I’ve always felt that movie reviews serve two important purposes: 1) To serve as an expressive outlet for film fans and movies buffs to share their discerning thoughts about an art form that they’re passionate about, and 2) To inform or warn audiences of a movie so as to influence their decision as to whether or not it’s worth it to spend their money to sit for 2 hours of their lives. Being that this is not a review for an obscure, fameless movie that you’re not sure about, this review will serve a different purpose: To convince you that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a little bit better than what people are making it out to be.
I don’t need to tell you to see this movie, since you’re more than likely a fan of modern movie culture which consists primarily of block blusters like this one, so you’re going to see this regardless of what I say. Therefore, I’m here to warn you not to be too disappointed when you do see it.
WHY THIS MOVIE’S BIGGEST “PROBLEM” IS NOT A PROBLEM
The biggest problem I’m hearing and reading in the majority of the reviews for this movie are all the same: Not as good as the first one due to less action, less for the characters to do, crappy villains, not as much excitement, etc. While it is true that the sequel is less eye candy than the first, and not to mention has the disadvantage of not having the main characters as *new*, exciting protagonists to introduce any more, the strength of this movie is in its characters.
Listen, if you want to watch a movie chalk full of action, we are not in short supply of that, especially if you’re looking for action in a Marvel movie, I truly believe none of us can go 2 days of our waking lives without somehow someway coming across Marvel movie action, it’s so prevalent in today’s movie society. So let’s stop complaining about this movie not having as much action, because obviously that’s not the direction James Gunn was going for.
At a time where movies like this are high in demand and are pumped out by the dozen, for a block buster to be unique or at least stand on its own solid ground, it has to have its own identity and appeal. This is especially true if you’re a movie that plans to join the ever so immense Marvel Cinematic Universe. What is the appeal of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the Marvel family? They kick butt, but so do the Avengers. There are also cool displays of powers and explosions and fight sequences in just about every Marvel production that exists. The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise wants to be a little different, and annunciate on their appeal: The colorful, funny, weird, out of this world characters that bouncer off of each other.
DIFFERENT, IN A GOOD WAY
Sure, all of the Marvel characters in the universe have colorful personalities. But fans are much more familiar with them. They all have much better known story arcs and character development. Guardians of the Galaxy is a refreshing change from what we already know about the more popular comic book stories. And honestly, have we seen any characters in the universe as funny and wild and abnormal as we have with this franchise? A consistently irritated and witty raccoon alien who likes guns and stealing? Come on, can’t say that we have.
This movie takes this appeal and runs with it. Who really are these people? What are their motivations? What’s the psychological makeup of each of these characters that, yes, makes them funny or interesting, but also gives us good reason to become emotionally invested in them? It’s the characters that make this story arc worth lending ourselves to. And that’s what this movie explores.
With all the technical stuff, thumbs up. Performances were fantastic, Dave Bautista is comedy gold, Michael Rooker was a revelation along with his character who was much more fleshed out in the sequel. The writing was good, the tone was uneven at times, particularly when the focus shifted from our main characters. The CGI was gorgeous for the most part. All of the new characters were likeable, no spoilers though.
So yes, less action, but we don’t need it and that’s not the purpose of this film. And yes, the villains feel like they’re just fillers and are shoe horned in, but that’s exactly their purpose, just to fill in that role of antagonist to add that designated pressure to the characters while we discover them and they discover themselves. It is said that the villains make the movie, but here the heroes do, and they are interesting, deep, and gut-bustingly funny enough for us to enjoy this film just as much as the first. So let’s not expect every action movie to be a shallow shell full of fire and punches and explosions- there’s a time and place for that. But for this movie, enjoy it for what it really is, and you will be thoroughly entertained!
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