Eric | Jul 29, 2017 | 0
Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Brings Amazing Visuals To A Generic Plot
Despite stunning visuals, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” lacks contextual innovation.
Picking up shortly after the previous film, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the Guardians’ journey while exploring Peter Quill’s parental origins. While Peter and some of the crew are discovering more about Peter’s father Ego, they are also being pursued by a number of opposing forces with their own motives. With a gorgeous backdrop as they traverse the galaxy, does this film live up to the hype?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2.5
Visually “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is superb. There are layers upon layers of CGI but it still manages to maintain a seamless, lifelike environment while also being vibrantly surreal. It’s a difficult task to bring together two visually opposing elements but somehow this film manages to make imagination come to life. With the exception of a few “Michael Bay-esque” slow motion moments, the visuals get an “A.”
Unfortunately visuals aren’t enough to carry a film by today’s standards. Once again Marvel has fed us another cookie-cutter plot that we continue to digest with a smile. Many of these standardized films I’ve happily accepted due to the overall progression of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After watching “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and its loose connection to the MCU, it was made apparent how bored I have become with Marvel taking the “safe route.” The introduction of Peter’s father Ego (Kurt Russell) was the driving force of this film and it wore out its welcome about half way through. This is mostly due to the sacrifices made at its expense.
The other components played out a lot like the previous film which were enjoyable but with the focus of the film being Peter and Ego’s relationship, much of the character development for other characters was delivered in a contrived fashion. There’s a continual push of this happy-go-lucky, family dynamic that doesn’t occur organically. Things were walking a fine line of making their way into “Fast & Furious” dialogue territory with how much the “we’re family” phrase was used. Certain relationships felt rushed because there was so much going on and many components were just reused from the first film. Without revealing too much, there’s a continual pursuit over a stolen item and a prison break that seemed all too familiar.
But while “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” wasn’t as clever nor as original as the first, it still carried the charm that many of us enjoyed from the first film. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and even Michael Rooker have perfected their roles. They are assets to the Marvel franchise and their performances were stellar despite not having the resources to let them fully blossom. Star-Lord continues to please with his suave yet comical personality and Gamora is a perfect counterpart to balance him. Out of all relationships in the MCU, I have been most fascinated with theirs. Drax makes a jovial leap in this film which caught me off guard but eventually it grew on me. Rocket remains static in this film while his counterpart Groot (Baby Groot) transitions from towering to adorable. But of all the performances and characters, Yondu evolves the most becoming that antihero that audiences tend to love. Michael Rooker brought a lot of charisma to the role and was the most intriguing throughout.
Overall “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a visual masterpiece that will stand out among other visually focused films for years to come. The story is a watered down version of the first film and contributes little to the MCU progression. In retrospect this feels more like a “Guardians 1.5” than a full-fledged sequel, but it still carries forward my initial love for the first film which is the characters.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
This film thrives on showmanship and entertainment. While structurally it may seem disjointed, it’s just plain fun to watch. Everything on the screen came to life and overall it was a visual spectacle.
As previously stated there are areas that are lacking, but the film is easy to follow and many of the elements have been geared towards simplistic fun. Many characters have evolved into some sort of comic relief which is no longer a characteristic exclusive to Star-Lord. Drax’s literal interpretation of situations accompanied with awkward, loud laughter provides an ample amount of entertainment. Baby Groot is the epitome of comedy combined with cuteness in this film. Rocket carries that same level of sarcasm but it’s also amplified through the additional dialogue shared with Yondu. All of these characters’ personalities allowed me to take the film as lighthearted and sit back and enjoy the ride.
And of course, what would “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” be without the music? The new playlist sets the pace and mood of the film at any given moment. There are times where it seems a bit forced into a situation, but overall it serves its purpose exceptionally well.
Re-Watchability – 3.5
Regardless of cinematic faults, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is going to be an essential in your Marvel library. It’s simple fun and visually an excellent way to show off your high definition television. It runs rampant with entertainment although it may not be entirely fulfilling in story or character progression. I may even find myself in a theater seat once more to sit back and enjoy the ride once more.
- Entertainment Value
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" should appeal to general audiences as a fun-filled spectacle of a film. But for those looking for more progression in the realm of plot and character development, things remain stagnant. This is not to say that "Guardians 2" is a bad film, but it's not as clever nor as original as its predecessor.
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