Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Critic 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.
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as Peter Quill/Star-Lord
as Rocket Raccoon
as Baby Groot
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Critic Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
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.
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.
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.
[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.
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
Audience Reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Writer/ Director James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" from 2014 (wow, that was fast) is not only the best entry in Marvel's box office-busting Cinematic Universe in my opinion; it's one of my favorite films of this decade full stop. Gunn's hand-made aesthetic and an ever-present love for his characters and source material (along with stunning technical merits, gorgeous effects and color palette, game cast, and perfect comedic timing) cemented "Guardians" as the pleasant surprise of the year and a bonafide critical smash. Expectations were justifiably sky high for a follow up, then in steps "Vol.2." Luckily Gunn and co. stick the landing with only some leg wobble. Yeah, much of the surprise is gone. We know these characters and we know the quirks. But the characters are still fun to be around and the quirks a joy to roll with in an MCU of near endless iterations and routines. Most satisfying, the ensemble of outcasts (our heroes) have evolved from the last outing. Rocket isn't just comedic relief. Baby Groot isn't overused. Drax is as giddy as a hyena. If Starlord isn't as charming or charismatic as the last time it's because his relationship with his father, Ego (Kurt Russell), is the dramatic center of the show. Gamora is underutilized but her subplot with her sister Nebula hit home. Most surprising is Yondu (Michael Rooker); who is given so much depth and emotional gravitas that he emerges as the most memorable aspect of the film... and maybe even the single best thing about this installment. Unlike it's predecessor, "Vol.2" is a comedy first, and a space opera second. This is a bit of a problem, especially in the first act. Vol.1 used humor to spice up a believable sci-fi world and awesome characters. Here, it feels forced: notably in a first half hour that's part franchise reintroduction and part stand-up routine. The comedy does become less scattershot however, as does it's relatively lose (and sometimes distractedly unfocused) plot, the further into the running time we get. Equally unfocused is the development of Ego, Peter Quill's father, who is seminal to the plot. I always love Kurt Russell, and he's as solid as ever here. I just wish so much of his role didn't involve lengthy exposition. But like "Vol.1," Guardians 2 is a brilliant piece of visual film making. The colors pop, the action's exciting, and Gunn infuses all of this with his now signature handmade, fanboy energy. There are also moments of pure joy and heart that rival (if not surpass) the best bits of the first film. The final half hour or so is pure bliss. We are still firmly in the upper echelon of summer blockbusters with this one. Many were expecting perfection with this one... expectations that could possibly be never met. But "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2" delivers a brash, funny, action-packed delight that's hard to knock. It's heart is in the right place. It's characters? More than welcome for the inevitable "Round 3."
Set to dominate the Marvel Universe, the Guardians offers filmic excitement and involvement of only the best variety of popcorn thrills. Get ready to watch it again, even as you watch it for the first time.
The Guardian's second adventure around is a subplot mosaic of familial drama crudely strung together by a larger story of universal takeover by an all-powerful space god. More than often this makes the narrative feel like a bumpy ride at best but Marvel makes great strides to smooth things outs with extravagant set pieces and a shotgun of laughs. GotG2 creates intrigue by juxtaposing the seemingly small nature of personal dramas and putting it on a backdrop of extraordinary scale that is the great expanse of space. The final product often finds balance within its visual ecstasy and comedic punchlines but really isn't as cohesive or funny as it believes to be. Nevertheless it's a truly commendable entry into the MCU and refreshing in that it doesn't have the same conventional film-making issues of their other franchises.
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