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Out of 10: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2'

An MCU Review (Ew baby we've been a long long way.)

By Conor HuftonPublished 6 years ago 2 min read
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Star Lord's head looks potentially too big for his arm span/body . Yep, definitely the least realistic thing about that photo. Yondu's expression suggests he thought he was a burglar in 'Home Alone'

This sequel to one of the MCU’s most triumphant instalments (doesn’t mean much from me- I rarely score below 9). The titular group flee an Alien race and meet an enigmatic figure from Starlord’s youth. Oh sorry, SPOILERS. I’ll avoid revealing other plot points.

The engrossing sense of style the first film offered is effortlessly transposed. Even in Black and white, the aesthetics that initially seem dependant on colour are barely hindered

This Poster Can Testify

This could be a breakfast club 3 poster. I say 3 for those people who consider the New Jumanji- or even Spiderman Homecoming- a Breakfast Club sequel. Hopefully they don't exist but if they do they're just stupid.

The humour is still present and necessary in such an elaborate setting. The Guardian's reactions remain equally as entertaining. They're not without changes though- Drax is much less stoic and more outwardly comical.

For some this could seem disorienting but it felt like a subtly clever way of showing how spending time with the other Guardians can influence someone's personality. He also occasionally had stoical literal or socially inept moments that averted the risk of a total and unnecessary reinvention.

The New Drax

I might base my eyebrows around his eye tats. We all know they're big enough

Star Lord's mostly unchanged as is Gamora. Arguably they're both given more chance to show more vulnerability and Gamora has occasionally unintentional humour, a wise choice in a series about gradually redeemable anti-heroes. Groot’s reinvention is interesting; the he’s less sympathetic but this is a welcome cliché avoidance; His appearance could’ve warranted a generically endearing character who offers nothing else. Showing a more ruthless and bratty side than he ever had without losing a sense of oblivious cheer is a humorous expectation subversion.

He still gets all the best lines.

When he has big eyes and a pointy head it's cute- when I do it's unnerving. Not fair at all.

Karen Gillan’s casting almost felt inconsequential before thanks to heavy makeup and very few lines, all of which were unrecognisably distorted. Here, her role is more substantial as are her emotional ties with Gamora, she’s given chance to display comic timing and sensitivity while amplifying on the ruthlessness that used to be her sole trait.

You still can't really tell it's her, though

Oh my god the difference- They're wearing different tops!

Mantis’ actress, Pom Klementieff (I copied and pasted her name- sue me) convincingly plays a naïve eccentric with hidden knowledge and power.

Kurt Russel’s Ego is large. Oh wait I should’ve clarified his character’s called ego I don’t mean his actual Ego. The role’s complex and he can dispassionate and passionate when necessary and is occasionally more verbose than an actual human would be (the description of the ‘Brandy’ song). To be fair, he’s not a human that’s almost the whole point of him.

Mantis- one of few examples of big eyes actually looking vaguely unnerving , me being another.

The soundtrack for me was a really striking improvement, with most songs being equally as enjoyable outside of the film’s context. There was endless chance to see more of the complex and inventive fight sequences. The first scene is an enjoyably layered one set to ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’ that wisely avoids showing us the background action of a fight with a monster- which we see in every film, to show a dance number by a baby tree on a planet, which we’ve only seen in 12 other films. 11 of them I made up and the 12th is just the Blu Ray version of this . We also see the new relationship he has with the others.

Another brilliantly choreographed and complex scene involved the full capacity of Yondu (I spelt it right this time!) and his unstoppable arrow. The whole thing is perfect. Barring one person who's perfectly hidden shouting 'down there' about the person he's aiming to shoot rather than just shooting them.

There’s also intricate plotting especially in the inventive defeat of the villain, a visually engrossing sequence which gives every major character’s skill necessity and doesn’t end without notable consequence.

Now for the Rating

Mantis has just realised she's in an inferior sequel. Yondu clearly hasn't

7/10. I like more than I dislike but I’m aware there are issues. An overly long ending scene is laden with strained sentimentality and un-subtle dialogue that borders on seriously misplaced melodrama. Especially irritating as these scenes are devoted to a character who starlord casually claims ‘beat the crap’ out of him as a child, actions that are given no justification beyond viewers being made to assume it was for training. This is the main factor that drastically effects the film’s quality. Another is the seeming lack of consequences.

There are annoyingly pointless secondary villains. Not Taser Face who's entertaining, but the planet of Gold people leave little impact . In one scene a fleet of their ships shoot directly at the Guardians defenceless vessel, which suffers no damage. There are other forgivable instances, like Drax hitting several large trees at high speed, but receives no injuries. The film's a comedy but the image isn’t humorous enough to justify inclusion and instead raises the issue of Drax’s apparent invulnerability, since nothing before or after suggests he’s more than a slightly strong alien. Elsewhere, Yondu, Groot, Rocket and James Gunn’s brother from the Gilmore Girls travel at high speeds that they overstress the danger of , but suffer in no way at all. While a film with such outlandish ideas would never be a soul searching masterpiece, there was so much missed opportunity to meet its predecessor’s standard. I wouldn’t advise avoiding, it still offers entertainment. Actually, I might; I’ve shown 2 of the best bits, and the others are bound to be on YouTube somewhere.

To Infinity (War) And beyond! (won't be reviewing that for a while, just needed a sign off)

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About the Creator

Conor Hufton

getting better at this writing thing (aka slowly learning the alphabet, learnt how to use pen). Spanning critical writing, fantasy, parody and sci-fi (ruining all of them in the process).

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