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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 full review!

by on May 7, 2017

GOTG VOL 2. was back in the best kind of way with a sort of a twist this time. You see the first movie was a very “unexpected” surprise for me, like so many of “us” I really did not know much about the Guardians…the expectation bar was pretty low, I mean a talking raccoon, a tree that says only 3 words the entire movie-repeatedly, and a Kratos rip-off played by a WWE superstar.

So, needless to say the first movie was kind of a hit racking in to date over $773,328,629 world wide (via IMDB).

A masterpiece could be used to describe the first movie or the proverbial “lightning in a bottle” metaphor. You would be very hard pressed to find a flaw from the first movie…one of those type of flicks (for me) I can watch over and over and it still is as much fun as the first time…I would easily put the first film in the top 2 or 3 of all “HERO” movies. Wow! How unexpectedly epic was this first movie!? It,without having any of the Avengers present, tied itself masterfully to the grand scheme of the infinity gems, gauntlet, impending war, and without question the entire MCU.

And maybe that is why I just “like the movie”, I don’t love it though. I got to say it is a real “good time” but falls way, way short of the original in terms of a great story, character interactions, and at times pacing.

First and foremost for any of you not keeping score at home with the infinity gems or the looming shadow of Thanos-

This being shown to you a certain expectation was/is created and not even close to being delivered in relation to this film. Volume 2 is a completely different movie altogether, it is not a BAD movie by any sorts, if anything it is like viewing a completely stand-alone movie from Marvel, one that answers a whole lot of (movie theme-contained) questions and fills in a hefty amount of character(s) backstory. It is unfortunate that all of that which was shown and all of the places and things that could’ve happened-didn’t and ultimately for this film; it had absolutely ZERO to do with being a part of or furthering the continuity of the MCU and Thanos/Infinity Gems story arc that began 5 years ago. This was not the HERO movie that I had hoped for.

It is quite ok though, no need to be sad or disappointed the movie is still going to deliver. You can take this news as a needed expectation adjustment to have full appreciation for what the movie is; and if you heed the warning for the post credit scenes then this could be a big win for you! Let us begin then shall we!?!

This movie is a visual masterpiece! There are so many beautiful things to see and lots of stuff that gets blown up too. The weapons that are used (masterfully created from Rocket himself) are just great…the chemistry from the full team is perfect (while it lasts) and the opening of the movie is one of the best intro’s for any Marvel made movie that I can remember.

After that, there are definitely some really odd-non stop “emotional issues” that need to be worked out, and they do after the team is split into two distinct different directions and those ISSUES do (I guess) get fixed, just from the wrong characters at the oddest times. I do not even want to have to destroy the whole “let’s play catch” sequence…LAME! Talk about hitting your dialogue right on the nose.

Here is a quick character breakdown;

Star Lord– You have to love and root for him almost the entire film. The emotional strings that are pulled with, the desires {being part of your son’s/father’s life} of family and his pining for Gamora are all big wins with this movie. It is a shame though, that they are dragging out this romance like a bad CW show! Come on James Gunn, just let Star Lord seal the deal! Let homie get a kiss or something! Jeez!

Gamora– what a great character, what a tremendous actress in Zoe Saldana, what a epic opening for her in the beginning of the movie (and she even let Drax think he got the win for the team) Her other arc in this movie revolved around family ties and her sister Nebula. I felt there were some misfires here with the development of that sisterly bond. I am sure in the long term story of these two we are not even past the halfway point of their arc. It would also be safe to say we are far from finished with Star Lord and Gamora= Starmora’s; inevitable and greatly anticipated romantic relationship.

Rocket Racoon– WHAT A A-HOLE!!!! Give this guy a space valium or something next film and lighten him up already! On another note, Rocket makes the most awesome weapons! I would love for him and Tony Stark get together and have a little chit chat on weapon concepts and design. Yeah, Rocket has some major issues…he needs a girl racoon or something. Relax, dude…your a Guardian.

Baby Groot– Awwwwww! He is so friggin adorable!!! And I didn’t mean friggin either!!! If there is any doubt whether or not just 3 words can move an audience and capture your hearts well then…prepare! For, WE ALL ARE GROOT!

Nebula– Love this character, love Karen Gillan too…her screen time was misused in my opinion though. I absolutely appreciated her presence and wanted to see her kick so much more ass… for the most part the reunion with her sister and the quick split up sending her with the Ravagers was an odd choice and pairing. She wound up with Yondu. Rocket, and Groot in which there was minimal chemistry, not even a mere mention of her and Yondu both being Kree? Minimal at best chemistry with this group of Guardians. These are minor nit picks for being somewhat knowledgeable with her role in the comics I just had hoped for more…and less, always screaming, jeez! And finally, why is it that Nebula always has to have that SEXY-WALK? Even after she has to pop her bones back into place! LOL, I mean, I’m not saying I hate it but she seems too angry to be walking so MEOW every scene!?

Yondu– Great stuff here, I will stay true to story header and remain mostly spoiler free…A tad over kill on his whistle weapon yet overall his presence with the team and end result were greatly appreciated and emotional. I loved the red-mohawk prototype; very fitting with his character and source comic book imagery/interpretation.

Drax and Mantis- I can’t get over how great a character Drax has become. This character played and owned by former WWE superstar Dave Bautista, is one of the key reasons why GotG is so great. The humor is unlike any of the other MCU films and Drax had very little in terms of jokes fly over his head on this one. His interactions with the team were great when they were together (why was the Drax-Star Lord ‘hug it out’ moment not in the film?) but his interactions with newcomer Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis was sheer comedic gold. I will not say much here aside from I hope we see this pairing again! Drax’s history and pain from the loss of his family was masterfully and emotionally told in a brief segment…I didn’t get choked up but I’m sure many of you will though…so, you can’t help but root for this guy while Mantis seems to be a perfect addition to the team.

Taser Face– hahahahahahha……what else needs to be said!!!

Tango and Cash reunion- Nope not here!!! What a wasted opportunity! 

Look at the end of this all, it was a great movie!!! The Frak would highly recommend you get you and your families out and see it as soon as possible. It has a slight increase in the language department (all comically inserted) yet I am still very comfortable allowing my 8 year old son to see this film. Sure there are some other things I left out, most importantly the “other bad guys” the Sovereign who are led by high priestess Ayesha played by Elizabeth Debicki (the Great Gatsby) who from a threat perspective a little underwhelming especially considering all of their tech. I don’t understand why they really needed the Guardians in the first place but…I will play along.

In closing, the first ever 5 bonus post-credit scenes that are shown…SMH. I would recommend you do yourself and your family the favor  of googling that S*** at home. The best case scenario is to leave after the 3rd one. I wish I would’ve walked…I didn’t and me and my wife stood there with 2 dear friends and watched as absolutely nothing happened and we all look at each other with a mixture of emotions that ranged from disbelief, disgust, shame, sadness, anger, and unfulfillment… as mentioned before, there is ZERO tie or furthering  the plot of any MCU event, with the exception of GOTG vol 3. Screw you James Gunn…not cool bruh!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR THE FRAK go full on SPOILER with the GOTG Vol 2 movie then listen to EPISODE #28 GUARDIANS OF THE FRAK, check out the podcast here,with the assistance of longtime friend, former brother in penance, and first time Frak co-host Matty ‘Meatballs’ Denegris; all story issues, spoilers, end credit scenes, and of course Nebula’s mentioned sexy walk are all discussed!!!

I don’t know why Mike changed the name of the episode? What a A-Hole too!

And finally here is to hoping that the soundtrack to volume 3 will be memorably amazing, thanks in part to one of the best devices ever created and now in mine and Star Lord’s possession.

FINAL VERDICT=NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST, STILL WORTH THE TRIP…just don’t expect any notable connections to MCU, unless you are a Howard the Duck fan.