Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★

It's no wonder that they're opening a Guardians of the Galaxy ride at California Adventure later this month. I could easily imagine watching this film on a screen strapped to my face, with a 360-degree view. The way the action sequences are directed is completely immersive; there are moments where my seat may as well have been moving. It's thrilling, and every color is so vibrant that the whole thing is a wild spectacle. While no other element is quite as strong, the visuals are commanding enough to make for a good time regardless.

Unlike in Vol I., this film doesn't waste its time with exposition. After a brief, lively flashback, we jump right into the action. The interactions between the characters are pretty funny, even if a lot of the 80s references go over my head. The climactic action actually is fairly emotional, which I didn't expect from this movie. While there is the expected drama of intergalactic strife, there's also some decent family drama that thankfully worked for me. The humor works even better, though a few recurring jokes just don't land (Drax bullying Mantis is vaguely funny the first time, but it quickly becomes uncomfortable). Despite these missteps, this is a really solid film to kick off the summer.

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