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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – Review


Release Date: 5 May 2017 [USA]
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn [Screenplay & Story] - Dan Abnett - Andy Lanning [Comics] - Steve Engelhard - Steve Gan [Star-lord Created By] - Jim Starlin [Drax & Gamora Created By] - Stan Lee - Larry Lieber - Jack Kirby [Groot Created By] - Bill Mantlo - Keith Griffen [Rocket Created By]
Cast: Chris Pratt - Zoe Saldana - Vin Diesel - Dave Bautista - Bradley Cooper - Michael Rooker



Sound & Music



Visual Effects

Total Score

User Rating
1 total rating


Posted April 30, 2017 by

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Review:

As the suave Star-Lord, driven by Chris Pratt, bickers with Michael Rooker’s space pirate Yondu during a death defying escape, the Rocket Raccoon comments – “you got real issues.” It’s a sentiment perfectly fitting to begin this review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2.

The first instalment of this franchise is my favourite Marvel film to date. It reminded me in many ways of Star Wars: A New Hope; a dysfunctional family hopping through the galaxy with their hearts on their sleeves and their tongues in their cheeks. It’s only natural then, especially given this sequel’s fatherly theme, that I had recollections of Empire Strikes Back… and how much damn better it was.

James Gunn replicates Irvin Kershner’s structural choice to divide the main characters and bounce around a host of ‘B’ sub-narratives. The difference with Star Wars is that the main story, Luke’s Jedi training, had enough presence to sustain the film’s full running time. If you cut Gunn’s B stories from the film entirely, you’d be left with Chris Pratt talking to Kurt Russel for 15 minutes before a climactic battle; nothing happens. Casting memories back to the original, Star-Lord escapes a prison, finds an infinity gem, sacrifices himself for love, and has a dance off with all powerful alien Lee Pace. Here, he plays catch with his dad and struts around like a 13 year old child. Filmmaking lesson number 1: you can’t mask a weak story by cutting to sub plots.

It’s not a bizarre decision to take Peter Quill’s arc; the thematic ideas were all there, with great emotional potential… but unfortunately the execution was bizarre. The scripting regresses Quill to an irrational child saying things his character wouldn’t logically say; Dave Bautista’s Drax is now excessively chirpy, and, we get it… baby Groot is cute. There’s a weird feeling lingering over Vol.2 that everything is paper thin, ill-realised – like some super fan watched the first one and decided to make a fan fiction without editing or re-writes.

In addition, 1 in 5 jokes land, and the film also took on a weird, cartoon tone. I know these are comics, but faux-Wes Anderson surrealist visuals, stereotypical idiotic henchmen and all round disjointed comedy gave this instalment not just a different tone to the first, but a different, less convincing style of humour to the entire MCU.

It doesn’t fix Marvel’s villain problem either. There’s an inherent issue with propagating a “galactic threat” when we know the wider universe and the infinite chain of films still to come; where’s the threat? Yes, the first one had this issue, but at least it was fun, and self-aware enough to disguise It. For all it’s weaknesses, Ant-Man’s biggest strength was an appropriately scaled final battle that didn’t threaten the world, but it threatened HIS world, his daughter. Such a scale would be inappropriate for a film titled “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but a better realised motive and plan that could fundamentally threaten to change the universe – rather than destroy it. It would actually get people on the edge of their seats.

But for all my senses as a screenwriter, all my gripes about squandered opportunity, I didn’t hate it.

This is a beautiful looking film. Ego’s planet is such a richly coloured, immersive and vibrant landscape; the odd scene shines with visual intelligence as Gunn pits pinks, blues and greens in intergalactic firework displays. The cinematography sparkles with occasional brilliance.

… And let’s talk about the music. As in the first one the score makes the movie practically impossible to hate. I found myself shocked at how bad the first 30 minutes were, but as “the Chain” roared through the speakers to bridge us into the second act, I couldn’t help but think, “right it’s gonna get good now.” The problem is, it never really did. Filmmaking lesson number 2: if you know your movie sucks, throw in some Fleetwood Mac to save it.

Things marginally improve in the third act where isolated scenes of real emotion and power surface, to remind us that we care about these characters. It’s such a frustrating thing to see what the film could have been, how great scenes could be have been if not surrounded by garbage.

I fooled around and fell in love with the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and trailers for Vol.2 screamed come and get your love… again… but I’m not in love with Vol.2. I was hooked on a feeling that this sequel would go all the way and resurrect the spirit in the sky of its predecessor; but that was just a moonage daydream. It seems there is a mountain high enough – the original, and James Gunn, o-o child you didn’t escape cherry bomb with this one. Guardians of the Galaxy, I want you back.


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Written By:


Kieran Rae
Freelance Contributor

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One Comment


    My kids fell zzzzzzzzzzzzzz at the movie and i almost did, if i knew it going to be that bad I would not of took them and save my money.

    they love the first one, but this one SUCK

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