REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Review by Dustin Heller

Summer movie season is finally here and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicks things off with a bang.  The follow-up to 2014’s surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy, the film follows the same group of unorthodox superheroes as they protect and wreak havoc on the universe.  After knocking the first film out of the park, James Gunn is back as writer and director of Vol. 2.

The ensemble cast includes “it boy” Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperMichael RookerKaren GillanSylvester Stallone and Kurt RussellGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive content.

The film picks up with the Guardians being hired to protect valuable batteries for the Sovereign race in exchange for Gamora’s sister Nebula.  In the process of successfully protecting the batteries, Rocket decides to steal them because that’s what he does.  This sets off Ayesha, the Sovereign leader, and she vows to take down the Guardians and get back her precious batteries.

After narrowly escaping an attack with the help of an unidentified ally, the Guardians crash land on a foreign planet and destroy their ship in the process. The unidentified person follows them and in turn claims to be Peter’s father.  He invites them to visit his planet and Peter, Gamora, and Drax agree to go, while Rocket and Groot stay with the spaceship and Nebula.  With a bounty on their heads and the Ravagers in hot pursuit, none of the Guardians are safe and maybe there is more to Peter’s father than he is letting on.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is exactly what a big summer popcorn blockbuster is supposed to be.  The movie is BIG in every aspect; the CGI and special effects are amazing and extremely well done, the comedy is spot-on and flows perfectly within the frame of the story, and the movie is just likable (baby Groot has a lot to do with that!).

One of the biggest differences between this film and the first one was the opportunity to flesh out the characters a little more; the first film introduced us to the Guardians and this film allows us to really get to know them (and love them).  The actors that have been cast in these roles are spot-on from top to bottom and I can’t envision anyone else playing their parts.

The storyline of the film is actually fairly simple and easy to follow, which I felt was a bit of an issue with the first film.  With a runtime of almost 2 hours and 20 minutes, the movie seemingly flies by because there’s not much down time or any dull moments.

I had the pleasure of seeing the movie in 3D and it was really a treat.  Unlike a lot of these movies nowadays that release their films in 3D just to make an extra buck, Vol. 2 goes the extra mile to make the experience well worth the extra money.  As you might have expected, Marvel and Disney have another huge hit on their hands here and one that is a must-see on the big screen.

Grade:  A-

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens nationwide on Friday, May 5.