I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 tonight. Was it good? Hell yes. Was it as good as the first film? Eh, not quite. But it didn’t need to be. It was good on its own, by itself, and it served all the characters well. Hell, it introduced a buttload of more characters that I want to see more of right now.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is not a movie that will surprise many people. Nothing that happened in it actually shocked me. There were no big huge surprises (although there were a couple of cameos that I was surprised to see). But then again, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is not a movie designed to surprise people. Hell, the big secret of Star-Lord’s father was released months before the movie came out by James Gunn himself. He didn’t care if people knew, because the movie itself doesn’t care about secrets.
No, what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cares about is less surprising the audience and more “making the audience weep with joy in the visual splendor they are witnessing.” Oh yes. If you thought the first Guardians movie was visually terrific, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The sequence where Rocket, Groot, Yondu, and Kraglin are going through space jump after space jump is particularly brilliant, but pretty much every scene in this movie is visually beautiful. James Gunn knows how to show you the universe that this movie is set.
James Gunn also knows the characters people enjoyed from the previous film and made sure that they are all in this one, too. Not just the Guardians themselves, but Nebula and Yondu and Kraglin, as well as new characters like Mantis and loads and loads of cameos. It’s like someone presented Gunn with a book of Cosmic Marvel characters and said “Go nuts.” (Possibly they did.)
As for the story, it’s pretty much what you expect: Star-Lord meets his father, Ego. Ego convinces Star-Lord that he loves him and doesn’t want to use him, but he totally wants to use him to destroy the galaxy. Star-Lord eventually defeats his father using the Power of Love (same as previous film).
But the story doesn’t really matter. It’s the spectacle that matters. It’s the smaller character moments that matter. And nearly every character has them. We have great moments from Gamora and Nebula, Rocket and Yondu, Drax and Mantis, Star-Lord and Gamora, and so on. Gunn knows that the best way to explore characters is to put two opposing types in the same room and let them talk. I’d say the only character who didn’t get much depth was Groot, but that’s just because he was busy being adorable.
So yeah. There isn’t much else to say except that if you want your eyes to bask visual splendor, go see this film. There is so much to see, it’s quite awesome. And I mean that in the original meaning of the word: it inspires awe.
Now, onto the cameos: can you believe we not only got Howard the Duck again, but the original Guardians of the Galaxy? Goddamn, we got Sylvester Stallone as Starhawk, Michael Rosenbaum as Martinex, Ving Rhames as Charlie-27 (HELL TO THE YES), and apparently Michelle Yeoh was playing the female Starhawk from the Lanning and Abnett series. I mean, seriously, now I want an entire movie just about them.
Also, Stan Lee talking to a trio of Watchers. I mean, I can’t believe we actually got Watchers, which I thought were part of the rights Fox had with Fantastic Four. But perhaps a cameo doesn’t count? Who knows, I don’t care, it was awesome.
And, finally, the big teaser for Adam Warlock, which was the cherry on top. Bring on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. I can’t wait.