Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
dir. James Gunn
written by: James Gunn
starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan
My world is a significantly better place since I saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, even if the world around me decided to start doing meth. That’s mostly what I could think of at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. I’ve become more grounded since I’ve found my own battalion of misfits with whom I can save the world, including one holdover from the old days. Apparently, I’m just Chris Pratt.
Okay, fine, I’m an altogether different Chris, but Pratt–still drool-worthy–solidifies another round of Marvel’s best comedy series. Returning to battle space bad guys with Gamora (Zoe Saldana, back in green face thankfully), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), and now with adorable Baby Groot (kinda Vin Diesel), we are now introduced to the world of interstellar daddy issues. While escaping from a displeased world of golden douchebags, led by a glorious, queenly Elizabeth Debicki, the team is rescued by a mysterious ship that holds Star-Lord’s father Ego (Kurt Russell, that grin). With The Ravagers on their trail, headed by Yondu and his whistling habit, the team finds a miraculous world, too intriguing to be harmless.
The sequel is a strong, entertaining bridge for the upcoming storylines. Introducing Volume Three and Infinity War as priority, this is an origin story that ties up Peter Quills history. Little development is found within the rest of the team; some sibling bonding, and some unlikely bonding between the socially unaware and the klepto-inclined. The parental failings of galactically significant beings reaches cataclysmic stages, so the action is quite broad. The production is intricate and colorful, small details and Easter eggs decorate the CGI world.
Bautista as Drax won me over more than the original; this is likely the best performance by a former pro-wrestler, except for maybe John Cena in Trainwreck. Raccoon’s construction and Baby Groot’s integration found a notable budget increase for the effects department. Romantic entanglements are placed in Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell territory, exactly where they belong. James Gunn’s franchise has the most person connection. The Avengers had such a forced connection; they’re always at odds. The Cap-Iron bromance is a bit too abusive, and Banner/Widow don’t fit with the white-picket seekers. A feisty cast interested in traveling their fucked-up universe fits nicely into a Millennial perspective. They fulfill their professional needs between keeping up with their intense hobbies (of looting and classic rock). Volume 2 is self-aware of its self-aware nature, acceptable due to their commitment to the ascetic. The crew keeps it 100, as them youngsters say.