If you like the first Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, you will really like vol 2. If you haven't seen any other Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, except for the first Guardians film, you will still really like vol 2. While the overall movie's universe is tied with the other MCU movies, I'd like to give this film franchise kudos for being able to stand on it's own anyway, as it's proven by this second installment.
The charm. The action. The characters. The adventure. The comedy. The songs. Those are all brought back here. There are many stand outs in this installment, with Baby Groot being the most adorable one, and Drax as played by Dave Bautista stealing each scene with his brand of tactless humor. Michael Rooker as Yondu, and Karen Gillan as Nebula, are both given some excellent story arcs here as well. New additions like Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Kurt Russell as Ego, both also add a lot to the already huge ensemble cast. I'm not even mentioning the cameo appearances.
Since we already know about the Guardians from the first movie, and how the group is pretty much a family unit, Writer-Director James Gunn gets to go deeper with the characters by jumping off from that angle. If I was to pinpoint a specific theme here, it would be "relationships." While the action-adventure aspects aren't necessarily taking a back seat here, there is an emphasis in providing more dialogue heavy scenes, and I'm not just referring to the witty bantering that are just so much fun. With the whole relationships theme however, it did make the characters even more interesting than before, and even brought us some scenes that are pretty moving.
In terms of the look of the movie, I would say that this is right up there as being one of the best; if not the best, looking MCU movies around. The vibrant color palette and the amazing CGI effects, all are able to easily capture your eyes' attention here. The retro soundtrack is also once again a huge factor in this movie, and is even more prevalent than before. Some might argue that the song choices aren't necessarily as good as before, and some might also argue that the inclusion of some of those songs to the scenes can feel too forced as well.
I continue to be impressed with what James Gunn is able to accomplish here with the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies, and how adept he is a juggling all these different elements, easter eggs and sight gags, plus all these characters into this single story of pure entertainment. Very fun movie.
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