Coming into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. It’s a sequel, so of course it’s not going to be as good as the original, but it’s a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The first one was so good, even if the second one doesn’t quite compare, it too has to be good, right? Well, not exactly.
Before we say anything else, let us say that if you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will probably enjoy this movie. You will also probably enjoy this movie if you just enjoy generic action packed films that don’t take themselves too seriously. However, if you are expecting a movie of similar calibre to that of the first Guardians of the Galaxy; you should avoid this movie at all costs.
A sequel must always decide how it will continue the story from the previous iterations. Sometimes movies will find a new and engaging plot that will continue to fill out the character arcs of the main cast. However, most sequels end up in rut where they fail to further the story and its characters. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is like the majority of sequels that fail to build upon the original. Instead, it focuses away from most of the conflict of the first movie. It’s a filler movie, a type of movie that serves to add extra fluff to the characters and universe. Marvel is clearly doing this as a way to drag out time before the Avengers Infinity War. This is not always a bad thing, but, in this case, it is.
One of the main criteria that a sequel should focus on is improving and further developing its characters, but it takes much of the screen time to developing useless character conflicts that were either settled or didn’t exist in the previous movie. Some of the characters are almost completely different from the first movie such as Yondu. In the first movie, there was no indication of a father/son relationship between Yondu and Peter, but this movie will shove it down your throat like it was always there. The movie also wastes a lot of it’s time with humor.
One of the most subjective things about this movie is the humor it employs. To some, it can be funny; to others, it isn’t. Something that they really try to do with their humor is to take a joke that isn’t that funny and use it over and over again. The best example is when Nexus is captured and wants some of the fruit that is next to her, but Gamora tells her that it isn’t ripe yet. It isn’t even a joke, yet they bring it back later when Nexus breaks free. They have her take a bite of the fruit and spit it out, claiming it’s not ripe yet. It just goes to show how much this movie wants to make a joke of everything. This leads to a serious problem with the tone of the movie.
The tone is all over the place, and in a very bad way. Each time there was a kind of serious moment, it was always broken it up with a joke that wasn’t even that funny. It ruins scenes that are supposed to be dramatic. Instead, the viewer is left not being able to take the movie serious at any point because he or she begins to expect the next joke coming after anything serious happens. Going back to the fruit joke, this scene is supposed to represent the serious fact that power has shifted between Yondu and Nexus, but the viewer is hit over the head with this stupid joke about fruit therefore weakening the scenes intended message. It doesn’t really matter that much in the grand scale. The movie’s overall plot is weak.
The plot is very predictable. Once you saw him, you know Ego is evil. He comes to Peter with a big white ship and offers him everything he’s ever wanted; of course it’s too good to be true. Even Gamora saw the daddy issues coming, and this led to friends fighting for no reason. We all knew it had to happen, because what’s a sequel without some infighting, right? Our main complaint is that nothing actually happens that affects any bigger plot. If you take this movie out of the cinematic universe, everything can still happen just as it’s supposed to. Nothing in this movie actually matters, which once again isn’t a bad thing. This is if the movie had any other substance to fill it like actual character development, movie moments, or something else.
The rest of what we have are nitpicks which weaken the movie overall. The set scene, while overall good, has a few hitches like the gold race of aliens which are a “villain.” They are just too stupid looking to take seriously which is kind of the point; however, it still doesn’t work. There was also an excessive use of slow motion. Our personal favorite moment was when they were walking into a ship with slow motions. It wasn’t even a dramatic scene. It was just pointless. Literally, everyone should be dead. They have people hanging outside of ships while entering orbit; those people should be dead. They defy so many different things that would normally kill someone, no matter how hardy these species are. It just takes the audience out of the moment and away from the movie. It’s similar to the comedy used in the movie. Groot was also heavily underused. He was simply used as a money-making tool. He had no actual role in the movie except to look cute; he didn’t help in any way except for conveniently being the only one who could destroy the villain, and even that was a long and strenuous process.
If there’s one good thing that can be said about this movie, it’s the soundtrack. I mean, It’s a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, of course it’s going to have a good soundtrack. With songs like “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac and “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans. It’s hard not to be good. There’s good fast paced songs and a few slow songs that really try to make up for the lack of serious scenes in the movie.
While it may seem like we entirely bashed this movie, it is not bad. It is just very mediocre, and we were hoping for something that could live up to the first movie. We still recommend that you watch it, especially if you enjoy Marvel movies. It may not have been our cup of tea, but it just might be yours.