In 2014, we were introduced to the rag tag team of space faring Marvel heroes known as the Guardian of the Galaxy. A film that was ambitious trying to introduce multiple new characters, give them sufficient service and have a group adventure that stands on its own feet, somehow worked. It didn’t only work well, it excelled beyond most expectations and became a fan favourite among many, myself included. The question then lingered, where does the franchise go from there? Guardians of the Galaxy 2 takes a swing at that, did well, and is now available on Blu-Ray.
If you aren’t familiar with the franchise, the Guardian of the Galaxy are a group of dissimilar characters who work together as a team to save the day, but in space. Unlike the Avengers, who are in the same movie universe, the team takes more of an anti-hero angle. This means that despite not being classically good characters, thanks to their charming personalities, and ultimately doing the right things, they still appeal to the want for good to win over evil.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 goes deeper into Starlord’s human history as he discovers who and where his biological father is. In doing so his relationship with Yondu and the rest of the Guardians develops in odd ways, some great, some not so great. Yondu who abducted Starlord from Earth as a child has a surprisingly strong arc where he develops from a dislikeable but funny character to a surprisingly likeable character.
Other members of the team don’t change much, such as Drax remaining a good comic relief character who remains ignorantly charming, though his jokes tend to become drab on multiple viewings. Gamora continues to be a wonderfully deep and caring character trying to put on an emotionless façade, while Groot continues to be the most delightfully innocent character on the team, but now as baby Groot, he is that little bit cuter.
The one character that takes an unfortunate down turn is Rocket Raccoon. In the first film, he was a fan -and personal- favourite thanks to a humorous personality based on his knowing how smart he is. Thanks to his love for the less smart Groot, and a scene where he bears his disdain for his creation that tugged at the heart strings, his personality grew in a way many didn’t expect. Unfortunately, because that later note hit so well, they doubled down which turned his humanising moment into an annoying trait as he has too many frustrating tantrums. Even his outstanding jokes can’t make up for how frustrating he is at times.
I can’t divulge too much about the plot without spoilers as it does multiple big shifts, but overall the story is good. It takes some interesting and unique turns, but for the most part doesn’t seem to step to far out of any supernatural/space based villain stories we have seen before. Despite this, the character arcs and slight unique elements make it a more than a passable story.
The acting overall stays consistent, with everyone doing the same fantastic jobs as in the first film. Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon continues to do an outstanding voice over job that is unrecognisable, and Chris Pratt continues to ooze charisma from the screen, with Kurt Russel doing the solid he’s known for. Standouts this time around over their first outing are Karen Gillan and Michael Rooker who both do significantly better jobs of Nebula and Yondu respectively. The music continues to be a high point, continuing to introduce older artists to the younger generation that compliments the chaos of the film perfectly.
The Blu-ray extras included in the single disc version are a little stock standard, covering some behind the scenes work, cut scenes that are worthwhile, and a gag reel that should have most fans laughing. With a cast like this who all take their job seriously but can have fun doing it, these features are fun to watch and certainly a worthwhile part of the package.
8.9/10 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is a great movie and a great follow up to the original film. The movie runs with similar beats to the first and is consistently funny throughout. A few story tropes they have tried to freshen up, and some flat moments in Rockets story does hold the film back at times, but a fan of the first would be crazy to overlook this package.