Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the new movie sequel from Disney that is a crucial part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It introduces characters and situations that are connected to the other films to come, especially Captain Marvel and The Infinity War. Stan Lee has a few appearances in this film that may blow your mind. Be sure as always to stay through the entire post-film credits.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had already scored an impressive $101.2 million at the international box office the previous weekend in 37 overseas markets, and signs are pointing to a domestic debut of well over $150 million this weekend when the film opens in the US on Friday, May 5th.
Guardians of the Galaxy exceeded expectations in every way possible back in 2014, so to say that hopes were high for the sequel to deliver would be an understatement. From finding the same magic soundtrack to special effects and story, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had the odds stacked against it from the start despite the return of writer/director James Gunn and the brilliant ensemble cast from the first film. This is one of those rare follow-ups that not only delivers but exceeds expectations in almost every way possible.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may seem somewhat more contained than the first movie. There is plenty of spectacle and jaw-dropping new planets, but most of the action happens in just a handful of locations. This really allows the focus to be on character development and relationship development. There’s no denying that this is a fun movie with a strong story and performances. There is great use of story and characters, and the returning cast members are all great.
Chris Pratt steals the show as Star-Lord when he is taken on an emotionally devastating journey of discovering his father’s identity and just what that means for him. Kurt Russell is superb as Star-Lord’s father who is really Ego the Living Planet. Rocket (Raccoon) voiced by Bradley Cooper is still phenomenal as the scene-stealer/wisecracker lovable ‘rodent’ we remember from the first film. Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn are great as Yondu and Kraglin and take two entertaining characters from the first movie and give them lots of heart here.
Newcomers Pom Klementieff as Mantis the empath and Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha the leader of the Sovereigns are also excellent. Mantis will impress you as a character you will want to see more of, and her interactions with Drax (played by Dave Bautista) are heart-warming. Ayesha sets up something a situation that will be pretty huge for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the film concludes. Sylvester Stallone turns up in a pivotal role also.
It should come as no surprise though that Baby Groot is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s true star. The nickname for the film is, after all, The Baby Groot Movie. Alternatively hilarious in places and heart-wrenching in others, the tiny sentient tree voiced by Vin Diesel is a firm fan-favorite and many think he may just be the best thing Marvel has done to date. If you don’t believe me, just check out any children in the audience.
There are a few intertwining story lines that mostly revolve around family, both families of birth and those non-related families of choice. The father and son theme is dominant, while that of siblings, specifically sisters Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (played by Karen Gillan), is very strong. They take things in some unexpected directions, and while some are resolved nicely, others remain in conflict. The special/visual effects are flawless, and enhance the story rather than overpowering it, even in 3D. The soundtrack is different in mood than the first, and features some great tunes from Sam Cooke, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, ELO, Cheap Trick, and others.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is one of the best and most inventive superhero movies ever made. An out of this world experience packed full of strong performances, stellar story beats, and fresh ideas help ensure that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be coming soon to a theater near you … that sequel is already in the works.