Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 trailer

Star-Lord and the gang are back for another adventure in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This installment even gives Michael Rooker as Yondu a chance to shine, but the question remains: Is it any good?

Answer: It’s complicated.

One of the pleasant surprises of 2014 was seeing how Marvel Studios director James Gunn took a little known property (outside comic fandom) and turned it into a worldwide success with the right mix of irreverent humor, legitimate “feels,” and action. One of the slightly unpleasant surprises in 2017 is the way Mr. Gunn seemingly decided to just take everything that worked in the original and dial it up about five notches at the expense of the story.

Before we move on, here is the plot in a nutshell:

  • Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father, Ego (Kurt Russell), saves the Guardians as they flee a race known as the Sovereign.
  • Star-Lord, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Drax (Dave Bautista) must figure out who Ego is and what he represents.
  • Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot are left behind with their ship and captive Nebula (Karen Gillan). They struggle to survive after being captured by Yondu and the “Ravagers.”

The good thing about Vol. 2 is that it explores all sorts of family dynamics and does so with a ton of heart. The bad thing about Vol. 2 is that every serious moment seems to be punctuated with a joke — and not all of them are that funny. Many of the jokes hinge on the audience caring about 80s pop-culture, and at some point it all threatens to derail the film.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’m out of touch. The audience I saw Vol. 2 with seemed to eat up every moment and laugh at every joke, even the Pacman moment better left in Adam Sander’s 2015 Pixels script.

There’s much more to say, but I would rather not include spoilers in the body of this review (feel free to spoil away in the comments section). The most succinct way of putting it is this: I enjoyed much of Vol. 2, but it isn’t a Marvel Studios film I plan to watch again and doubt that it will age well.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section below. Have at it, hard-core Guardians fans…

Check out my review over at Conservative Book Club.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

12 comments

  1. I’m the target demographic for this movie, as I am Star-Lords age (almost exact as we are separated by a year). So everything he loves are the things I grew up loving. Every single reference I get, and every joke works for me. I also loved the GotG comic; the original roster, the 90’s roster, and the Dan Abnett reboot after Annihilation. I am the last person to give an objective review of this movie.

    That said, after watching this I couldn’t wait to see it again. So to me it was a success. Like you I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pac-Man and would have preferred he made super Kit, but otherwise loved the movie and can’t wait to see it again.

    1. “That said, after watching this I couldn’t wait to see it again. So to me it was a success. Like you I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pac-Man and would have preferred he made super Kit, but otherwise loved the movie and can’t wait to see it again.”

      There’s no way I’m going to argue with a Guardians fan who is as intelligent and articulate as you are, copperagecommentary. 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

      The one thing I will say is that it will be interesting to see what they do with the third film.

    2. Gunn has said he wants to make a Nebula movie, so I would imagine 3 will probably focus more on Gamora and her restoring their relationship. Maybe delve a little into Drax and Mantis. I think at this point the 3rd movie needs to focus more on the relationships of the other characters as this movie sort of completes Peter’s relationship story.

      However if they decide to be really awesome they could give me the Starhawk, Aletta, Charlie-27, Martinex, & Krugarr movie. Nothing better than some OG Guardians (minus Yondu).

  2. I just saw it this afternoon. I don’t think I would bother to see it again. The ending was touching, and they did some new, neat things with Nebula and Drax. Kurt Russell and Michael Rooker were outstanding. Probably the first really good Marvel movie bad guy since Loki. But I was turned off by way too much profanity, and jokiness undermined what should have been serious scenes (like the Hasselhoff bit). Right away I was reminded of criticisms of our favorite Dan Slott, about how he would regularly undermine drama by dropping a joke right into the midst.

    1. “I was turned off by way too much profanity, and jokiness undermined what should have been serious scenes (like the Hasselhoff bit).”

      I’m not sure if you clicked over to my CBC review, but I mention the profanity in that one. I agree. They even upped that from the last one… And yeah, the Hasselhoff scene was too over the top.

      Yondu and Nebula saved the movie for me.

  3. I loved it. I can’t help but appreciate a film that is fun, when Marvel is trying so hard to be ‘relevant’ and ‘serious’ and much of that appears as the SJW garbage on their comics.

    Like anything I enjoy, I can criticize it. The plot is extremely predictable and the emotional drama scenes are way too long, as if instead of trying to get to the point, they decided to just punctuate long drama with humor. (spoiler maybe?) Also, our main villain suffers from the sudden ‘Now that I got you here, let me just up front tell you how evil I am!’ idiocy, rather than the crew finding out and confronting the big baddie. Oh well…I laughed on the way, so all is forgiven.

  4. I personally really loved the film. I liked the first one, but I never loved it in the same way many others did. I actually liked this one more. The plot definitely meandered a bit, but the character stuff was strong enough to make up for that aspect IMO. Being born in 86, I’m both a child of the 80s and the 90s. My mom loved sharing her favorite 80s stuff with me, so I got most all of the references pretty well. The Hasselhof moment was too much though. It could have been funnier in another scene, but it’s placement derailed the drama of that particular scene. While I didn’t laugh as hard as the rest of the audience at some of the jokes, I still enjoyed most all of them. The Hasselhof moment is the only one that really sticks out to me as really falling flat. The real highlight of the movie for comedic moments was definitely the interactions between Drax and Mantis though. Dave Bautista really sells the Drax scenes well in this one. I can definitely see how this movie might not be for everyone, but it definitely pleased me.

    1. “The Hasselhof moment was too much though. It could have been funnier in another scene, but it’s placement derailed the drama of that particular scene.

      I totally agree.

  5. I just wanted to comment on Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I agree with your review and I am not sure how well this movie will age.
    Twenty years ago I wasn’t much of a Kurt Russell fan, but I have grown to really enjoy his performances and I thought he was outstanding in this movie.
    Now back to the movie, sitting in the movie theater with my wife and daughter, I have to admit I as entertained by this movie. I enjoyed this movie much more than Logan and I think my movie going preferences has changed over the years. Now when I go to the movies, which is rarely, I just want to be entertained and have a fun time watching a movie. I don’t necessarily need an important message or deep meaning in a movie. I want to step into a movie theater and when the lights dim and the images flicker on the screen, I want to not have to think about the craziness in the real world and everything else. I just want to sit back and enjoy a movie. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was that type of movie along with the Fate of the Furious.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Scot. I appreciate it. I’m not sure who was in charge of casting Kurt Russell, but that was a great choice. 🙂

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