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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

April 29th, 2017 by Marc Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Directed by: James Gunn
Starrings: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker and Kurt Russell
Running time: 2hrs 16mins

Man, I feel so conflicted about this one…

See, I’m a big fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy and, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I’ll be a fan of this one too after a few screenings; I mean, I am already but while it’s a lot of fun, it brings little to the table that is the bigger picture of the MCU.

So, with the movie itself we join the team pretty much where we left them after the first movie, still making their money doing odd jobs around the galaxy, surviving and living a life of rougish excitement. When we meet them they have been hired to protect a bunch of massive batteries from an interdimensional monster – the one from all the trailers – and the adventure starts from there (we must say that the opening scene is a thing of genuine beauty, fun, innocence and excitement and was a joy to behold).

From here the movie sees Peter Quill (Pratt) meet someone he’s been looking for his whole life (we’re trying to stay spoiler free here), Ego, played by the always awesome Kurt Russell, who challenges his ideas of life, love and family.

While this is happening to Quill, Drax (Bautista) and Gamorra (Saldana) the rest of the team are away on another adventure entirely before the gang all inevitably meet up again just in time for the smash! Bang! Wallop! finale.

And, aside from some awesome fight scenes and a lot of funny gags and visuals, that is essentially the movie in a nutshell… it’s about Peter finding who he really is and what his place is in the universe.

And this is one of the movie’s biggest flaws; you see, the first movie introduced a new, massive part of the MCU – it had aliens, spaceships, infinity stones (again), Thanos (finally) and was building new parts of the universe at every turn. It made us realise that the Marvel story spreads far beyond earth and Asgaard – it spanned at far as the imagination could take us.

But this one doesn’t really bring anything to the overall story. Sure, it has Ego – and he is Kurt Russell AND something much, much bigger, but aside from that, it brings us nothing new; almost every Marvel movie so far has felt like it added something to the MCU but this one really doesn’t. It shares the honour of sitting alongside Iron Man 2 because it could be completely skipped without anything really being left out of the big picture… and given that it features a living planet, that’s really saying something.

But that’s not to say it’s a bad movie, it’s certainly not. It’s got great characters and a lot of fun moments and Gunn once again proves that he can really do the big action scenes and the small personal ones too, however it really tries to be The Empire Strikes Back with the gang split up for most of the movie and Peter even facing a very similar proposition to Luke Skywalker; it has death and it has thrills and it tries to go darker than the first movie but sadly it all falls a little flat in the emotional stakes.

And it’s hard to say why. We care for the characters and we see the impact of the big scenes but sadly it never quite gives us the emotional resonance of Empire or even the first Guardians – which is a shame because ultimately it all feels pretty hollow.

And yes, Baby Groot is adorable and yes, he does own every scene he’s in.

So overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is a funny, exciting and really enjoyable night at the cinema if that’s all you want but sadly it brings nothing new from the first movie and falls a little flat emotionally. And the Awesome Mix is nowhere near as toetappingly superb as the first one. Just saying.

But hey, Baby Groot, am I right?

3 out of 5 Nerds

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….