Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Review

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” is once again directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker and Kurt Russell.  “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” picks up some time after the first film, with the Guardians taking on extra-terrestrial monsters.  They are up to their old thieving tricks, stealing and screwing people over, while Starlord comes into contact with a man claiming to be his long lost father.  The Guardians get sucked into a crazy adventure on Ego, the living planet while also discovering the inner beauty within themselves and the true meaning of family.

Did I write this opening with some fluff?  Yes, because honestly this movie is the ultimate Marvel cheesefest.  And while “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1” was such a breath of fresh air for the Marvel franchise, this movie goes above and beyond what we saw in the first film.  And is this a good thing?  I usually would say yes, but I am going to be a negative Nancy here.  This movie sucked on so many levels.  “Guardians of the Galaxy” is hands down my favorite of the Marvel films because it didn’t feel like a Marvel film.  It felt pulpy, like “Star Wars” and it had its quirky moments and amazing action set to great 70’s music.  This film falls into the Marvel formulaic trap and we are given a thrown up version of the first film, only this sequel stinks beyond belief.  There was almost nothing in this movie that echoed the first film and I was gravely disappointed.

I will start with the one good thing that this movie had.  The movie was packed with humor.  There was a lot of smiling and laughing moments throughout the film, but after a while the jokes felt too on the nose.  But nevertheless, the only thing this movie gave me was humor.  Everything else was garbage.  “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” suffers from the same thing that I have been complaining about for years with Marvel films.  There aren’t any stakes.  And not only that, their villains are lame, forgettable and are throwaways.  This movie didn’t further anything in the mythology and at the end I just didn’t care.  I had no reason to care about any of the characters.  Sure, the acting was good and the chemistry was there but when there isn’t a story the movie is pointless.  And that’s this film’s greatest flaw; the story.  There wasn’t one.  I couldn’t tell you what the story was here.  I know Peter Quill aka Starlord is trying to discover his parentage, but other than that there wasn’t a good story at play here.  This film was so unfocused, with many plot points going all around the board that didn’t serve any of the characters.  And that’s why this movie in my book bombed.  With no story to tell, there’s no film.  And this movie was just a bunch of mindless action scenes.

And before people jump down my throats I do love action spectacle, but it doesn’t work without character development and a solid story.  Look at “Logan.”  “Logan” had an amazing story, great character development and hardcore action and it was an amazing movie.  “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” is formulaic, lazy and another reason why I’m growing so tired of Marvel films.  And what made that original film work so well was the soundtrack.  This movie had forgettable songs and I couldn’t even tell you one of them.  The songs served no purpose except for being there and I didn’t see the point.  And I loved me some Baby Groot; but they really overdid it here.  I get it, they want to sell toys but overexposing his character took me out of the film.  I know I’m being very negative here but I can’t help it.  I was so excited for this movie and I left so disappointed.

My advice to you is this:  go in with very low expectations and you might enjoy it.  Is this as good as the first one?  No, in fact it’s a ginormous step down on all levels.  Are parts of this film entertaining?  Yes, in strides but “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” doesn’t feel like a James Gunn movie.  It feels like studio product that is supposed to be Coke but instead tastes like Pepsi.  Marvel is killing it with their properties because people are buying them and I don’t get it.  I think it says a lot about today’s movie culture but that’s another story for another time.  For myself, “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” is the worst movie that I’ve seen this year and I’m sad to say I cannot recommend it.  People will see it anyway and enjoy it and that’s fine.  I cannot however give more money to a company who is sacrificing quality to give garbage formula.

Grade:  D+

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