Blu-ray Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.’

If you are looking for the same wonderful sense of inventiveness in the latest ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ then you might need to set your standards a little lower. The biggest surprise I found in the sequel to 2014’s blockbuster hit is how low key the plot mechanics are. Honestly, the story just feels like a really good episode of the old ‘Star Trek’ series, but with the most expensive budget a television show could ever possibly ask for. You might remember the type of show I’m referring to. There was always an episode where the characters would get separated and spend the show discovering things about each other. All while Captain Kirk was unveiling a mystery. Which is exactly what happens here.

Luckily, the character development is so fantastic in this film that any weaknesses in plot mechanics are easily forgivable. Which isn’t to say the mystery part of this movie isn’t interesting enough to make you want a resolution. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are some interesting elements to the plot and the villain is actually better than the one from the previous film. Still, that’s not the driving force of the movie. What makes this film so good is how great these characters are and all the love that has been given to their growth. Well, that and the non-stop hilarity that fills the entire movie from start to finish.

This time around the gang is already together and they are fighting monsters for a world of gold weirdos. After receiving their reward, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some special batteries and the whole gold world comes after the Guardians. This leads to a bit of fireworks and the reveal of a special person that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) has been searching for his entire life. The rest of the plot is a series of subplots. One involves Rocket and Yondu (Michael Rooker) bonding over a mutiny. Another is Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) fighting each other until the reveal their emotions. Another has Drax (Dave Bautista) getting to know a new character named Mantis (Pom Klementieff).

Honestly, the whole thing is a lot of characters bonding and fighting with other characters until they have to fight with each other. What keeps this all from being an intergalactic episode of ‘Jerry Springer’ is the fact that THESE ARE GREAT CHARACTERS! There are consistently entertaining sequences from beginning to end. There are wonderful action sequences. There are clever gags. There are emotional character moments. And they all come consistently. This movie may be a pretty relentless affair and it’s certainly not better than the outstanding original, but it’s just a step below. Which is better than most movies you’re going to see and is sure to entertain the hell out of you.

Every actor in this movie is in top form. Every comedic choice seems perfect. Every action sequence is fun. Every choice for the music is superb. Although, it must be noted that the sound in my screening was distractingly awful. Yet, I still had a really good time. The only real gripe about this movie is it is unfocused. The narrative is very loose and almost feels like it stumbles on its story by accident. Not that the characters do, but that the writers of the material did when they put this thing to paper.

Despite that, it’s a blast of a movie! It’s lack of focus may prevent it from a sure footed greatness, but it makes it really fun. Like hanging out with a bunch of cool heroes in the galaxy for a few hours. Not shooting for the narrative heights of ‘Civil War’ or the originality of the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, Vol. 2 is perfectly fine with being just a super duper Sci-Fi film for everybody. And other than a couple dirty jokes, that’s exactly what it is. So, get the family together and head to the movies people. Even if you don’t love the story, you are going to die over how cute Baby Groot is. He’s a show stealer!

Nathan Ligon

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