In 2014 Marvel took a risk and released a film based on one of their more obscure superhero teams known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Fortunately the risk paid off and it was a massive success. It delivered a more unique MCU film set completely in space with a very likeable set of characters, a retro soundtrack and a strong sense of fun.
So now Vol.2 is here, directed once again by James Gunn. It’s not only bigger and bolder, but it’s also better than the first one. This is honestly the most fun I’ve had watching a Marvel movie to date, as it’s chock full of humour and I was chuckling all the way through. Aside from that, it has strong dramatic and emotional moments making for an all round engaging experience.
The story is a simple one and largely predictable. It does however, include a couple of unexpected twists and turns but still rather intriguing and character driven. A heavy amount character exposition going on, but it works and mostly serves a purpose within the story.
The main theme here is family. These relationships get tested throughout as the plot affects them. Overall, it’s a solidly executed story and impacting, yet it falls folly to a few generic tropes.
Ensuring this all comes together perfectly, is the attention demanding performance across the board from the cast. The main cast: Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are back reprising their roles, bringing the Guardians to life.
Supporting actors: Karen Gillan and Michael Rooker are also back in their respective roles as Nebula and Yondu, with welcome additions of Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Kurt Russell….as well as a few others, all of who put on good performances and great chemistry, making this outing all the more compelling.
Then there’s the visual side of things, where the film truly stands out. I saw it in IMAX 3D and it looked glorious. The film is filled to the brim with visual effects which at times can get a bit overwhelming and a little messy, but it mostly all looks fantastic and is combined with some great cinematography to create a lot of beautiful scenes.
The credits sequence near the beginning is a mark of brilliance, it’s the best credits sequence in an MCU film and is one of the best credit sequences that I’ve seen in general. Made to appear as if done in one lengthy take and is heaps of fun to watch. A many number sequences throughout are also visually outstanding, including a few of the action sequences, which there are plenty of. Quality action to be enjoyed here, including spaceship chases, hand to hand combat, gunplay and a big epic climax.
The retro soundtrack also makes a return with the vol. 2 Mixtape and it’s just as good as the previous movie. One song in particular – used at the end – I thought was a perfect choice and is a genuinely great song anyway.
I went to the midnight screening in IMAX 3D and before going in I actually felt a little ill and tired, but I came out of that cinema with a smile on my face and a bit of buzz. It was a just an absolute joy to watch, fully entertaining from start to finish. It may not boast much depth or complexity, but it’s a film that still has a heart. It’s a bombastic super fun time overall and one of my favourite MCU films to date.
Story – 7.5/10
Acting – 7.5/10
Visuals – 8.5/10
Sound – 8/10
Entertainment value – 9/10
Overall – 8.1/10
Reviewed by Eric Hart (Blazin’ Hart)