Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a cinematic cosmic dream filled with action, laughs, excitement, and little tugs on the heart strings. While not as plot driven as the first film, this volume exceeds the first in pure fun and enjoyment. The latest adventure of our space bound heroes finds them on the run from a race of advanced gold skinned beings called The Sovereign. Meanwhile, a mysterious man named Ego (Kurt Russell) comes on the scene claiming to be Starlord’s father.
Watching this film is like visiting a cinematic art gallery. The colors are extravagant, and the visuals pop off of the screen like a 1970’s comic book. Director James Gunn perfects the art of world building by presenting us with various planets with their own distinct look and detailed characteristics. The visual effects and art design of this film are simply spectacular and makes this a great pleasure to watch.
Inside the colorful candy coated shell of this film is a character driven piece with unexpected depth. We get a deeper understanding of these characters and the family issues that drive them. No action adventure film is complete without quiet moments of character development. It’s these quiet moments that get us invested in these characters and make us care about them once the action starts.
We get some great moments between Starlord (Chris Pratt) and Ego (Kurt Russell) as they begin to form a bond. We also get a great scene with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillian) as Nebula relays the truth of her abusive past. We even get great moments between Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Yondu (Michael Rooker) as they struggle to reconcile their roguish ways. And Dave Bautista as Drax adds moments of comedic levity to the film when things get dramatic. Pom Klementieff is also a standout as the empath Mantis.
And then there’s little Baby Groot who from the very opening moments of the film steals the show from the rest of the crew. Not to give anything away, but the little guy shows off some smooth dance moves in the midst of utter chaotic action.
Director James Gunn constructs a tapestry of humor, action, visual effects, music, and character development, and creates a near perfect summer movie and one of the best films to come out of the MCU. Every element of this comic book adventure blends seamlessly with the other, adding to the enjoyment. The music itself is a character in this film weaving its way through the narrative creating mood and emotion. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a film that begs to be seen more than once and as a summer blockbuster with heart, it’s going to be a tough act to follow.