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Old 05-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #56
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Default Re: The Rate and Review Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Thread (TAG SPOILERS)

Review includes spoilers, so proceed at your own peril:

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

Few movies have made me immediately feel like I needed to call my family and tell them how much I loved them, but boy this was one of them. On the surface, the concept of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is insane and this idea should never have worked. But the beauty of film is that any idea in the right hands can turn out marvelous, and James Gunn is an evil genius. What he has crafted here is not just a wonderful space adventure once again oozing with personality and loads of Marvel easter eggs to gush over, he also crafted a film that explores the nature of family.

The plot of the film centers around Starlord's father finding him after all these years. Ever since the news broke that Kurt Russell would be playing the cosmic entity Ego the Living Planet, I was super curious to see how this madness could possibly work. How can his father be a planet? Was this just too much in the silly department? Not only does this work in execution, but Ego turns out to be maybe the best MCU villain not named Loki. The film lulls you into a false sense of security promising that the character Ayesha, who turns out to be not that vital to the plot, is the villain of the film, but at a certain point you realize start to see the crack in the facade Ego is putting on, and the villain reveal is well explained, brilliantly set-up, and reveals a twist that is just jaw dropping. You see him in an all new light and just how downright awful Ego truly is. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film has some critics that say Ronan was weak, but I do not agree. Ronan I felt was a fine villain in the movie and worked well. However, while Ronan is a great villain, Ego is a great CHARACTER, and that is a very important distinction. Ronan was never meant to be anything other than a very entertaining main threat for the team, wheras Ego has many layers to him and lots of depth. Kurt Russell plays both the villain and seemingly loving father equally well. The MCU may not always have the strongest villains, but there is an exception to every rule, and Ego is one of them and a great strength of the film.

Much like the first film, all the characters are great again, so I don't wanna single out performances, but I do want to compliment James Gunn on how he worked all the characters into that family theme so well. Ideas of what it means to be a father, a son, a sister, a brother, etc. are all explored in depth, though the primary focus of the film is between fathers and sons. The idea of these wandering loners seeking out the family they never had, only to realize the had it all this time is lovingly crafted within the script, and when we get our big emotional payoff at the end, any person with a soul will be fighting the misty eyes.

While this film is strong in basically every way the first film was, there are 2 areas of improvement in particular: cinematography and story flow. If there is one minor nitpick I had about the first film, it is that the first 20 minutes move super fast allowing little chance to breathe. This film does not have that problem. The story flows at a natural pace and has a logical progression. I would not say the first film had poor cinematography, as it is one of the best looking MCU films of phase 1 or 2, but Guardians of the Galaxy 2 may have the best camera work and design of any MCU film, period. The MCU has been lacking vibrancy in most of their movies in terms of color, but that is not a problem here. This movie is colorful and looks very original. I hope they continue to allow for more creative camera work and add more color to future installments, as well.

Guardians of the Galaxy a few years ago won over audiences all over the world with its heart, quirky humor, and totally original characters. Its sequel captures all of what made the first movie great, but unlike films like Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, it surpasses the original. While the movie does little to build toward the eventual Infinity War coming next year, it further explores the bonds between these wonderful characters, both building on the events of the first film and shedding them in a new light, as well as being its own entity. I want to see the movie again, but in terms of the Marvel Studios pantheon, this films stands as one of their best, no hesitation. The soundtrack doesn't hurt, either!

Overall Rating - 5/5

Good start to the MCU yearly offering! Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok have stiff competition.

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