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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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Not as sharp and nimble, but still a lot of fun.

While not as sharp and nimble as its predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still a thoroughly satisfying sequel, and much better than most. Writer/director James Gunn packs this outing with all of the bright colors, sleek aliens, and fully-realized worlds that made the first film so entertaining. He also crafts captivating action scenes that leverage visual perspectives and 3D in uproarious ways you don’t typically see from the medium, like the opening number where Baby Groot dances while everyone is fighting in the background, the scene where henchmen get thrown high above the trees by Rocket’s devious gadgets, and the sequence where a whole ship’s crew is dispatched by Yondu's (Michael Rooker) magic arrow.

One way the film doesn’t live up to the original is with its soundtrack, which isn’t as memorable. Its songs are also not used as effectively, aside from ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” which are employed perfectly. Another way Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t quite measure up to its predecessor is its dialogue and narrative pace. Although still humorous, dialogue in the film doesn’t have the same rapid fire quality you expect. With his narrative, Gunn nobly attempts to deepen your understanding of the characters by exploring each one’s backstory, however he does it to a fault. This individual emphasis makes the movie clunky in the middle, particularly in the moments where Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are working out their differences. Once this scene is in the rearview mirror through, the film speeds toward a satisfying climax with epic fight scenes and jokes flying from all angles, which build up to an emotional resolution worthy of your attention. If you can accept a little bloat and slightly less punchy dialogue, there is still plenty of eye and ear candy to make Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 worth your time.

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In some ways this is a typical sequel, bloated and overlong, more expensive and stuffed with extra characters, but lacking the freshness of the original. The images are spectacular but sometimes distractingly so, and in some scenes the backdrops are more interesting than what's happening in front of them. But it's still very funny and inventive, and beautiful to look at.

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gave

trying too hard

I was meh on the first GotG, and I’m meh about its sequel. It’s trying so hard to be funny, it’s utterly exhausting (and not very funny). The rare moments when the movie stops trying to make you laugh and actually tells a story are really good – I like me some family dysfunction – but it is still one of Marvel’s weaker efforts.

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Cast:

Small Peter Quill / Star-Lord
Small Gamora
No_movie_poster Drax the Destroyer
Small Rocket
Small Groot
Small Nebula
Small Ego the Living Planet
Small Simon Williams / Wonder Man
Small Tullk
Small Yondu
Small Nova Prime
No_movie_poster Mantis
No_movie_poster Ayesha
Small Unknown
Small Kraglin
Small Unknown

Crew:

Small James Gunn Director
Small James Gunn Writer

Plot:

Set to the backdrop of 'Awesome Mixtape #2,' Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team's adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill's true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes' aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.