes of the film, the last act was great, it definitely undid some of the damage. But it didn't do enough to truly make this, in my opinion, a great film. It's a very good one and I would recommend it to MCU aficionados, but this is neither the best nor the worst entry in this universe. It's the best at letting Michael Rooker be amazing, that's for sure. And, to me, that's more than reason enough to recommend this film.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Feb 09, 2018
    Not as fun as the first installment, but still not as bad as I was told. 6.5/10
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2018
    The fifteen movie in the Marvel cinematic universe, the Guardians travel all over the universe trying to unravel the mystery behind Peter Quill's parentage. That's the plot right there, that's it. So the start of this movie shows us the origins of Quill's parents with a de-aged CGI Kurt Russell, something we've seen before and is becoming more popular. Gotta be honest, this looked very impressive. Twas impressive with Michael Douglas in 'Ant-Man' and its impressive here with Russell. From there we zip straight over to the opening credits which roll whilst the Guardians are fighting a big alien monster. Amidst the chaos Groot plays and jigs to 'Mr Blue Sky' by ELO via Star-Lord's walkman. Its a quirky intro and certainly enjoyable...except for the choice of song, but that's just me. So as I said the basic plot involves Quill finding his father who turns out to be a God-like celestial called Ego (Kurt Russell). Naturally Ego would like to rule the universe with his son at his side, and Quill is curious, but sharply declines after discovering Ego's dark secrets (he killed Quill's mum). Of course whilst all this is going on the other characters have their own little subplots. Gamora is fighting off her sister Nebula once again. Yondu has been hired to capture the Guardians by the Sovereign race because Rocket nicked some precious batteries from them. This causes Yondu internal conflict which results in a mutiny by some of his men. Groot is still slowly growing up, and Drax starts a slow burning romance with Ego's assistant Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Oh and Rocket is still a wise-ass. I think the main thing I noticed with this sequel was the increase in comedy...silly comedy. Its a little bit too obvious that Gunn is trying a little bit too hard with the gags, but anyway. In the first major space battle Quill and Rocket are arguing about who is the better pilot. Rocket remarks that later later on he will put a turd in Quill's bed. But not one of his turds, one of Drax's turds. Drax immediately laughs out loud and proclaims 'I have famously large turds'. Its at this point that I asked myself, are they actually throwing out dialog about poo? Putting poo in each others beds...like school kids would say? By jove they are! I also noted a few other scenes that did make me smile such as Drax ripping on Quill's secret crush on Gamora (unceremoniously revealed by Mantis who can read people's feelings). There is a great little sequence where Groot must find Yondu's head fin so both he and Rocket can escape from his traitorous men. Groot takes about six attempts to find said item as he doesn't really understand and keeps coming back with all manner of things. A tad predictable but nicely done. Quill calling Rocket a trash panda was a good one although the following dialog was a bit laboured. Rocket trying to explain to Groot about which button (the death button that needed to be covered with tape) to press on the bomb to kill Ego etc...OK lets just say that most of the good stuff comes from Rocket when he verbally clashes with the others. As for the main crux of the story which was Peter and his father Ego, meh...it was fine but nothing special in my opinion. In all honesty I don't really think they could of done anything drastically original here and what they did was perfectly fine. But the main problem simply was it was all completely predictable fluff that's been done before. Each step of the way, each beat was wholly formulaic frankly. Peter and Ego get along fine at first as Peter wants to learn more out of curiosity. Ego teaches Peter the basics of his God-like powers. As the subplots all start to come together Ego finally reveals what he's been up to (again its no real surprise) and Peter understands what he and the Guardians must do. Then after a long finale battle with the good guys on the brink of losing, unsurprisingly Peter suddenly conquers his own internal God-like powers and uses them to hold off Ego just long enough for the others to do their bit. That's not to say there is anything wrong with all this per say, it works here, but I can't not mention how utterly corny and conventional it all is. Again in all honesty I also thought the ending was so so very soppy that it almost spoilt the movie. Sure the Guardians have now become a proper family so to speak (ugh! the whole family thing again?) and all the various plots are tied together nicely, but boy do they pile on the schmaltz. I did also found it quite bizarre how the Sovereign are so obsessed with wanting to kill the Guardians because Rocket stole their batteries, Especially as it looks like we'll be seeing more of the same in the next movie from these guys. Its also kinda funny how the makeup for this alien race consists entirely of gold body paint, literally just painting all the actors gold and that's it. Just seems so...made for TV-ish. Odd for such a big blockbuster. Anyway, despite this essentially being more of the same from the first movie, I did enjoy this. I personally found the entire movie to be much tighter with better dialog, better action and a better array of characters. Ego being a surprise decent villain...clearly helped along by casting Russell. Also the combination of Drax and Mantis being a decent surprise double act. Whilst both movies do still feel very cliched and unoriginal, borrowing many elements from many sci-fi movies, for me its the quirky roster of heroes that sells the flick. I can't deny that Rocket is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. Naturally everything looked slick and shiny, plenty of comicbook nods dotted around, and another retro soundtrack which I didn't really like this time truth be told. I actually thought many of the songs were completely out of place with some of the scenes, but that's just me (dunno what the kids think of these old tunes, do they even know what a walkman is?). Yes I found this movie more enjoyable than the first (which I think was somewhat overhyped). Even though they are clearly trying a bit too hard with the goofy comedy and visual retro love letters to the 80's (although I do appreciate the retro goodness), generally I think Gunn and co have perfected this particular team of space cowboys. What they must not do now is push it too far and spoil it. But I will finish by asking, why am I not seeing a (preferably adult) Howard the Duck reboot yet? Surely I can't be the only one who thinks a Rocket and Howard team up needs to happen?
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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