Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) is directed and written by the previous instalments writer/director, James Gunn. Much has been made about this film with its huge marketing campaign, and with a film universe well into double figures now, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 had a lot to live up to – especially after the mega-surprise hit of the first film. So does it meet those expectations and live up to the hype? Not really.
Is that to say Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a bad film? No, its a confident film from Gunn and a welcome addition amongst the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). However, being a sequel to such a strong film and coming off the back of (like I said) a universe well into double figures, I can’t help but wish the film felt as fresh as the original (especially as we are destined to many more MCU films in the coming months and years).
The film had a lot of good things going for it. Much like the first film the main cast are all great here, although the film really was not as well balanced as the previous outing. Gamora, Drax and Groot all felt they had a real ark in the first film whereas here? They just, kind of, exist. Not that we don’t enjoy their company, its just that I wished they actually did something.
The film itself really is the Star-Lord, Rocket and Yondu show, which is fine as all the characters are developed and likeable. However in an ensemble film *cough* its named Guardians of the Galaxy *cough* you would expect a little more development and plot for a few of the side characters. That being said, the parts with Rocket and Yondu were by far the most engaging, action packed and thoughtful parts of the film (its not hard to see that the actor playing Yondu is best friends with the director).
As much as some of the pacing, action set pieces and character driven scenes (when we see some of the characters) work, quite a lot I’m sad to say, well, didn’t. The humour was hit and miss. I rolled my eyes at quite a few moments in the film, and one particular scene (lets call it the “eye bulge” moment to avoid spoilers), damn near ruined the film for me. I’m all for the heroes being heroic and to do so I understand they have to encounter a lot of physical threat. However, when the heroes here can literally withstand being swung against tree to tree while hanging out of a plane that then crashes into the ground? How can I picture this taking part in the same universe as Captain America: Civil War, let alone having these two sides of the MCU crossing over. The “eye bulge” scene, as well a few other similar scenes throughout the film, had me scratching my head as to not just why they were included, but how can I expect to take this film seriously amongst the wider MCU.
Being a massive comic book fan, and a even bigger comic book movie fan, I normally leave films like this with an inflated review score to match my hype and enjoyment with the film. This can leave me with a massive grin and exclaiming its one of the best comic boom movies ever, and giving it a ridiculously high score (for my ratings at least). However this is a film where I have relatively realistic reactions to it, not as excited or overjoyed as I have been known to be with films like this. As a result I don’t want to be unfairly harsh on the film, so I’m trying to be as fair as I can.
The film had a lot of positives, some I’ve mentioned here, but a lot of spoiler filled ones that I haven’t. If you’re a fan of the original Guardians film, and like me see all of the Marvel films like the sheep being led to the slaughter that we are, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this film to at least some degree – hell, you might even love it. However for me I expected something more from Marvel this late in the MCU game, and as a result I can’t help but feel a tad underwhelmed.
Follow James at @JamesisGinger