Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a fun romp back into the Marvel universe of what is one of the more successful, box office-wise, comic book movies. All the Guardians from Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to Groot (Vin Diesel) to Rocket (Bradley Cooper) to Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) are all back for Vol. 2. Even Gamora's sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan) is in the movie. Like Vol. 1, this Guardians is a blend of humor, action, and emotions with an 80's and 90's soundtrack. It also marks something that no member of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has really ever done. I liked Vol. 2. It's worth the price and 3-D works for this movie too. Is it the best in the MCU? No. It has some moments of just pointless humor and a couple of the characters need some depth and are more two-dimensional than usual. Hey, it's a comic book movie and it does just exactly what it is supposed to do. A clash between good and evil with a moral theme of what makes a family drives the movie. It is all about, ehem, overcoming Ego.
So to discuss this movie further, I must do more detail. If you haven't seen it and don't want any spoilers, stop now.
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No member of the MCU movies has killed off a popular character permanently. Admittedly, shows like Agents of Shield have killed off a few of the good guys but the major and popular characters, no. With the death of Yondu (Michael Rooker) in Vol. 2, the MCU has taken a risk and also moved the franchise forward. Killing off Yondu allows the theme of what makes a family focus. Yondu became a popular character and making him into Peter Quill's real parent built a strong case for our strange band of heroes as a family in a way that the Avengers never could. The death of Yondu is a risk that could pay dividends for the franchise in the future.
Guardians is in a tough position among its Marvel siblings. While the mainstays rely on the famous heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, the Avengers, and X-Men, Guardians is something of the "red-headed stepchild" of the MCU. Not only was the first movie not expected to do as well as it did, it was also given a near-impossible task of setting up Thanos and the Infinity War which for you non-nerds is kind of a big deal. So the surprise hit became a franchise. People were captured by its charm, humor and moving characters that include a raccoon and a walking tree that can express itself in just three words better than Kristen Stewart ever has in any or the Twilight movies.
The premise of Vol. 2 is multi-level. The main level is Peter Quill or Star-Lord finally meets the father that sent Yondu to collect. Quill's father is a celestial being, or basically a planet, that took human form. His name is Ego (Kurt Russel). In the comic book world, especially in the Guardian's universe, characters often live up to their names. Ego lives up to his name. So the Guardians must literally overcome Ego. Get it? It is what makes them become family.
The other level is the Sovereigns who are a golden, genetically engineered race that see themselves as superior. Like Ego, they live up to their names. Rocket, the raccoon, steals from them. Ironically, it is this theft that gives the Guardians what they need to face Ego and also the defeat of the Sovereigns brings us mention in the ending scenes of their intention to create a new being that they will call Adam. This is most likely a reference to Adam Warlock who was an essential character in the Infinity War comics. Like Vision of the Avengers, Adam Warlock is also one of the beings that can control an infinity stone. It is unclear if Adam will be used in the MCU version of the Infinity War, but it is also worth noting that Adam Warlock in the comics is also a Guardian. The movies have something of a record of making enemies into friends - dare I say family - and heroes. They really are the Guardians of the Galaxy.
I will buy the Blu-Ray.