A few years ago when the original Guardians of the Galaxy came out, I have to admit that from seeing the trailer, I didn’t think I would like it. (I know. Don’t judge me.)
But if I’ve learned anything in all my years of reviewing films, it’s that most times you can’t count on the trailer to give you a complete picture (pun intended) of the entire film.
It turns out that Guardians of the Galaxy became one of my very favorite Marvel films of all time. And while I still don’t think you can judge a film entirely by the trailer, based on my prior experiences, I’ve come to adopt a mantra: Trust Marvel.
So in the spirit of Trusting Marvel. (Maybe I should register that as a trademark?) I went into the pre-screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 with high expectations. And let me tell you: Marvel did not disappoint.
The story picks up with our heroes fighting some horribly hideous tentacled space beast in order to – what else? – save the universe. Of course they do this with pluck and style and ELO providing the background music.
In this beautifully made sequel, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) aka Star Lord finally meets his father, Ego – the perfectly coiffed Kurt Russell.
The Guardians: Star Lord, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and of course, the scene-stealing Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), run afoul of some space WEIRDOS led by the evil Gold Queen Person, actually it’s Elizabeth Debicki in amazing golden I-must-rule-the-universe-makeup Queen Ayesha. Evading the guys who want to kill them and foiling Ego’s plans for dominating the universe makes up the majority of the film adventures.
The Guardians (SPOILER!) save the universe one more time, with aid from some unanticipated allies in Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).
Of course, the first Guardians of the Galaxy had the 70’s inspired soundtrack that made the movie that much more fun. Well, they’ve done it again. I just want to state for the record that this is the BEST use of the Fleetwood Mac song, The Chain in cinematic history. That is all.
What works in this film (as well as the previous one) is the team. The Guardians of the Galaxy are such an interesting blend of characters that makes them deliciously watchable, including the attempt at a romantic relationship between the charming Peter and the cold-as-ice Gamora. Still, it’s all very sweet.
And while there’s lots of action-adventure in between the wise-cracking jokes and the phenomenal music, there are Moments. Some wonderful heart-wrenching moments.
And a beautiful twist towards the end with Peter, who is very conflicted with some serious father issues. I won’t spoil, but it’s so beautifully done, I may or may not have shed a tear or two. That said, keep your eye on the surprising Yondu (Michael Rooker) whose performance took my breath away.
My advice to you is to grab the popcorn and just “Trust Marvel.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 5th, 2017.