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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

There were no Pina Coladas.

There I was, having just had a very “meh” week, pumped and ready to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, hoping it would bring me some much-needed laughter and Chris Pratt with his shirt off (best 7 seconds of the movie).

But, alas, I came out angry and feeling more “meh” than when I went in. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I trusted you and you failed me. I don’t even have a slammin’ new playlist!
I wanted pina coladas in the rain, not vodka sodas in a restaurant.
Gersh Kuntzman gives a perfect description of what the Guardians gang should be. “Guardians of the Galaxy is the cool kid in a leather jacket cutting class at Marvel’s boring old Academy for Deathly Dull Superheroes”

But after seeing Vol 2, Guardians of the Galaxy has now become the really straight-laced smart kid, with no personality, sitting in the front, studying hard. It’s lost all its fire and its groove. There is no cool leather jacket.

Alfred Hitchcock once said the three most important things to making any great movie are “the script, the script and the script” and this is where the film falls short. The first Guardians surprised everyone with humour that no other Marvel film had achieved. It had wit. It had golden one liners. It was clever. It was bloody funny. The problem with this one is its lack of originality. Yes, I know you can’t have it the same way when it’s a sequel but poo and wee jokes? Really? James Gunn, really? Everything is forced and overdone, relying on cheap laughs. Baby Groot (AKA the new Jar Jar Binks), doesn’t help this either. Now you would think if you had Chris Pratt, you would actually USE CHRIS PRATT! He is naturally a funny guy, but has nothing to work with in this film. Drax is the only comic relief – most of the time not relieving it by much. The sizzle and spark between Gamora and Quill has clearly burned out, with their conversations sounding like a teenage girl wrote them talking of their “Unspoken thing”. The script lacks the “show, don’t tell” rule. Everything they are feeling, thinking or doing is clearly telegraphed and makes no one care.

All jokes aside (literally) it takes a more serious approach, delving into backstories and the inner workings and dynamic of the team. I’m all for character development, but does it have to be so painfully cheesy and sentimentally boring? Which leads to the second big problem – the haphazard plot doesn’t drive the movie. Now, I see why the movie struggled to get going…it’s like making a sequel to The Breakfast Club. Once you have the misfit scoundrels coming together in unusual circumstances to become a team, it’s hard to keep the ball rolling in the right direction. From the outset, we know it’s centred around Peter Quill’s biological father (good work spoiling that in the trailer) as we meet him (Kurt Russell) on a date with Peter’s Mum in the opening scenes. We zoom in on a critical plot point of the movie, the mysterious looking flower. But first, straight into a CGI fight scene battling a giant space squid. We then meet golden babe Ayesha, who is kind of the baddie, kind of not, kind of just pissed off through the whole movie because of some stolen batteries. If it seems really weird and sort of pointless, it’s because it is. She doesn’t so much add to the plot as lurk in her golden spaceship trying to kill everyone. Then we get the completely irrelevant subplot of the Ravagers, with “Taser Face” being the most overdone joke of the movie. The mutiny of Yondu results in all the crew we never met (and thus never really cared about) being killed and then Taser Face himself dying, leaving everyone wondering if they can find their way back to the original plot.

After saving the Guardians from the grip of pissed-off golden chick, Quill finally meets his father, ‘Ego’, a demigod. Yep. Random. We see his planet which is his DNA (weird) and meet franchise newbie Mantis, an annoying alien who feels other people’s emotions. Fast forward through unnecessary sentimental dribble like father and son throwing an energy ball (what the hell?) only to learn that Ego is actual a bit of a dick (shocker) and plans to pull a genesis. He will use his mysterious flower (his DNA) and his son’s newly found power to spread his DNA all over the galaxy. Sound familiar? *Cough “Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son” Cough*.

But instead of explaining why he needed Quill or why he’s doing anything, cue massive CGI space battle to stop the baddie. While visually the special effects are amazing, people need to learn that CGI is not and never will be more important than good dialogue and an exciting plot. For me, there are too many sentimental inner monologue moments in this film. For example:Gamora and Quille’s (sadly) super boring budding romance, father/son dynamics x 2 (Quille and Ego and Quille and Yondu), the short lived bromance of ‘good bad’ guys Yondu and Rocket, new possible romance between Mantis and Drax, Drax and his daughter, Quille and Rocket falling out and then coming together, Gamora and her sister Nebula’s super interesting but poorly explored past, their chaotic relationship with their dad Thanos and Quille’s struggle between being a demigod and a human which is only touched on in the last 10 minutes of the film. TOO MUCH.

It pains me to say it (you have no idea how much) that the Guardians gang have all sadly become Footloose pre- Kevin Bacon.

It seemed no one likes Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain anymore.

Marvel, please don’t go breaking my heart again.

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