Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review: Does it Live Up to the First?

By Natalie Froome

The second instalment of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy has been long awaited, but it was worth it. In ‘Vol.2’ The band of unlikely heroes are back again, saving the galaxy from a threat that’s much closer to home.

The film takes longer to get into the main conflict than the first movie, but this time is well spent fleshing out the characters. We learn much more about Peter Quill, the relationship between Gamora and Nebula, and about Yondu – who trod a fine line between hero and villain in the first film, but certainly picks a side in this one. Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Racoon also takes a more leading role, verbally sparring with StarLord and fighting off a band of Ravengers with his technical abilities. Groot is also back, but as the adorable baby version who manages to get some big laughs and ‘awww’ moments alike from the audience. Mantis is a new character for this film and brings a lot of comedy value from her innocent interactions with the ever-literal Drax. There’s also cameos from some big Hollywood names, not only the standard Stan Lee appearance.

The real stars of the movie, however, are the visual effects, with hundreds of unique and visually stunning environments created for our heroes to explore, bicker with each other and blow stuff up in. The soundtrack is another unique feature of the Guardians universe and fits with the action in a way that doesn’t seem like it should work, but does. ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’ rings out as the heroes fight off a giant space monster in the film’s opening sequence and Fleetwood Macs ‘The Chain’ also features.

Guardians of the Galaxy is that rare thing, a movie that bends the superhero genre and is successful at it. It’s an excellent blend of action, comedy, witty one-liners and real threat, but never loses its emotional heart. At the end of the movie, there’s a moment that really does make you well up a little.

The bar was set high with the first Guardians movie and the second doesn’t disappoint. It’s a wild ride through the Galaxy with a band of characters that you really get to know and love. It also has not one, but five post-credit scenes and really pays service to Marvel fans. It’s well worth the cinema ticket price.

Image “London April 28 2017 (2) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” by David Holt licensed under CC BY 2.0

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