Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★

The summer movie season kicks into high gear with the newest Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The first film was a hilarious and thoroughly entertaining blockbuster, and the sequel is no different.

Director James Gunn has successfully brought the odd group of galactic heroes back to the big screen with even more laughs. The colorful cast of characters includes many stand out performances, the funniest of which is the tiny talking tree Groot. Chris Pratt is as charismatic and funny as ever as the hero Starlord, who learns more about his past from his long lost father (played by the great Kurt Russell).

The cinematography far exceeds many comic book movies today, utilizing a bright and diverse color palette. The visual effects are great all around, and the action scenes are top notch. The vintage soundtrack is a mix of classic 70's tunes that perfectly accompany each scene.

Writer-director James Gunn chose to focus more on character development over plot here, and it has a very satisfying emotional payoff. The script is full of self-referential humor and clever gags that had me laughing out loud, though not all the jokes hit.

Vol. 2 has a few subplots that aren’t as interesting. One storyline involving a fleet of aliens in pursuit of the heroes is somewhat uninteresting and only necessary to push the plot along. Also, one returning villain from the first film detracts from the very interesting main story on a few occasions.

Gunn succeeded in crafting a highly enjoyable follow up and in some ways a better film than the 2014 original. With great characters and lots of laughs, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues to prove why this series is one of the most unique and entertaining franchises of the decade.

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