Prime Reactions Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (No Spoilers)

Perhaps more than other sequels I’ve seen, this one really felt like it built upon and expanded on it’s predecessor. I know many sequels are supposed to and sometimes successfully do this, but I actually felt the need to point it out this time. The first one didn’t have a ton of character moments. It focused on interactions, comedy, and action. In this one, the character moments were the highlights among comedy and action. It’s difficult to flesh out a big (and apparently expanding) cast, but I never felt like the screentime was unfairly divided (though Drax could’ve done more action-wise). It is perhaps a shame that for most of the movie, half of them are in one place while the other half is elsewhere when family’s a huge theme, but I’ll allow it if it’s not a regular thing. There’s a lot of good that comes from where Rocket and Groot end up, but I like seeing the Guardians as a unit, perhaps more than the Avengers.

I think this lacks being a cohesive movie, but contains great standalone tv episodes. I’m not sure how to feel about the first half/third. I was never bored, but I was waiting for it to start picking up. For a lot of it I was wondering what the endgame was. There wasn’t really an established threat early on that you knew had to be resolved. You could argue the Sovereign (gold people) were but they were joke villains from the start. The final third/half was the best. I’m not talking about the action climax because it was mostly “same old, same old” minus a sky portal. It’s more when things resolve and themes come together, the heart and soul of the movie reveals itself.

Some of the humor’s a bit lowbrow. Not as bad as the live-action Transformers movies and while these jokes aren’t completely out of place, I think this movie could’ve done without it. There’s otherwise a lot of good humor and references here. I don’t know if they went overboard, but there’s a few misses along with hits.

It has the usual plot problems and things that don’t make sense. These unfortunately have to be ignored if you’re critical. Remember in the trailer where Rocket’s trying to instruct the super marketable Groot not to push the button that will kill everybody? Very funny, but why is that button even there? Granted, it was a makeshift bomb, but there’s no reason to have left such a huge risk there. Also, the villain says this huge reveal towards the end and well, that’s no way to convince someone to do what you want… idiot. Great response from Star-Lord though.

The villain isn’t quite as standard as Ronan or his ilk, but I still didn’t quite care about this character as a villain. Mostly because the motivations and plan didn’t make sense. The actor and acting were fine as were some of the scenes with Star-Lord. I won’t lie though. The explanations didn’t keep my attention. I don’t get how this character came to the conclusion of… was it destroying planets/everything? Was that the plan? It’s old hat and existed to facilitate an action climax. Just had to give you more of the same despite all the good in this movie.

I liked the song selection in the first one more for sure but that’s personal preference. I’m more concerned with our physical Awesome Mix Vol. 1 containing songs from the in-movie Awesome Mix Vol. 2 while the physical Awesome Mix Vol. 2 is technically incomplete/inaccurate. Either way I’m glad the current generation gets to experience songs like these.

Ultimate Reflections:
Are you still watching that obsolete Guardians of the Galaxy? What’s wrong with you? Go experience Vol. 2. It was a lot of fun and the character moments elevate the quality of the Guardians franchise. While I don’t know if this was better than the first, if you liked the first one you should like this one. Even if you’ve never seen a Marvel Studios movie, this is a good intro to the universe. You can argue it’s standard Marvel Studios, but it still works. I like the characters. The visuals and themes are great. Lots of emotion as well. They have another hit with this one. Your move, WB. Not one of those objectively good movies, but I got what I expected as a fan of the first one.


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