Making a sequel to a popular movie is not an easy process. You can read my review for the original movie by clicking here. Sequels have to answer several questions to be successful. How can you recapture what people enjoyed in the original movie without retreading the original? How do you continue the story and expand upon on what was previously built? The original Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise mega hit when it released in theaters in August 20014 so can this movie really live up the now higher expectations?
First thing first this movie is dependent on the viewer watching the predecessor to understand the story elements of this movie. Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 takes place shortly after the events of the first movie. The guardians (Groot, Rocket, Star Lord, Drax, Gamora) are all called to help take care of a monster. Eventually the group discovers a long lost relative of a main character. The movie splits up the crew and they have their own independent side stories that eventually come back together toward the end. The movie has a very unconventional main villain and introduces many new characters. Characters are a major aspect of this movie and we have lots of excellent character development and backstory. We receive more information on the established cast but the supporting and secondary cast is all but ignored. In many ways I feel like this movie feels like an extended episode of the Television shows “Star Trek” or “The Twilight Zone” because of the bizarre story and the focus on an unconventional villain in an episodic nature. I believe the bizarre story might be a turn off for some viewers. Some characters like the main villain and the new character of Mantis are excellent additions to the cast, but others are not properly introduced and only given the bare minimum amount of information to the viewer. The movie introduces a gold colored alien species, and a secondary villain but it's hard to care about them because the movie gives the audience so little information about them. I do have some problems with the plot regarding how many times things conveniently happen to advance the story. Overall I did enjoy the plot and the characters of this movie but I definitely had several issues with this movie.
One aspect of this movie that I must discuss is the tone and the comedy. The movie has many tonal shifts that feel very awkward. Something dark or disturbing might happen and almost immediately afterword a silly joke will happen to try to lighten the mood. Overall the comedy did work, but when it misses it falls totally flat, and this is especially because of the quick change of tone. Some jokes are too drawn out and make the movie feel longer as a result. One scene specifically the character of Groot cannot understand the directions given to him from another character. This scene went on far too long and it became tiresome and tedious to watch this scene play out. Another failed joke was with a minor character and his peculiar name. I never thought this joke was funny to begin with and it became groan inducing as they continued to hammer this joke into the ground. This joke seems strange considering that many of the other characters also have odd names so why is this one so outrageous? Some of the more physical jokes are enjoyable but they can become overly silly and cartoony. Some of the comedy provides intelligent social commentary and it feels very adult and is very interesting. The character of Drax is very interesting and his species and culture make a thought-provoking contrast with popular human norms. Sadly many of the funniest moments of the movie were spoiled for me within the first teaser trailer. The comedic element of this movie is wildly inconsistent and is either completely hilarious or fails miserably.
In closing I did enjoy my time with this movie, but I also many issues. I really loved the excellent character development and the action scenes are fun and enjoyable to watch. The comedic aspect is very hit or miss. The plot is unique but also leaves many unresolved issues and has too many convenient plot inconsistencies. The music and score within this movie is entirely forgettable. This movie is far from perfect but I was still able to enjoy this fun popcorn summer movie.
Final Score: 7/10