Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★½

I've noticed this with a lot of the better entries in the MCU, but they really nail the first and second acts, but the action in the last half tends to be overlong and lacking in real visceral impact.

The one difference is, like Black Panther, this absolutely lands the final post-action scenes. Gunn, more so than Whedon or the Russos, knows how to use an ensemble cast and interweave their arcs.

Nebula and Gamora get to explore sibling rivalry and abusive parents, but rather than being completely separate, they relate to Peter's central story - and the same goes for Rocket/Yondu. The only thing that feels disconnected really is Drax and Mantis - which veers into the mean-spirited rather than the heartfelt at times, even if both Klementieff and Bautista have impeccable comedic timing.

Even the use of music, which I really believed might have been contrived this time around, is always included in a natural way.

What doesn't work 100% of the time is the humour. About half of it is great, and half of the stuff that doesn't work so well still lands because of the delivery of the actors. Always found Sean Gunn's character (the live-action one) deeply irritating though.

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