On Friday, May 6, the long awaited sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 finally released. Though it is made by Marvel Studios, both it and its predecessor feel as though they are entirely different from any other superhero movie out there, and that isn’t just because they don’t operate on this planet. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista work together to set this brilliant, comedic work of filmography apart from any other.
The film begins with a combat scene that gives a glimpse at the evolution of the Guardians since the first movie, which this story is set only a few months following, and it appears that little has changed, but it soon becomes clear that the team hasn’t been getting along well. Then a man, Ego, played by Kurt Russel, appears claiming to be the father of Starlord (Peter Quill) which serves as the main catalyst of the plot. Rocket, Groot, and Nebula are left behind, and are captured by the Ravagers pretty quickly. Ego reveals to Peter that he is a celestial whose consciousness lies within the center of the planet that Ego calls home, and as long as that consciousness stays intact, Ego remains immortal.
One of the best aspects of this movie is how much they blur the line between hero and villain. Though, of course, the movie has a clear villain, the previous movie’s villains are made to be much more sympathetic for viewers. Yondu, played by Michael Rooker, is written to be less cold and cruel, but rather purposeful and a tough-love style father figure. Karen Gillan’s character and Gamora’s sister Nebula, clearly still hates her sister and even attempts to take her life, but she still isn’t so clearly evil. We learn of the torturous childhood that she received at the hands of Thanos, and why she blames her sister for what happened in their youth. Both of these characters, who had previously been established as antagonists, transition more into neutral or even sometimes good characters, which betters the realism of the film’s characters.
Though the movie is set apart from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the costuming is still highly reminiscent of Marvel Studios’ other films, particularly Thor. Ego appears highly similar to Odin with warm golden clothing and light armor. Mantis, Ego’s servant, also reminds audiences of the studio from which this movie came as her clothing has a very similar appearance to Loki’s. The choice to stick to her original comic book colors, with the same alteration they made for Loki, changing yellow to more green or black. This choice ties the movie into the rest of the cinematic universe, even without the characters or infinity stone that were in the original.
Overall, this movie certainly didn’t surpass the original, but it still remains a good movie on its own merits. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 gave a much more character depth and development than its predecessor, and had a unique and interesting plot. This movie undoubtedly warrants a trip to the movie theater, as it keeps you invested from beginning to end through both comedic and heartbreaking moments.