Review: Hilarious “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Kick-starts Summer Blockbuster Season

Providing audiences with an unconventionally fun and humorous story that differs from traditional superhero movies, Disney and Marvel join forces to bring the beloved team of ragtag galactic saviors back to the big screen in  “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.”

The underdog outcasts have not graced audiences with their bizarre hilarity since 2014 and fans were unquestionably getting antsy anticipating their return. While at times the sequel’s engaging plotline feels slightly clouded by the film’s explosive blockbuster quality, fans will likely agree that the sequel is as hilarious as the original.

All is going smoothly when Star Lord (Chris Pratt)  and his fellow guardians are tasked with protecting a massive battery on a Sovereign planet. Things go sour relatively quickly following the guardians departure from the planet as they narrowly escape death after a stranger, whose identity is later revealed as Star Lord’s long lost father Ego (Kurt Russell), saves them from an ambush.

Director James Gunn reveals the shocking origin of Ego, Star Lord’s father, a story fans have been anticipating since the first film. Most of the movie’s plot revolves around Star Lord tracing back his story line and piecing together exactly where he came from. Star Lord is finally able to meet his father and while at first he meets and even supercedes all of Star Lord’s expectations, Ego is not exactly who he seems to be. As the main addition to the cast, Russell’s comedically selfish persona blends in smoothly with the other actors.

Staying true to the character’s original personalities displayed in the comics, the entire gang returns for the sequel and their iconic personalities avoid being engulfed by over-the-top graphics. In addition to the classic quartet of Star Lord/Peter Quill, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Drax (Dave Bautista), Gunn also reintroduces some secondary characters from the first film—such as Nebula (Karen Gillan), Kraglin (Sean Gunn)  and Yondu  (Michael Rooker)— and an abundance of new characters from the comic books.

While there’s a myriad of things in the film that audiences could mark as their favorite component, it’s safe to say the majority of audience discussion will be centered around the undeniably adorable presence of baby Groot. The simplistic yet caring tree in the first movie successfully captured viewers’ hearts and manages to steal the show in the sequel, especially when working alongside his best friend Rocket.  

Captivating photo of fan favorite guardian Baby Groot

At the end of the first film, Groot sacrificed himself for the lives of his fellow guardians, but Rocket salvages a root to replant, so his friend can begin his life cycle over again and thus we are blessed with the adorable baby Groot in “Volume 2”. The only lines uttered in both films by Groot is simply: “I am Groot.” Despite only have one line repeated over and over again, Vin Diesel says each line with the appropriate emotion and delivery.

While Baby Groot may be the biggest audience highlight, the captivating soundtrack will be a close second. People were enchanted by the first movie’s  “Awesome Mix-Tape #1,” which was the first film soundtrack absent of original music to gain the top spot on Billboard’s Top 200. The sequel had only one choice when it came to compiling “Awesome Mix-Tape #2,” to make the music equally as iconic and joy-inducing as the first.

The brilliant soundtrack features a grab-bag of recognizable feel good tunes and serves as an enhancing accompaniment to nearly every segment of the film. Songs like “Surrender” by Cheap Trick flood over the action, and others like “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” performed by Looking Glass serve as a comedic timer.

The use of post-credit teasers has evolved into a normality for Marvel to foreshadow what is to come in upcoming films and Guardians takes it wonderfully, like nearly every aspect of their film, to an extreme.

After “Guardians of the Galaxy will return,” flashes on screen promising fans another installment of the franchise, five additional scenes scattered during and after the credits proceed. The scenes range from foreshadowing the introduction of Adam Warlock, a key character in the comics, to a scene with a moody adolescent Groot. Any moviegoers who loved the music and the hilarious cast of the first or second film will definitely want to stay tuned—they’re worth the wait.

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