I’ll start with the fangirl part of the review… WOW WOW OMG THIS WAS AMAZING I CAN’T EVEN.
Most of the time, I love campy Marvel over poorly-executed broody DC (Nolan’s Dark Knight as the exception), and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’ delivers campy fun with more heart than most recent movies that came out of the studio. It felt like a complete, well-rounded movie where the larger-than-life settings were just as important as the small, personal narratives. And there were plenty of those. James Gunn (the director and one of the writers) nailed it more than words can possibly describe.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is, in many ways, a big movie. It has the entire freaking universe as its backdrop, and yet the story lines were so absolutely personal. Relationships (I won’t say which because you know, spoilers) were the core of this movie, and for me personally, they completely outshone the galaxy-guarding part of the plot in a fantastic way. I found myself crying. In a Marvel movie. Although, as time will probably tell, I am the sort of person who really goes for it with movie emotions and cries at Monsters, Inc. for example. Oops. Still, it was all beautifully handled, even if not exactly presenting a completely new idea.
I think I can’t possibly love Chris Pratt more and then this movie comes along. He has come a long way from his Andy Dwyer days and he just keeps getting better. Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan exude chemistry as Gamora and Nebula, and Bradley Cooper makes his voice go a long way in bringing Rocket to life. Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) is a show-stealer whenever he is onscreen and is set to remain as the internet’s cutest little thing. Dave Bautista as Drax is better than ever, he got script gold. I think however the breakout star of this movie for me was Michael Rooker as Yondu. He won me over as Merle Dixon (the later days, people), and even more so as Yondu. I’d definitely like to see him in more things. Watch out for delicious cameos, of real and fake people/characters!
As with the first movie, the soundtrack is a character in its own right, with beloved hits like Mr. Blue Sky, Brandy, and Surrender. The music picked, along with the original score by Tyler Bates, seamlessly moves and is moved by the story. I am sure the Spotify playlist will be as popular as with the first movie. Opening scene was priceless.
One thing that also went to a whole new level is the visual and scenery for this movie. I watched it in IMAX and it was just a brilliant experience. The movie is a work of art with set, character, and costume design, and the CGI that went into making their vision come true. It is one of the most beautiful things Marvel has ever produced. I would definitely recommend watching it in IMAX if you can, they truly brought the house down in the best way possible with what they did and it deserves to be seen in the highest quality possible.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is probably tied with Deadpool as my favourite Marvel movie from recent times, followed by Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol.1) and The Avengers (the first movie). Don’t get me wrong, I ADORE The Avengers and the individual movies, but there is something about Guardians of the Galaxy that feels more humorous and yet more refined and deep than The Avengers group movies. I love all of the movies based off of Marvel comics (with the exception of anything based on Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, bless their poor little souls), but this one has a special place in my heart for sure. Thor: Ragnarok directed by the brilliant Taika Waititi may be coming for one of these top spots though…