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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 8, 2017

What’s there to like?

I was a little worried going into this one. A big part of what made the first Guardians movie so fun was that it came out of nowhere. I had no idea what to expect, but it still exceeded my expectations. This new one didn’t have that surprise factor going for it that helped the original so much.

Turns out Vol. 2 didn’t need it. The wacky, winking, fun still abounds, but there’s more. Director James Gunn has really found a knack for bringing a strong visual point of view highly appropriate to not just a comic book, but to this comic book. The opening sequence–a whimsical dance/intense boss fight–is one great visual scene. Another achievement is a (re)conquest of a pirate ship that I’ll describe lightly so as to avoid spoilers, but it looks terrific.

Vol. 2 also gets a lot of mileage from the theme of family. Sibling rivalry, what we choose to learn from our fathers, and acceptance and belonging despite how much we push our family away are all central, and each part works quite well. Few topics are as all-encompassing as family, and Gunn, who also wrote the screenplay, wrings all sorts of tonal dynamics (which you know I love!) from it. It’s funny, sexy, and touching.

What’s not to like?

Guardians 2 is a good one. Any quibbles I have are all under the heading of comic book movies generally. You know, general plausibility, magic/technology solving certain things awfully easily, and an overall silliness. Things like that. But I’m happy to wave my hands, just stampcomic book on it, and not worry about any of that. If anything, the genre may be starting to give us enough good ones I might have to consider whether I need to keep up the handwaving in the future.

The Verdict

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 manages to build on the success of its predecessor and deliver a lot more than just genre devices, and points toward comic book movies being good movies.

Recommended

[Cross posted at practicallyculture.com.]

From → Movies

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