Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★½

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2, has the biggest heart of any Marvel film to date. 

James Gunn and his team took what didn't work from the original and simply made it better. He fleshed out and humanized the secondary characters (Yondu and Nebula have more dimensions! Who knew?); gave Peter a juicy backstory (daddy issues, that ol' standby); kept the plot machinations linear and easier to digest; and strengthened the bond of the core group relying heavily on the themes of family. It took a half dozen movies for the Avengers to feel like they belong together, but for this motley crew, only two. 

The opening credits alone gave us a good idea of what we were in for: a blissfully unaware Baby Groot rockin' to some tunes as the gang take care of business. We've seen countless group fight sequences in countless action films, but James Gunn subverts this trope by giving us a fresh perspective. His unique staging is a joy to watch. The plot elements may be familiar but it all feels so new. Gunn has a remarkable eye for detail and I cannot wait to see what this guy can do outside of the MCU. 

This is the film to beat for summer of 2017. In the meantime, Vol 3 cannot come soon enough.

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