Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review

Posted May 12, 2017 by Aron Pohara in Movies

Directed by: James Gunn

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Kiren Gillan

Released: 05/05/2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. The question on my mind was this: is the movie Disco or is the movie Rock?

If you don’t get that, don’t worry. One thing I can safely say is that Guardians 2 is a very enjoyable movie, even though it certainly comes with its set of flaws.

James Gunn brings the band of lovable misfits back together for a second adventure, and for the most part, it works. Gunn tries to not let any one character take over the film. However, there are some extended sequences with Baby Groot and Drax that probably could have been shorter. This brings me to the film’s biggest: pacing. It could have easily been 35-40 minutes shorter if certain sequences were removed or shortened. The final battle clocks in at over 40 minutes long, which is entirely unnecessary.

Gunn manages to get most of out of Bradley Cooper’s performance as Rocket. He was the highlight of the movie for me, and his sarcastic yet innocent sense of humor really worked. Visually, the movie is beautiful, which was to be expected. It really has a comic book feel that was missing in the first film.

There are some other sequences, especially with Chris Pratt’s Star Lord and Michael Rooker’s Yondu, that really shined in the movie. There was another fantastic scene in the middle of the movie that was executed perfectly, which involves Yondu’s crew. Yondu’s scenes with Baby Groot were always pretty good, even though some of them were a bit over long and running the same gag.

Vin Diesel’s performance as Baby Groot (if you can call it a performance) was excellent. Baby Groot was something I was concerned about after seeing the trailer. I thought it would be over played. Unfortunately, that fear did come to pass. The best Groot scenes are in the trailer, and the additional scenes quickly feel played out. He was certainly fun at times, but ultimately felt like a one trick pony.

Chris Pratt and Kurt Russel, as star Lord and Ego the Living Planet respectively, spend most of their screen time together. Their interactions have real meat, boasting both strong dialogue and solid comedic moments. The duo had real chemistry, and their pairing raised the bar for both actors. Pratt brings his usual cavalier attitude to Star Lord, and his sarcasm is a fantastic source of humor, gelling perfectly with the other characters.

Kurt Russell was fantastic in the movie, bringing a unique sense of gravitas to the film. He truly felt like he belonged, and wasn’t just a big name to add to the posters. His Ego felt very human, and was very well developed.

Dave Bautista reprises his role as Drax, the team’s brute. He gets a lot more screen time than in the first movie. But instead of expanding his backstory or giving him another layer of characterization, he’s reduced to a one note joke. His laugh is especially overused, to the point of being grating.

Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan as Gamora and Nebula were the film’s weak links. This subplot could have been cut entirely, and ultimately results in a film that is spread far too thin. Both of the actresses are capable, and they did good work, considering the script they were given. Unfortunately, it just did not work. The two lacked chemistry with one another, and that proved to be a major issue.

Michael Rooker has always been a very good character actor, and he brings a lot to the role of Yondu. He has some really good moments with the cast – especially Rocket. It was surprising to see how much they developed him considering in the first movie he seemed like a completely one-dimensional character.

Ultimately, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a really fun movie, but was unable to capture the magic of the debut. It felt like more of the same. Some of the humor works and some of it pure genius, but the run time results in it feeling more played out than anything else.

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Aron Pohara