Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★★

I've seen this film three times already and it gets better every time.  I think that I love it even more than the original, which is one of my favorite films.  James Gunn has done remarkable work with this sequel; it looks spectacular, has an Academy Award-caliber performance from Michael Rooker and a great ensemble cast, incentive action sequences, a great soundtrack (and original score--Tyler Bates should get more credit for his GOTG work) and an epic, emotional climax that puts other blockbusters to shame.  Gunn is operating at a different level than his contemporaries in the tentpole game.  GOTG2 feels like an intimate story that is set in the biggest, most psychelic environment imaginable.  Every character gets a satisfying arc.  Every setup is payed off beautifully.  The movie explores the (obvious) theme of fathers and their sons while also exploring people's constant battle with their ego, examining the delicate balance between empathy and identity.  What a great film!

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