Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★½

I've been really mixed on this movie ever since it came out, but I feel like this past re watch has changed my outlook on it. For the most part I saw those people saying that this movie is better than the original, then other people say that this movie is no where near as good as the original. I sort of fall in this space where I don't exactly agree with either of these mentalities when it comes to this movie. It's not as good as the original in most regards, but it's also not that far behind it. It ultimately is just a fun sequel, that stands on it's own pretty well in the grand MCU storyline.

As I mentioned in my review of the first movie, I think Guardians of the Galaxy is my favorite MCU movie that I've revisited (or in general depending on what I think of the ones I have left). Instead of feeling like a generic superhero movie, it feels like a James Gunn movie. What a lot of these movies lack is a solid creative visionary behind them, which I think these two movies have excelled at. When I see a movie like Thor, the last thing I think of is, "wow this is definitely a movie directed by the famous Kenneth Branagh, director of hits such as Artemis Fowl (2020)". As someone that's a fan of James Gunn in general, I can say this feels more like a James Gunn film than an MCU film and that is really refreshing to see.

This movie does the very common sequel thing, where it's just more of the same thing you like. I think visually this movie has improved significantly. This might have some of the best CG and cinematography out of any Marvel movie, even including the newer films. Everything just has this certain color to it that makes it feel so vibrant and alive, while also just looking nice. There's a lot of scenes that have really good framing of shots that I found to be particularly striking for an MCU movie. It feels like more thought was put behind the technical aspects of this movie, which I appreciate.

One thing this movie does pretty well is with character developments. For the most part, everybody has their own character arc and are experiencing different things that change them as the movie progresses. It's pretty impressive to see a movie with this many character's to be able to juggle to hit so many emotional moments. Michael Rooker's arc actually makes me feel for the character, when I didn't in the previous movie. I love the dynamic of Rocket and Yondu just working together. It was a pair that in concept doesn't sound that interesting, but the execution in the movie was really effective and was able to flesh both of these characters out in a way that I wasn't expecting for a superhero movie.

Kurt Russell is one of my favorite actors in general and he's really fun in this movie. I think his inevitable turn was made pretty obvious right off the bat given that he's Ego the living planet, but I did enjoy the relationship he had with Peter during the movie. Compared to a lot of the other MCU villains Ego is alright, you at least are able to connect to him more because if your familiarity to Peter.

Overall this movie is really fun, I think it's one of the better MCU movies and I enjoyed this a lot more than I remembered. I love how these movies use the soundtrack and work it into the story specifically. It's not just a case of the movie puts popular songs in there just to have popular songs in the movie. The songs are part of this movie as much as the characters. I'm excited to see how these movies are going to change now that these characters are incorporated in Avengers. Outside of the main MCU canon, I think these two movies stand pretty well as a good double feature.

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