Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Movie Review
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an often funny, and mostly entertaining, sequel that ramps up both action and some unfortunate objectionable content.
This sequel starts with Peter Quill/Star-Lord and his team of misfits defending valuable batteries for a gold covered people called the Sovereign. The Guardians consist of Peter (Chris Pratt), the assassin-turned-good Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), the tree humanoid Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and the trigger-happy Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
When Rocket steals some of the precious batteries from the Sovereign after their job is complete, the Sovereign’s warriors chase after the Guardians to kill them for their crime. After crash landing their spaceship due to serious damage, the Guardians are approached by a man named Ego (Kurt Russell). Peter, Drax and Gamora decide to go with Ego to visit his planet and learn more about who Peter truly is. Meanwhile, the Ravager criminal Yondu, who abducted Peter from Earth as a child and reared him faces problems when his own ship has a mutiny he’s overthrown and imprisoned. (For more of the synopsis and spoilers, go to movieguide.org.)
The strengths in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are the characters' interactions, which are witty and quite hilarious in moments. Baby Groot and Drax steal the movie as the most likable characters. The other Guardians are well-rounded and emotionally motivated, though each character arc is worn on the sleeve a bit too much. Peter’s longing for a father, and Gamora’s reconciliation with her very troubled sister, Nebula, offer some surprising emotional moments to this fairly campy movie. It’s ultimately a more satisfying movie than the first because of the humor and improved characters.
That said, one major issue that diminishes the quality of the story is the lack of proper motivation for Ego, Peter’s father. Ego’s characteristics and maniacal plan seem at odds with each other and are never fully fleshed out. Also, the mythology surrounding Ego’s existence is quite convoluted and not well thought out. It’s a cosmic plot hole that many will likely overlook, however.
Thematically, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a mixed bag. The mythology of the world is strongly pagan, though it should be noted that when Ego is asked if he’s a god, he responds, "yes, but with a lower case ‘g.’" Sadly, with the inclusion of Doctor Strange, Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe has already committed to including pagan spiritism as part of the makeup of the universe they’re creating. Also, some of the protagonists, such as Rocket, the genetically-modified raccoon, still revel in lawlessness.
The movie’s not all bad, however. There are very strong Christian, biblical themes of redemption, sacrifice, family, the importance of being a good father, humility, and protecting the world. The movie also includes the “Hallelujah” lyrics in the George Harrison song, "My Sweet Lord", although other parts of that song refer to Krishna, the Hindu god.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 significantly increases the amount of foul language from the first movie, with multiple “s” and “b” words. There’s also too much violence, some of which is almost celebrated, along with too many sexual references to male anatomy. This makes Vol. 2 completely unacceptable for younger viewers, so extreme caution is advised.
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