Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Screen 7 articles

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Poster
  • The songs in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are just zombie footsoldiers—they’re let loose, blind and stumbling, one after another. Freed from their original contexts and given flimsy new ones, if any, they toil in the service of a movie that’s invested in little beyond smirking at its own jokes. These songs, good and bad, are prisoners of their own self-proclaimed awesome mix. If they were genuinely awesome, we’d know it without being told.

  • I’m no big fan of the first Guardians of the Galaxy. . . . I could see, though, why audiences went for its array of impudent cosmic graffiti and offhand gimmicks. . . . It had the virtue of being frivolous in an increasingly self-serious universe of comic-book movies and had the piquancy of a slate of novelty acts. Unfortunately, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 illustrates the futility of visiting novelty acts a second time and hoping for the same zing.

  • It has all the digital bells and whistles as well as much of the likable, self-aware waggery of the first. In many respects, it’s not much different except it all feels a bit strained, as if everyone were trying too hard, especially its writer-director, James Gunn.

  • It’s hard to resist a film so full of fun lines, [and] witty mix-tape soundtrack selections. . . . However, some running jokes are running down, the held-over character interplay is on a repeat cycle (Peter likens his relationship with Gamora to Sam and Diane from Cheers) and the smallness of the story – it’s all about petty gripes, projected as a threat to the whole galaxy – hampers the unironic aspiration to infinite wonder, which powers the cosmic reaches of the Marvel universe.

  • To some degree, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a more offbeat film than the original, with better gags, better (and more cartoonish) action, and more visual variety. But like its predecessor, it is hamstrung by the fact that it exists in part to smirk at its own corniness and space opera trappings. “You suck, Zylak”—a line that’s earns a good laugh in context—sums it up. Vol. 2can only be as irreverent as it is broadly and shamelessly derivative.

  • This is the first instance of a Marvel sequel bettering what came before simply by escalating the scale of its action. Like a live version of one of the classic rock tunes that fill the soundtrack, the film rarely deviates from what came before, and in some cases might even be a bit sloppier, but it offers enough added volume and energy to improve on the original.

  • The filmmakers indulge in a bit of sentimentality here, playing up Quill's longing to know his parentage and Ego's desire to connect with his offspring. I didn't mind the sentimentality, however, as there aren't too many films concerned with god-to-mortal interaction outside of a mythological context (Christophe Honoré's Metamorphoses being a notable exception). In fact I appreciated the emotion, which stands in contrast to the effects-driven spectacle that defines so much else in the film.

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