Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

One of the biggest surprises of cinema happened in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy. No one anticipated the buzz that happened and it was the marvel film on everybody’s list. Fast forward three years and we have the sequel to the very popular first instalment, with the promise of being bigger and better.

Chris Pratt and the gang ignited the screen with the hapless group saving the galaxy from the ferocious Ronan in the first instalment. This time they are back, some months down the line acting as mercenaries. One of the biggest enjoyments of the first instalment was the soundtrack of 80s forgotten tracks, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is no different opening the screen with Mr. Blue Sky and Baby Groot (Still voiced by Vin Diesel) dancing round whilst chaos is happening behind him.

It’s unsurprising that after the success and enjoyment of the first instalment that the director and writer James Gunn returned to direct the sequel. And it quickly falls into the similar sort of framework that has become synonymous with Marvel films.

It is also unsurprising that the film goes full swing with the comedy, with Baby Groot, Drax’s (Dave Bautista) forwardness and the awkwardness of Peter’s (Chris Pratt) mannerisms to Gamora. (Zoe Saldana) The trouble here is that because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is trying ridiculously hard to replicate the success that the first one had, the jokes begin missing rather than landing.

And unfortunately the problems continued. It did not seem to know which direction it wanted to head for the narrative and was pulled in four or five different directions. Between the mashing of the multitude of stories in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 there was the clear theme of family, but I felt as though this was lost between the constant chopping and changing between the narrative.

Not to mention that some of the stories are more intriguing than the others, including the relationship that blossoms between Yondue and Peter throughout the + two hour runtime but also former antagonists joining the ranks of the Guardians made for an intriguing change of pace, but something that was quickly cast aside.

One of the biggest things that was going to be anticipated in this film was the soundtrack. After the roaring success of the previous one, this one had to live up to the expectation. And it did to a large degree, as it included some forgotten hits, including Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain, which was brilliant, but wasn’t as toe-tappingly infectious as the first soundtrack. Alas, this could be down to the huge expectation on its shoulders.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 quickly fell into that feel the first one had, as the actors are reprising their roles but as the emphasis seemed to be on the gags rather than the story. It was missing that chemistry I felt was present in the first instalment. I did welcome Kurt Russell’s Ego, though as he was the most charismatic of all during his screen time.

Although there was the ‘main’ overarching story that guided the film to it’s natural climax, I felt myself waiting for it to end. Alas, I felt largely underwhelmed when it came to the credits and post-credits stings laced throughout the names. I knew it would be difficult to live up to the expectation, as the first instalment was such a surprise, whereas this one had the buzz leading up to it’s release. If the film had garnered a relatively straightforward story without the intermittent blasts of other stories, it could’ve been a whole lot shorter, and probably a whole lot more enjoyable.

For me, it seemed as though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was trying to live up to the expectations that had been set by it’s cooler and better older brother. It worked largely as a film, but I could not help the underwhelming feeling I had. The action sequences were great and exciting, but laced with needless comedy. James Gunn seemed to have overindulged us with the comedy, which is just carrying on the now-unsurprising framework that has been set by the previous Marvel films.

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