Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★½

After these last few days of missing out on it, after all these damn inconveniences, I finally watched it. The only catch is that it's a bootleg. It's not quite IMAX 3D but man, I'm desperate. So very desperate to see it and if watching a bootleg is the only way to see this movie, so be it. Maybe when the movie shows up on VUDU in a few months over the summer or when I can be able to get my hands on a better copy, it'll be a better experience than now, even if the quality of the bootleg is just okay. Enough with my personal troubles trying to see this movie, you want my thoughts on it. Here we go!

It's been a minute since Peter "Star-Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) & Groot (Vin Diesel) saved the galaxy. On their latest mission, they've been tasked to protect some powerful batteries for the Sovereign, a gold-plated, genetically superior race of beings and everything seemed like it was going to end smoothly for our heroes. The Sovereign even throws in a bonus: Gamora's embattled sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), who has a bounty on her head after going on the run after the first film's climax. However, when Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the leader of the Sovereign, talks down to Quill, Rocket gets an idea that felt smart to him at that moment: steal some of the batteries as payback for insulting Quill. That idea backfires spectacularly when the Sovereign unleashes a fleet of ships to attack the Guardians in retaliation. The Milano crash lands onto a remote planet that seems to be devoid of any life but the Guardians, Peter in particular, are in for a surprise when a pair of beings welcome them to the planet. These beings are Mantis (Pom Klementiff), a empathic being, and her master Ego (Kurt Russell), a celestial being that's also a living planet....and Peter's long-lost father. Meanwhile, Yondu (Michael Rooker) has some problems of his own. Some of the Ravagers have become none too pleased with their leader after what happened at the end of the first film so one of the Ravagers, Taserface (Chris Sullivan, fresh off his breakout role on the TV series "This Is Us"), begins a coup d'état and usurps Yondu as leader of the Ravagers. However, Yondu is able to get the upper hand on Taserface with the help of Rocket, Groot & Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and they proceed to catch up with the rest of the Guardians when Ego has a big secret that threatens not just Peter or the Guardians but the entire universe including Earth itself.

Even when the quality of the version I was watching online was not particularly impressive (still good but not impressive), I still had a great time watching it. The first movie was a tough act to follow so this one had a lot to live up to. Luckily, it accomplished that goal well. They even managed to fix Marvel's villain problem by having someone unexpected to be the bad guy. You would've thought that it was Taserface or Ayesha but compared to the true villain of the movie, they're just small potatoes. It may be the best character development twist since the reveal of Lotso's true nature in Toy Story 3. It also helps make the stakes of the climax much more personal which, in turn, makes it more exciting. While most of the cast did a fantastic job with their performances, it's Bautista, Klementiff & Rooker that end up stealing the show. Any moment where either of them are onscreen is their moment to shine, with each one giving their all and it's amazing.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has everything you could ask for in a great sequel: more action, more adventure, more laughs, more excitement, more heart. I'm not kidding about that last part, the climax is quite the emotional rollercoaster. Like I said before, when it comes to digital HD, I can be able to watch it in a better quality and you'll get a rewatch review out of me. The fact that I finally got a chance to see the movie at all after every speed bump that was thrown my way in the past 2 weeks is a miracle onto itself.

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