Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Trading Style for Heart

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Director – James Gunn

Writers – James Gunn

Starring – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

Rating – PG-13

Genre – Sci-fi

Metascore – 67/100

Rotten Tomatoes – 81%


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 secured it’s spot as my favorite Marvel movie after my first viewing and to be frank, not one movie in that universe has come close enough to knock it, although for a moment I thought Vol. 2 might just top it. Sequels are always hard to evaluate. Why was there a sequel? Was it necessary? Was it heavy-handed and forced? Unfortunately, most Marvel sequels don’t stand up to those questions (Thor: Dark World, Iron Man 2) but there are some that excel and improve upon the original (Captain America: Winter Soldier). After some evaluation, I believe that Guardians Vol. 2 excelled but did not eclipse the style and fresh structure of the original.


Guardians Vol. 1 was air-tight, spicy, and fresh. Vol. 2 carried aspects of Vol. 1 but traded the impeccable nature of those attributes for heart. It showed a side of humanity that most Marvel movies forfeit, particularly the idea of a diverse familial tribe. The first film in this series defined who the Guardians were, but the second cracked open the ideology of what a Guardian of the Galaxy is and who could emulate that role. This tribal idea of the family of the Guardians is at the core of Vol. 2, and it fleshes itself out by incorporating more characters into the story without making them feel like forced obligatory additions. James Gunn has always had a stylish and unique handle on the Marvel Universe, but he excelled in this volume in his writing. He was able spin and weave characters together in unforeseeable ways. The premiere example of this being Yondu. The depths in which we understand his character is rare in this universe, and beyond that he is considered a minor character in this universe. It does not stop there though. There are meaningful developments for all the major characters that feel genuine and natural.


What this volume lacked was the style of the former. The colors didn’t pop, the music was underplayed, and the quips did not sting like they did in the first. There is an argument to be had that Gunn reduced these flashy elements of Vol. 1 to elevate the characters in Vol. 2. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that a movie has to sacrifice style or composition for authentic character writing, and this is where the movie felt stale. The sets and costume design were modest in comparison to the first. I think that with more dedication to the exotic and funky nature of the former, along with a better color scheme, this sequel could have met or passed Vol. 1. Although it is worth mentioning that the style and design of Vol. 2, at its most modest, surpasses the majority of the competition in their respective genre.

I had low expectations for this sequel, but instead of taking the viewer to a new quadrant of the galaxy, it expertly opened up the depths of the characters without ceasing to be a superhero movie.

Author : Jesse Ingram

499 rating – 8.2 / 10

With the newest release of a Marvel movie I would like to update you guys on my top five Marvel movies!

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1
  2. Captain America: Winter Soldier
  3. Deadpool
  4. Logan
  5. Iron Man

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