This review is spoiler free.
Breathtaking set pieces, great character dialogue, a killer soundtrack and a grounded story. Welcome to the freakin’ Guardians of the Galaxy…Volume 2.
GOTG Vol2 is everything that you loved about the first film, but more. It builds on the foundation laid down in the first film, not only in terms of the characters but the whole ‘Guardians Universe’ in general. James Gunn brings more unique and interesting characters into play and uses his brilliant storytelling to weave them all flawlessly in to a fantastic and engaging story.
With all your favourite characters returning, Gunn does a fantastic job in giving the main characters enough meaningful screen time and development. Something that can sometimes be tricky with an ensemble cast. Drax once again is a big hit, as is Baby Groot, but both of these were expected. If anything, it is the secondary characters such as Yondu and Nebula who are given quite a lot to do and go through the biggest character shifts.
In terms of the sound and style, you know what you are getting with GOTG Vol 2. The colours are visually striking and the sets, costumes and props are wonderful. The unique design of the world that Gunn has built allows it to almost stand-alone against the rest of the MCU, but as we’ve seen with the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, it can be interwoven when necessary.
When reviewing a Marvel movie, you always have to look at the film’s villain. The constant pitfall for most MCU movies. So, does GOTG Vol 2 deliver a good antagonist?
It’s somewhere in the middle. The motives are well explained and the methods they use are brutal, cold and calculated. There is one moment of pure evil, a revelation so unthinkable and heartbreaking, that it finally felt like Gunn had cracked it. However as the final act came to a close the usual MCU plot beats reappeared and everything was tied up neatly with a bow. So close to a great villain, but still better than many that have come before.
The most impressive aspect of GOTG Vol 2 however, comes not in the form of epic space battles, but the in form of a simple, concise story about family and love.
The film is packed with individual struggles and conflicts, executed in such a beautiful way that it manages to bring tears to your eyes countless time throughout the movie. Chances are you will have some kind of emotional connection to one of the many personal story lines, sometimes even multiple. The film pours it’s heart and soul on the big screen and it is truly awe-inspiring.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is an epic space adventure packed full of action and and breathtaking set pieces. But it is the emotion and heart of the story that truly makes this film great.