Sunday, May 7, 2017

Some thoughts about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Can the galaxy be saved twice?

Peter Quill has always felt like an outsider but now he has found people just like him. However, once that the man who abandoned him returns, things might get more complicated for him and his whole new family.

The sequel to one of the best Marvel films is finally here. Oh, who am I kidding? The sequel to THE best Marvel film is finally here.

As you may remember, I considered the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie not only one of the best examples of how to make a good superhero movie but also easily the best work that Marvel has brought to the big screen being able to even surpass the first Avengers movie in terms of pure execution. The bar was raised really high this time and as one would assume, the expectations are equally as high so once again directed by James Gunn, does this film do justice to the whole franchise?

It does people, without a doubt and I would even dare to say that in some aspects is even better.

Since the beginning, you can notice how unconventional this flick is compared to others based on comics which was also the case with the first Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, I would say the story mocks other superhero stories right from the start by reuniting the gang but not taking their opening fight seriously at all which pretty much sets the mood for the rest of the movie.

The story is simple yet incredibly effective. Is about Peter's father coming back for him after abandoning him for so long which automatically creates several questions and since I can't talk about the plot without mentioning SPOILERS then I will start right away. It turns out that Peter's father is actually Ego who Marvel fans will recognize as "The Living Planet" and now his presence will create a huge conflict between Peter and the rest of the gang which will force him to decide which family he has to choose.

And that's it, that's basically the plot but the charm is obviously in the details.

Compared to the first GotG, this is a much more character-centric story. The first film mostly focused on telling the story of the gathering of all these characters and showing their backgrounds with a huge dose of humour and action. This one basically focuses on giving these characters even more depth and creating an interesting dilemma for them... with a huge dose of humour and action.

Yes, the biggest running theme of the flick is the idea of family and how it can be represented in several ways. Many of the members of the cast express that the Guardians of the Galaxy are not a team, they're not even friends, they're a family which means they yell and fight with each other constantly but they ultimately care for each other deeply which is a pretty accurate description if you ask me. Such concept can be seen in the relationships between the protagonists especially in Peter's and Yudan's father/son dynamic which was teased during the first movie but here is explored more profoundly and in Gamora's complicated past with her sister Nebula.

And of course the comedy plays a huge factor. The characters constantly make jokes, insult others and participate in multiple funny scenes that deliver great laughs (most of the time at least). At some points one might consider that the lighthearted nature of the direction might clash with the more serious and darker moments but they actually contrast with each other nicely, is a surprising result and is yet another great example about how to mix such different tones successfully.

About the cast, they're all great. Chris Pratt reprises his role as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and he has earned it by giving the character much more charm and personality than ever before. Gamora is played once again by Zoe Saldana and the actress does a quite solid job at making such serious character fit into this humourous group. Drax played by Dave Bautista was a pleasent surprise once again, in the last film he did a good work but here he demonstrates his comedic side even more by making Drax both awkward and hilarious. Rocket Racoon voiced by Bradley Cooper is another winner, the character continues to be an asshole with a heart of gold and shows some of the funniest and most emotional scenes from the film. Baby Groot voiced by Vin Diesel is simply adorable and destined to become a fan-favorite.

Other returning characters include Yondu played once again by Michael Rooker whose role is expanded by revealing his past and his strong connection to Peter which is perfectly depicted here. Karen Gillan is back as well as Nebula who is also more important this time by giving her character more complexity and fitting nicely into the tone of the story.

New characters include Stakar Ogord played by none other than Sylvester Stallone and fans of the comics might already realize where this introduction is going. Kurt Russell as Ego is also a quite good addition and presents a quite interesting conflict for the whole cast, much better than in the last film I would say.

Plus, there are so many easter eggs being thrown here that is hard to count them all, the most important probably being the most appropriate Stan Lee cameo ever.

The special effects are great, this is without a doubt one of the better looking action movies in recent years. Is not only that the effects are really good but also the art direction makes them look even better, is a vibrant spectacle of colours that never gets boring. The well-choreographed fight scenes are just the icing in the cake.

This people, this is probably my favorite movie of the year and I'm not expecting it to be beaten (although I will be happy to be proven wrong). Is the kind of film that you want to see over and over and over again and probably won't ever get tired of it. If you liked the first Guardians of the Galaxy you will most likely like this one just as much, or depending on the kind of story you prefer, you might like this one even more.

Just like me.

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