Marvel Studios continues to set the standard for comic book movies and films in general with each new release. It has been almost a decade since the MCU first crashed the party with Iron Man and the world hasn’t been the same since.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is a film that not only manages to be just as fun and smart as the original but it raises the bar in the process. This is a movie that needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible to soak in all the details. Let’s be clear, the Marvel cosmic universe isn’t an easy thing to process, but director James Gunn and the rest of the MCU manage to pull it off in a way that not only makes it accessible to everyone but allows them to introduce even the wildest characters.
Much of that has to do with Gunn’s ability to balance insanely fantastical elements with a solid emotional grounding. Yes, GotG Vol.2 is a space opera filled with talking trees and an entire race of gold aliens, but it is also about family. By keeping that core everything else gets cracked wide open.
Now far more comfortable in their roles the cast really gets to spread its wings. It is worth noting that although most of them are decked out in heavy makeup or, like Groot and Rocket, exist purely as CG characters they still bring a solid emotional punch to the film. Michael Rooker steals the show this time around though as the Ravager Yondu. Though he was great in the first one he wasn’t really given all that much screen time, that is a problem that has been fixed this time around.
There is so much going on in Guardians that at the times it can be hard to process. With the entire Marvel cosmos at this fingertips Gunn wisely splits up our heroes and sends them to the far corners of the galaxy giving him a much larger sandbox for him to play inside. The result is a movie that feels like a comic book and, considering the source material, that’s quite a compliment.
Before going anything further something needs to be said about the design and color of the film. GotG Vol.2 feels like the 1980 Flash Gordon film on acid. Gunn knows the universe is a weird place so he goes all in and pulls from the strangest corners of the Marvel universe. There is so much detail in every aspect of what gets put on a screen that this would a film that’s simply enjoyable to watch even without volume. Don’t misinterpret, there’s a lot of great dialogue in the movie, but it’s glorious from a purely visual perspective as well.
This summer is going to be filled with a lot of movies vying for your attention. The difference between most of those and GotG Vol.2 is that Guardians is going to be a cult favorite long after it leaves the theaters. See it as soon as you can.