The first Guardians of the Galaxy came as a surprise-hit to a lot of people, including me, with its action-packed, hilarious and well-directed offer. The second movie came out in April (in Indonesia), after 3 long years, and here I have listed my pros and cons of the movie. Curious? Read on!
Not a lot of superheroes movies can achieved beautiful visual, which to think of is pretty weird since superheroes have a lot of colours and elements needed to make a movie pop. However, this is one of the reasons why Guardians of the Galaxy wins in my book. Aside from a clever story-teller, director James Gunn also knows how to utilize the movie’s background a.k.a The Space and packaged it in a colourful, visually pleasing and charming celluloid for the audience to gaze upon, and literally felt like they are in the outer space themselves. My favourite scene is on Ego The Living Planet and the aftermath action: simply stunning!
Still in the technical department, I love the cinematography as much as I loved the first one. Although the second movie’s cinematography isn’t helm by Ben Davis anymore but instead they hired Henry Braham (The Legend of Tarzan) who still did a pretty bang up job. Take the opening-credit for example: it starts with an action sequence (just like in the first movie), but focused solely on Baby Groot’s obliviousness while the rest of the Guardians fight the monster in the background. The opening credit blew me away and sold me instantly. The cinematography serves its purpose to elevate the cinematic experience and act as a bridge between the special effects and the movie’s script.
Over the years we have watched a big cast movie, especially in superheroes movies like Avengers and X-Men, but Guardians admittedly also hit the jackpot in this department. The hodgepodge of creatures: half human, Zen-Whoberis, superhuman, racoon and a mini tree-like species worked together perfectly. The banter between Star Lord and Raccoon, Drax’s twisted joke or even Yondu’s relationship with the cast all seamlessly blend together. You will not realised that you are watching weird creatures and space species in this one, no, you are just watching an action/adventure movies that takes place in space.
Whether it’s Richard Donner’s first Superman or Joss Whedon’s cult hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer, comedy situation in an action movies/TV is always the recipe for success. And James Gunn delivered it to us in the first Guardians movie and, of course, as expected the second installation also comes packed with hilarious one-liner and jokes. While Star Lord and Raccoon’s banter is funny, the comical elements surprisingly come from the other characters: Drax’s twisted humour (especially with Mantis) or Yondu’s Marry Poppins gag.
Here is the hit and miss for me but first the pros! In the first Guardians film, we learned the history and backgrounds of all the members, and comes Vol. 2, we learned a little bit deeper. James Gunn’s decision to focus the second installment purely on Star Lord makes sense to me; he is after all the main lead. However, Mr Gunn didn’t forget about the other characters, providing each of them with a background stories: why they are the way they are.
In this movie we learned about the rift between Nebula and Gamora, Drax meeting his wife, Raccoon’s stealing habits and Yondu’s Ravager community. Speaking of Yondu, I am glad they bring him back because he saved the movie’s humdrum in my opinion. Also, I am pleased to see Mantis (at last!) to the group. I am waiting for Cosmo The Spacedog next!
I am not that guy who is crazy about movie’s OST, I promise. But, James Gunn’s trick to include 70s and 80s songs in the first Guardians is a breath of fresh air in superheroes movies or action/adventure movies in general. And in the Vol. 2, his genius music selections continued to surprise me and leave a great impact in the movie’s overall performance.
From the laugh-out-loud opening credit with Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra, Sam Cooke’s Bring It On Home To Me to George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, which I think is the main highlight of the movie: funny and purposive, the soundtracks excels once again in delivering a memorable and collectible mixtapes. Elsewhere, who got goosebumps when they listen to Cat Stevens’ Father and Son blasting in the cinema? Feelings, man, feelings.
Characters & Plot
As I mentioned above, the characters development are a hit and miss for me. On one hand we have got a better character developments in the second installment where we learned the main leads’ back story and that was cool. But, on the other hand, I still think that Star Lord got the biggest boost here, which again I understand because the second film focuses on him, but there were times when it feels like I am watching a stand-alone Peter Quill movie than a band of galaxy misfits.
The other cons is the plot written by James Gunn: it all felt a little bit too familiar? Which is a good thing for a movie like this, but then I realised it’s not the familiarity that I am bored of, but it’s the plot. Let’s begin with Ayesha and the Sovereign, it was cringe-worthy the most. I mean golden guys chasing after our Guardians in space? Meh. But, the biggest let down is Star-Lord;s father, played by the rugged and devilishly charming Kurt Russell (got no problem with the casting choice). I love the twist that Ego turns out to be the bad guy, which makes for an adrenaline rush moment. But, the aftermath was disappointing. It sure is fun to see the action sequence and the casts’ interactions, but quite pointless if compared with the huge baddies like Thanos or the Infinity Stones plot to destroy the universe in the first film.
And can’t help but feel bad for Peter Quill: dude will be messed up after this.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is far from a bad movie. The sequel still delivers what it promises, and I know I will re-watch it for sure! In fact, the movie is much better than the disastrous Avengers: Age of Ultron, so that says something.
Total Score: 77/100.