The Oscar Project Reviews
We're back away from Earth in this installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Guardians of the Galaxy continue kick butt and save the galaxy.
The film picks up an undetermined amount of time after the first film with the Guardians on a mission to save a bunch of powerful batteries from an alien attack. It's clear through the action and dialogue that this has become the normal state of affairs for the crew, and they are fairly happy with it. The five original members all return, led by Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). Gamora (Zoe Saldana) has begun to take a liking to Quill, even though she won't admit it yet. Drax (Dave Bautista) has lightened up a bit since his sullenness in the first film and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) provide plenty of levity to go around.
The film centers around Quill's background when we are introduced to a man named Ego (Kurt Russell) who claims to be his father. Peter discovers the Ego is basically a god and that, as Ego's offspring, he possesses some of the same abilities that Ego has.
The themes of family and loyalty continue to tie through this film as they did in the first. Not only do we see Peter struggle with learning about Ego, but we also get to see the development of the dynamic relationship between Gamora and her adopted sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) along with their mutual hatred of dear old dad, the Mad Titan himself, Thanos.
As in the first film, music plays an important role here as it is Peter's connection to his mother. We see him listening to her Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (which also lends its name to the title of the film) and continue to see how dearly he loves his mother even two and a half Earth decades after losing her. While not quite as iconic as the soundtrack to the first film, I think it deserves credit for the era that it evokes and how that places Peter's youth in the context of our real world.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continued the tradition of Marvel films receiving nominations for Best Visual Effects from the Academy, but also continued the trend of not winning, ultimately losing out to Blade Runner 2049.
In the end, I can't rate the sequel quite as highly as I did the original. I appreciate what it did for the characters, but in terms of the greater MCU, it did little to advance the story other than set up their whereabouts going into Infinity War.
7 out of 10
Previous: Doctor Strange | Next: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Get Ready for Endgame