Movie of the Month: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

If you know me, I have been looking forward to this movie since it was announced. I had high expectations going to see this movie and it did not disappoint. I was entertained for all 2 hours and 18 minutes. I laughed, I almost cried (which I really wasn’t expecting), I loved the music, and I decided I want twelve Baby Groots.

To me, this movie felt like a true sequel. It didn’t feel forced or strained, it just felt like the next adventure story of these characters. One of the things I really appreciated from the beginning was that the character development of all the characters from the first one to this one is INCREDIBLE. All of the characters (with the exception of Groot, maybe) have grown and matured so much. I love that Peter Quill and Gamora were starting to come to terms with their relationship (and even that didn’t feel forced), Rocket started to come to terms with himself, and Nebula (who clearly had the best character development) started to come to terms with herself and her sister. Although the characters have grown and changed, they were still themselves with the witty dialogue and the shenanigans they got up to. I mean, Nebula still wanted to kill Gamora and Rocket is still sarcastic and cynical but they don’t lose any aspects of their personality that made them so great in the first place.

Because this was a sequel, with largely the same cast of characters (plus some additions), I liked getting to explore the characters’ backstories a little bit more. I feel like the backstories also contributed to the character development. Who is Quill’s father was one of the only questions left unanswered in the first movie and we got an answer in Vol. 2. In this movie we get to know not only who Quill’s father is (his name is Ego and with good reason…) and what he’s like but we also get to explore the relationship between Peter and Ego. I thought the conflict and tension between Peter and Ego was really well done because it was truly an inner battle of family loyalty vs what is right. I also liked knowing more about Nebula and why she was so intent on destroying Thanos and Gamora. It just made me sympathize with her and it made me actually really like her as a character. I also loved Mantis from the second they introduced her. She was probably considered one of the more minor characters in the film but she was done in such a way that we got to know a bit about her and her backstory when she tells Gamora about her relationship with Ego. I also appreciated that the characters’ backstories were explained in a way that didn’t take away from the main plot. They were integrated really nicely in a way that added to the story or didn’t really affect the main plot. In a lot of movies, especially sequels, the characters’ backstories often become a focal point of the movie but I liked that that wasn’t the case in this movie – the Guardians still had to save the galaxy.

I also really loved the parallels to the original movie. I loved that they kept some Tyler Bates’ original score, especially the epic ‘theme’ music (if you want to call it that) “Black Tears” that played at the end of the first movie when they were all holding the Infinity Stone. I think that really set the tone for the whole movie and made it feel really connected to the first movie. There were also the classic Marvel shots like a panoramic shot of all the heroes standing in a circle and the dramatic walking towards the camera in slow motion. This kind of parallelism and continuity is hard to do in sequel movies but I think James Gunn did a fantastic job keeping the two movies similar and related but also different.

At the end of the movie, the one thing that left me a little confused was what happened to the infinity stones? There wasn’t even an after credits scene relating to the stones. The first movie was completely about the stones and it was revealed that there are six in total. The stones have played roles in other Marvel movies like the Tesseract in The Avengers and Aether in Thor: The Dark World. But if the Marvel Cinematic Universe is working it’s way to Infinity Wars Part I and II where the Guardians and the Avengers meet, I’m not sure how Vol. 2 will work its way into what’s coming up.

Like the first movie, Vol. 2 is just a really fun movie to watch. Both Guardians movies are more comedy based superhero movies and they don’t take themselves too seriously. The plot is simple and the art of the filmmaking is stunning – the visual effects in both movies are just beautiful – but the filmmaking didn’t overshadow the plot and the plot didn’t overshadow the filmmaking. If you’re looking for a laugh and something light-hearted to watch, I really recommend this movie.

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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