I read somewhere that Joss Whedon told James Gunn that his only criticism of his script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was that it was not "James Gunn" enough. Too often we see that movie studios and outside influences compromise a movie. See Suicide Squad/basically all the DCEU films. Fortunately, James listened to the wise sage that is Whedon and decided to go full force with his movie, how he saw fit. Guardians of the Galaxy, as a result, turned out excellent.
I always stressed it's important that Marvel movies remain fun to watch. I wrote about the Marvel Formula - create all the aspects of a great action-adventure film and add in just the right amount of comic relief to make the film worthwhile. Make scenes dark and gritty and then cut that tension with well-timed joke. Marvel is hitting their stride and James Gunn has it all figured out. I already could tell by simply the trailer.
GotGv2 hit on all cylinders and serviced the fans well (i.e. “We want Baby Groot!”). The film highlighted the best aspects of each of our favorite characters especially Peter Quill, Drax and Baby Groot. The opening sequence featured Baby Groot dancing to some slick tunes while the rest of his team takes on an interdimensional beast. He was a gem the whole movie. Drax grew more relaxed and funny around his new team and Chris Pratt of course was hilarious. The filmed maintained its comedic stride, all while spinning a story. The Guardians on the run meet Peter Quill’s father Ego. The story explores Ego and his intentions for the universe.
I felt at times the humor was just a little bit forced but honestly even that complaint is a stretch. The film capitalized perfectly on action sequences. The CGI was spectacular throughout the film. Whenever there was a grandiose superhero moment, the film teased and made fun of itself interrupting the serious hero moment with a bit of comedy. Because how serious can you be when you're team is comprised of aliens, a tree and a raccoon?
My one criticism is that story kind of twisted your arm on Yondu. Yondu, the Ravager that raised Peter Quill. In the back half of the movie the film focused heavily on reflecting on Quill-Yondu’s relationship. Except we never really see that relationship in the past two movies. I was never rooting for Yondu nor did I like him, then suddenly the last half-hour, the film makes a neck breaking shift and expects us to rally behind this guy. I felt like focusing on Yondu was a total stretch and a tough pill to swallow. It's hard to explain without spoiling the film but once you watch you'll understand. If you have seen the film, comment below whether or not you agree.
Sidebar: My brother pointed out that the five end-credit scene weren’t great, they didn’t tease anything or get anyone hyped for upcoming movies. Purely quantity over quality. I have to say I agree.
In conclusion, I felt like Guardians of the Galaxy maintained its momentum and stuck with formula that works. The film had perfect blend of action and adventure mixed with comedic relief. My only criticism is the stretch that was the Yondu storyline. It was well paced and gave each character the screen time that it deserved -- except Yondu who got way too much screen time. I encourage everyone to go check it out. You don't even need to follow or track the Marvel Universe. Anyone can jump in, this film is perfect for the whole family.
Till next time!