Cinematic Releases: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017) - Reviewed

How many times can you say that a sequel is equal to or better than the original? 

Not many at all. Two come to mind. The Godfather Part II and The Empire Strikes Back. Both built upon an original mythology and made a hard press to out perform their first chapters by keeping things interesting and fresh. Guardians 2 does just that. It takes what we already know of the characters and continues to construct a thread of great story points that are tied into the original while not repeating itself at all. 

Using the same whip smart humor, astounding visual effects, a level of sadness, and an established crew of best friends, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is easily one of the best sequels ever made. With James Gunn back in lockstep with his cast of smart asses and foul mouthed space hooligans, Volume 2 doesn't rest on its prequel laurels at all. Where other second parters seem to rely on recreating the same story to try and depend on a safety net of sorts, this Marvel movie sheds formula for a heartfelt glory ride with a dynamic team of aliens, mutants, and our dear leader, Star-Lord. Chris Pratt one hundred percent owns this role. 

Anticipation was high for this blockbuster release. Being that the first movie in the saga felt like a rip roaring Star Wars for a new age, Gunn once again delivers in spades. There are moments of sheer tension. There are scenes of unending space battles and perfectly coordinated fight sequences. And unlike those Transformers movies, the CGI effects are easy on the eyes and never become overbearing or textbook. Guardians 2 is beautiful to look at and equally awesome to listen to. The sound design is absolutely massive while mixtape two continues to bring back those retro '70s and '80s tunes. Even smarter is Gunn's use of pop hits to enlighten his audience with emotive scenes that are directly connected to the lyrical content. Guardians 2 is intelligent while playing into exactly what the audience wants. Fun with a dash of villainous darkness. 

Great. Give the tree a bomb. 

To say this science fiction action spectacle rocks is a vast understatement. Everything about this film is nearly perfect. The play between the Guardians is well written and definitely shows that the main characters have become a tight knit unit of galactic outcasts in the time between adventures. There's a strong romantic bond between Peter and Gamora. And the snarky Rocket has developed even more bad attitude. Drax is still the muscle bound laughter machine that has no bounds. And our sweet little Baby Groot is just a huggable little runt that tears at the heartstrings with his sweet innocence and cuteness. The cunning Nebula is back for more trouble with her sister as Michael Rooker rules the school with his second outing as Yondu. With this unbelievably awesome cast, Kurt Russell lights up the screen as Ego. To this very day, the man can do no wrong. Numerous other action stars show up for cameos including Sylvester Stallone. 

Things are about to get weird. 

Guardians 2 is a wild two hour excursion into how exactly comic book movies should be made. Pitting this against any of the Avengers movies or anything else from the Marvel brand, this is their best feature yet. Gunn truly understands how to sway that fine line between humor and action. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is going to wreck the box office this weekend with its brand of comic book gold. See this movie. 

I am Groot.