It's basically more of the same
Wow, IMDB went right there with the reference to the mixtape. Right in the description. Anyway! Let's not beat around the bush on this one: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is more of the same. It is nearly a carbon copy of the original film. Now, is that a bad thing? No. To me that is not a bad thing. I have seen so many sequels try and reinvent the wheel on its second go and fall flat on its face in the process that I have no issue with a film taking an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," kind of mentality. THAT SAID. To all of you who groan about franchises like The Fast and the Furious being "more of the same" then turn around and love a film like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? You need to look yourself in the mirror and say, "When in Rome." Sorry, I lost my train of thought there....I have no idea what you should do. But the double standard is real! Is my point. Anyway, moving on. Let's talk about Guardians 2 and what it gets right!
Let's talk about the dialogue. Like the first Guardians film, Vol. 2 is all about the "moments" versus the overall plot. The overall plot here is fine, but it's these moments that we all look back on and smile upon. Besides for the obvious one-Baby Groot-I think Rocket once again steals the show. Bradley Cooper just plays this character so freaking well. Pratt and Saldana are great together, and there's some good interludes between Dave Bautista and newcomer Pom Klementieff as well. And once again Elizabeth Debicki is a GREAT villain. I seriously love this woman...she can pull off a CRAZY villain character. If you have no idea who she is check out The Man from U.N.C.L.E. As if I don't talk about that film enough. Also, the effects are great! Mostly. There were a few times where the CGI was overwhelming, like, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kind of overwhelming, but for the most part they were great. Especially on Ego's planet! That place is freaking beautiful and that's thanks 100% to the effects. Also the soundtrack is good. It's more of the same from the first film, but at least it was more than surface-level deep. There was just more marketing around it (heck it made it into the freaking IMDB description) so it didn't feel as authentic necessarily.
So! Let's talk about the negatives of this film. You may have noticed I didn't touch on Kurt Russell to this point. Well, that's because I didn't think he was all that good. Look, things start well enough with him, but as the film progresses and he's asked to be more than just charming and charismatic, he really falters. And what happens to him in the final act? Please. Terrible casting choice. Almost as bad as asking us to believe a 61 year-old Ian McDiarmid could take on four Jedi, including Samuel L. Jackson, in Revenge of the Sith, no problem. Then there's the pacing. Holy CRAP is the pacing in this film TERRIBLE. Like, seriously! Nobody else has any problems with the pacing? This film DRAGS its way to the third act with some absolutely meaningless setup. I found myself just straight-up impatient and wanting this film to just get on with it! It comes in at 136 minutes, but it could've EASILY shaved off 30 minutes off its run-time. The pacing is really a product of another big problem with this film-the overall story is really not all that compelling. Like the original, this film is all about the moments (which are great) and in the process of this the overarching story suffers. Oh! Andy FOR THE LOVE OF GOD can we PLEASE get other Marvel characters to acknowledge this crap? I mean, I know they're going to in Infinity War, but there were what? Five post-credit scenes here and not one of them was like Iron Man or someone, ANYONE, from the Avengers investigating the damage the Guardians did! C'mon! Five post credit scenes and literally none of them added anything to the film. I don't even remember them at this point, and I just saw the film a few days ago!
Ok I'm sorry. You probably think I hated the film. I really didn't! It's fine and it's fun, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just hate how a film like this gets a free pass for its missteps. We groan about unnecessary sequels and reboots, but we flock to every Marvel film in existence and think they're the best things ever, even when they do the exact things we always groan about. But all of this does not take away from the fact that this is a FUN movie. It is the definition of a mindless popcorn flick, and that's exactly what a summer blockbuster is supposed to be. But it doesn't change the fact that it is more of the same.
The Critique: While the dialogue is witty and the cast is charismatic, Guardians 2 is simply more of the same. Combined with a lackluster story, mediocre pacing, and a less-than-stellar casting choice with Kurt Russell, this sequel fails to live up to the charming originality of its predecessor.
The Recommendation: We all know you're going to see it, so why bother?
Rewatchability: Moderately High
The Verdict: 6/10 Above Average