Overall: 19/20 = A
**Not even a Baby Groot sized spoilers**
I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot! I am Groot. I am Groot? I am Groot! I am Groot!!! I. am. Groot.
You have no idea how tempting it was to just make that the entire blog post. Seriously, though, folks. If you haven’t seen the first Guardians of the Galaxy, then you probably should. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Done? Good. Now you are all caught up.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has everything and more that you could want from a comedic, science fiction, superhero movie. There are emotional roller coasters (complete with whiplash), fantastic one-liners so integral to the style of the Guardians, awesome rock and roll and epic space battles.
As far as plot lines go, there is a lot happening in this movie with several story-lines all running adjacent to each other. Yondu and the Ravagers play a much larger role this time around, with a slightly more developed backstory for our favorite whistler. The Guardians are still trying to learn what it means to be a family while Peter must contend with his long lost father. Even Nebula has more character development, if you count seeking revenge against everyone in the galaxy as development. In what has become the norm for the average superhero movie, there are a significant amount of people to keep track of: I can think of 8 different people with story-lines and that’s just off the top of my head. It was significant enough that MB (Movie Buddy), despite his vast wealth of knowledge on comic book lore, commented on how all the different plot points actually detracted slightly from the overall wonderment of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic story that makes you laugh, cry, and cheer in all the right places, but for someone who is not in the comic book world, it could very easily get overwhelming.
Most days, I don’t mourn the fact that I don’t read comic books. The paneling style never interested me. I don’t like having the visuals presented to me when I have a perfectly good imagination. And I really, really don’t like speech bubbles. However, I mourn plenty when I go see a Marvel movie, which is why I tend to drag along someone well-versed in comic books whenever I do. So much more gets explained when I have MB there to fill me in on all the things that due to time constraints and, you know, real world physics, don’t make it into the final version. (Also, I’m trying to avoid all spoilers so if you want to know what these storylines are, you must see it for yourself or find another blog to spoil it for you).
If the plot was the only, extremely minor, weak point of the movie, that means the rest of it must be beyond brilliant. And it was. All of our favorite characters from GotG 1 returned with a vengeance. Chris Pratt returns as Star Lord, aka Peter Quill. As usual, he puts forth an awesome performance, but due to the multiple story arcs, it got lost in the shuffle, even though he spends a decent amount of screen time interacting with Kurt Russell, his absentee father. A similar fate awaited Zoe Saldana as Gamora and Karen Gillan as Nebula. They both had more screen time together, at least and it was nice to see some sisterly ‘bonding’. The two that stole the show for me were Michael Rooker as Yondu and Vin Diesel, who returns as the voice of Baby Groot. Baby Groot was just adorable in all aspects and the movie capitalized on that in some major scenes. As for Yondu, the one thing this movie does do well is delve into the backstory of most of the characters, him included. It was fascinating to watch his development, not to mention his amazing fighting skills. I liked Michael Rooker as Yondu in the first installment, but I loved him in the second.
Visually, there is a lot going on this movie. The color palettes were all very retro, relying on a lot of neon hues, mixed liberally with gold and blacks. The cinematography itself was unremarkable, however, the CGI was impeccable. Sometimes it’s hard to watch a space movie, because you spend so much time going “Oh, that’s got to be CGI.” With as much CGI as was in this movie, the thought never crossed my mind once. Instead I focused on the designs of Ego’s planet, which were intricate and beautiful while still appearing slightly sinister or the level of detail found on the Ravagers ships. The CGI did exactly what it was supposed to do which was tell the story. There was only one complaint: the camera occasionally moved too fast for the eye to track which could leave some with a bit of a headache. Also, having seen both the 2D and 3D versions of the film, I can honestly say, there’s not much difference between the two. Save the money and see it in 2D.
Last to discuss is the music. In this movie, even more so than it’s predecessor, music plays an important role. Not only does it make for a crazy, awesome soundtrack, but the lyrics come into play during major plot points. While I’m not generally a huge fan of the 70s music style, the soundtrack for this movie was definitely on point and enhanced the viewing experience ten-fold. It wouldn’t be the same without George Harrison or Glen Campbell to rock out to.
The first time I watched this movie, I came away saying “this is my new favorite Marvel movie.” (Yes, I’m a fickle watcher, it seems like every new Marvel movie replaces the last in my favorites list). The second time was just as good. While it may not be anyone else’s favorite, I felt a particular kinship with the characters and the story. Here’s hoping that Marvel continues their trend and either Thor: Ragnarok or The Amazing Spiderman: Homecoming, manages to knock Guardians of the Galaxy 2 out of the top spot.
Adults: It’s Marvel. And it’s rock and roll. Just do it. Don’t think. Don’t wonder about the talking raccoon. Just marvel at the adorableness of Baby Groot.
Children: Some crude humor, some intense scenes. Depending on your age, you’ll probably like it and find it funny. Might have a hard time understanding some of it though. Which might be a good thing. It is rated PG-13 for a reason.
At this time I’d like to introduce Movie Buddy aka MB, a fellow movie buff, with undoubtedly more nerd cred than I could ever have. So a huge thank you goes out to his SO who is willing to let me drag him to the movies with me as I rely on him for both comic book knowledge as well as random movie trivia. It’s great to know someone else here in the middle of nowhere who is just as excited about new movie releases as I am. Don’t be surprised if he crops up now and again throughout the blog posts!