When it was originally announced, the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie seemed like a risky move. After delivering several blockbuster successes with recognizable characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, Marvel decided to make a movie based on a group of relatively obscure and second-tier characters.
Needless to say, it was a good decision. The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie grossed over $770 million dollars at the global box office and received a crazy amount of critical and fan acclaim. But could a second Guardians movie live up to the first? Would we still care about the (mis)adventures of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Baby Groot, and Rocket? More importantly, would it have another bitchin’ soundtrack?
The next Guardians of the Galaxy movie opens on May 5, but some critics have already posted their reviews. And it looks like we can rest easy; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is more of the same, in a good way, and then some.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 opens, as it is wont to do, with a dance number obscuring the rote action set piece that kicks off most summer blockbusters these days. Conventional wisdom in sequels also demands that we catch up with our heroes while they’re saving the world in style — a brief respite of joy before their world is torn apart thanks to a mustache-twirling villain who may or may not be biologically related to the hero. Writer/director James Gunn made the first Guardians a huge hit by affectionately circumventing many of those annoying tropes through self-aware humor, ’70s adult contemporary music, and a color palette that could be best described as “bowling alley chic.” He doubles down on that by making this new film a feature-length conversation between an angry child and his deadbeat dad.
The biggest problem with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Vol. 1, if you will, was such a huge, surprise hit that most of the massive audiences who will flock to see Vol. 2 will all want to relive watching the first film. They’ll get their wish, sometimes, but other times Vol. 2 is trying something different, by looking deeper into its heroes and their relationships. But one thing holds true for both movies: They’re both still fun as hell.
Michael Jay Lee, “Movie Review: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’”:
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was once considered one of the riskiest films that Marvel Studios could ever release. It was an unknown property which cast three relative unknowns and gave two A-listers voice roles. However, the film’s surprising success proved that a quirky, hilarious, musically-charged space opera could work as a superhero property. Who would have thought a roguish space outlaw, an alien assassin, an alien manic, a gun-toting raccoon, and a talking tree would be our favorite a-holes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Now they are back for round two in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all sequels to a universally loved film, expectations run unbelievably high. Fortunately, Gunn never misses a beat. It’s absolutely terrific and just as fun, if not more fun, than the first.
[T]he special effects, booming sound, and CGI of it all at times threatens to overtake the genuine character development and clever wit inherent to this ragtag team roaming the universe and saving planets. But, it is to writer-director James Gunn’s credit that this new edition doesn’t lose the charm and general likability of the first one. For Guardians fans — and they are legion by now — you likely won’t be disappointed as this franchise moves from back of the pack to pole position in the superhero universe.
Jason Guerrasio, “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lives up to what made the original movie so fun”:
I’ll leave it up to the superfans to determine whether this is better than the original “Guardians” movie (honestly, I think the two are equally fun), but what can’t be argued is that under Gunn’s watchful eye, this franchise is becoming a unique piece of counterprogramming from Marvel Studios. It sets itself apart from the Captain America and Iron Man movies with its colorful language and its insistence on not taking itself too seriously, which goes a long way.