Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 superhero space adventure written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Kurt Russell and Michael Rooker. The film follows the journey of the unlikely heroes from the first film as Star-Lord discovers his heritage while being chased down by a “kingdom?” of gold colored aliens. It’s a space opera, just go with it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Vol. 1. It was fun for what it was. The Tarantino inspired soundtrack and the general light tone were a breath fresh air indeed. The primary cast of characters were the big winners coming out of the film. But if you ask me as to what the plot of the film was, I would fail in a heartbeat. Something about an infinity stone and a purple dude who talks to Thanos? That’s it right? Glenn Close and John C. Riley are in it. I got nothing. So as I walked into this film, my expectations were always going to be low. I just wanted to have a fun time for a couple of hours and get stepping once the post credit scenes were done.
This film did not deliver for me and believe me, this is a very personal opinion. I saw a whole host of people in my cinema hall enjoying the film but I found myself completely disinterested and dissatisfied by the uneven story-telling. The film comes off as “trying too hard” to achieve everything it is going for. Be it the family aspect, the humor, the soundtrack, or a myriad of other similar themes and tropes which made the first film what it was. Even if I were to avoid all comparisons to the previous film, this film does not have what it takes to stand on its own two feet.
The film has its merits. Some of the humor is good, the primary characters are all still quite fun, the movie does have a surprisingly emotional end point, some of the musical choices are just perfect when they are not being too on the nose and so on and so forth. But what the film lacks is pace. A clearly 90-minute idea overstays its welcome by being an endless parade of paper-thin emotional stakes and one too many subplots. I’m quite hard pressed to ruin the plot of the film as I’m sure most fans saw it coming from a mile away. We all love stories of fathers and sons. But what I don’t love is contrived, exceptionally slow, poorly paced stories with no stakes whatsoever.
The big bad in this film tries to convince Quill to shift to the dark side. He tries to achieve this within the turn of a day. Seriously, yes seriously. One day is what he thinks it takes to convince someone to destroy the world as we know it. He is a good guy. He is a Guardian of The Galaxy. His name states that he is going to guard the galaxy. Come on, man.
Baby Groot can be as cute as he wants to be but I have the perfect metaphor for what this film tries to be. You remember that scene from the trailer where Drax laughs out loud at a mediocre humorous setup. He’s all like “Hahaha. She told everyone your deepest secret” or something like that. It feels as if he is trying so hard to convey the humor (Yes, I understand he is not a socially well adjusted alien and all that). This whole film feels like that one overreaching joke.
Look, you have a good premise and a cast of characters who are already quite beloved. Stop trying so damn hard. Tone it down. Cool people don’t have to say they are cool.
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