From the opening credits I was immediately hooked in. The expectation was high. I fully expected the modern day Han Solo in Star-Lord to be loosely in charge once again of his dysfunctional “family” of space misfits. This movie did not disappoint. From the opening scene I was bombarded with action, special effects, dynamic characters and last but not least, a seamless integration of great pop music.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, like its predecessor, has an uncanny knack for combining the mundane with the extraordinary. Where else can we find characters bickering over senseless things like who does “the gun thing” while fighting off space beasts or the search for Scotch tape while the possibility of death and destruction is imminent? Set against spectacular action sequences, the dysfunction of this patchwork family takes center stage as we wait to see if the bonds of relationship created in the first movie can withstand the strain of a new threat.
The visuals in this installment were incredible and seemed groundbreaking (they were at least entirely new to me). The wide camera shots showed breathtaking scenery and a perspective I have not seen in a movie until now. The simple font for the location looked pleasantly retro against the stunning imagery behind it. The 3-D effects were highly engaging, and I would definitely recommend the upgrade. Explosions were immersive with space debris flying inches from my face. The CGI was so good, it was hard to tell where reality ended and special effects began.
All of our favorite characters were back with a few new surprises. Sylvester Stallone played a small role, perhaps hinting at a bigger story to come. Kurt Russell sells his character “Ego” very well. The veteran actor brings a big presence to the story. In addition, the family angle plays out as the B story, but with some twists and turns, we find surprising revelations that had me welling up with tears between bursts of explosive laughter.
As my son and I drove to the theatre we decided to play the GOTG playlist on iTunes, which included all the songs used in the movie. The tracks are great and memorable on their own, but they are played against the backdrop of the film, they take on new depths of meaning. I may never be able to hear these songs again without thinking of the movie, especially the heroic rendering of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
In my opinion, this was a sequel that exceeds the original. Keep in mind, this film is not for young children. There is some language and innuendo. It has earned every bit of its PG-13 rated. But if you’ve got some teens, head to the theatre this weekend or leave the kids home all together and make it a date night.
If you want a teen’s perspective, check out my son’s YouTube review!