So here we are, in the second act of the Guardians of the Galaxy saga. And the question will always be, IS noTHIS AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE? The answer to that in short is, “That depends”. Mostly on what you expected out of this. Oh, Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED GOTG 2. So why am I saying “that depends”? Let me elaborate.
There is a tendency with the sequels to go ” bigger and better”. And there is always this attempt to OUTSHINE it’s predecessor, and that usually means “BIGGER AND BETTER EXPLOSIONS AND SPECTACLES. And GoTG 2 has got them in boatloads! The jokes are great, delivery is fabulous and skits work fantastically well! Everything you found funny about these people first time is still here!GoTG 2 is also filled with the hi jinks of the wacky crew and the irrelevant fun that made GoTG what it was. But if this is the only thing you wanted in GoTG 2, you might very well be disappointed. Because here, James Gunn takes the opportunity to work on what makes each of these characters work his priority.
This movie happens just 3 months after GoTG, and that already makes it a separate entity from the current MCU. But it is clear that James Gunn is making an entire trilogy that is pretty much a stand alone in MCU. The movie takes time to work on each characters so that they become more than “the funny crazy raccoon”, “The hot chick”, “the Tony Stark/Han solo combo”. We have already fallen in love with the characters in the first movie and gunn could have just gone with that only. But here, Gunn works takes a more risky approach to show us that there is more to these characters than just these labels, there is a depth to them. And, he makes us care for them as actual beings, not just whacky characters.
Which results in one of the more character oriented movies that we have seen in Comics Book Movies genre. What is especially good though, is that it does it for almost all characters.Unlike Iron man and Strange movies, where the development and story revolves around a single person, every character gets their story told. Which leads to a problem though. There is just not enough time for it. James Gunn has previously lamented that he had to introduce all characters in matter of minutes in GoTG. And in GoTG 2, he makes up for it.
Some moments of the movie reminded me of the breakfast club. (, Of course not comparing that to this movie, The breakfast club is on a level if its own) but still…
Unfortunately, the narrative ends up as a choppy collection of stories in the first third of the movie instead of the smooth flow that we loved in first movie. At least two times, I felt that a dialogue or two were cut and that clearly hindered the flow. ( QUITE LIKELY it might be the Indian censor board, who sucks at times, might just be an adult joke that was to much for them) There are also conversations that could have been shorter. I get the idea that James Gunn would have liked a extremely high budget 6 episode mini series , but that is not happening. 🙁
The reason I didn’t mind it very much is this. The movie is clearly written as second act of the GoTG saga, and really works that way. I always see people complain that Marvel is handing out fun movies with no Flesh, GoTG 2 certainly is not that. And once GoTG 3 lands ( which i expect to be as separate as the others from core MCU, and might even occur BEFORE infinity war, despite a later release) this is gonna make a MUCH more coherent, smoother and complete story. And this makes a good second act of the saga, setting up the third well.
Don’t worry though, movie makes better hold in second third of the movie. And unlike most marvel movies, brings it home with a BRILLIANT final third. Seriously, I wish i could just rewind the movie so I could watch the third act again and again. it is JUST GLORIOUS. It just makes the slightly choppy first act SO WORTH IT!
Individually speaking, This is, at core, Starlord’s movie. And Chris Pratt is effortlessly good in his role. I liked that Gamora got more to do and this time we DO see that she is NOT someone to mess with, and I love that. Gunn has promised even bigger things for her in GoTG 3, and I cannot wait for that! Without spoiling much, all characters get their dues, but Yondu and Rocket are my stand out in the others. Of course, Baby Groot is JUST LOVELY and ADORABLE! And while Drax doesn’t get as much development, ( he is what he is) Gunn saved his best comedy work for Drax, and Bautista did a great job! Curt Russel did a good job as Ego, but maybe he didn’t need to speak so much , lol! Debicki looks impressive as Ayesha! Ravagers provide some really cool bits as support characters! They could have done better with Mantis though. Well, next time!
The movie rocks action wise. The special effects are great. I absolutely adore the ways first scene was handled! THE best opening to a marvel movie IMO. One battle in middle with Rocket is just AWESOME! and of course the final one! The use of colors is JUST PHENOMENAL. Gunn has set down and decided color pallets for each scenes, and it shows. What he has generated here is ART. Even when some scenes might be too talkative and boring for you, the back drop is just glorious and you can just get lost inside that. Also, GoTG 2’s end should please those who hated GoTG’s end!
GoTG has a much more folksy sound track, and it really works with the character driven narrative it has.However, the sound track is not gonna haunt you like GoTG one did. And there are no absolute stand outs like ” Hooked on a feeling “. Mind you, “The chain” comes close.
GoTG has a win on its cards though that few Marvel movies can boast about. The weak villain problem doesn’t plague GoTG 2. And the showdown between them is epic too!
GoTG 2 is clearly setting up GoTG 3 and the next trilogy much more than MCU. And it mostly works well. There are a few characters who appear in the movie 2-3 times and you get the sense that the movie didn’t really need them beyond setting up the GoTG 3 and 4. The movie has lots and lots of easter eggs and guest characters, and they work really well! ALL 5 post credit scenes are EXCELLENT!
CONCLUSION : Does GoTG 2 work?
For me , DEFINITELY. Despite the slightly choppy first act and some long expositions, the movie is incredibly fun. The vibrant wold it resides in is still something relly special. I see many complain that it lacks the freshness of first movie, I don’t really agree. GoTG created a subgenre of it’s own and unless GoTG 2 throws that away, it has very little chance of being “fresh” in that way.
GoTG retains the irrelevant and whacky fun of it’s predecessor and still manages to give us really fleshed out characters. It also backs itself up with good villains and great third act. It does outshine it’s predecessor in pure cinematic beauty. A more powerful mix tape and smoother flow in first act was definitely needed though. James Gunn tries to do a bit too much and it affects the movie a bit. Still, points for doing such a good job on so many characters. I personally like this one more than first as a movie. Though first definitely was more fun, and smoother.
For and incredibly fun ride that lets us find the depths of our beloved characters, with a really good take on villain and a great final act GoTG is certainly a MUST WATCH. It’s choppiness of first act though, takes my ratings of the movie down to 8.9/10
EDIT : LOVED THE MOVIE EVEN MORE ON THE SECOND WATCH, PRETYY SURE INDIAN CENSOR BOARD FRELLED WITH THE MOVIE.
New ratings : 9.4/10