Nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
AMC Triple Feature Marathon
“You’re right. We’re not friends, we’re family.”
Such a visual step up and one of the best looking and brightest comic book films ever made. Also one of the most emotional and heartfelt. Tyler Bates’ music which I forgot to mention in my review of the first film is so powerful in both films. I’m hoping John Murphy can be a worthy replacement because he has such big shoes to fill with this franchise. Bates’ theme for the Guardians and his Dad track here fucking break me. I also love how Gunn sort of uses this film as a vehicle for his buddy Michael Rooker to give one of the best performances of his career. Real shame we don’t let that guy be in more stuff.
The films themes of abuse are what put it above the first for me. They were present in the first but Gunn really put those subjects at the forefront here. All these characters have experienced and suffered abuse in one form or another. Gunn shows how the effects of abuse never truly go away and that pain just festers and makes us in turn mistreat other people in our lives. Gamora and Nebula’s mutual abuse makes them resent each other, Quill’s and Rocket’s turned them into emotional walls afraid of connecting with people. I love watching these characters growing and becoming better with each other. After almost ten years knowing these characters I’m expecting Vol. 3 to be a whirlwind of emotions for me, especially knowing it delves even deeper into Rocket, probably the character I most relate to. I just don’t know if I’m ready for the devastation of saying goodbye to them.