Many fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were happy to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it opened this week. Though I’m personally not as invested in this series, I still greatly enjoyed this movie when I went to see it with my son a few days ago as part of Ford’s promotion for their eco sports vehicle.
Those who’ve forgotten about how saccharine some seventies songs were will enjoy the film as a potent reminder. This movie works as a hybrid of zany, humorous B rated movies with high powered cinematic effects. Even those who don’t follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe can find something to love about this film. However, like some parents suggested it may not be appropriate for the younger lot.
The Themes and Story
Guardians of the Galaxy is a story about misfit anti-heroes, family and abandonment, strange names, weird costumes, and so much more, all set in a fantastical space opera world.
This second installation in the series features two plot points: a son looking for his father, and a rivalry between two sisters. Both plots echo other famous Disney movies, from Star Wars to Frozen.
The most interesting parts of the movie are the interactions between the characters and the hilarious, well-written dialogue. Apart from the occasional insults exchanged, the dialogue also makes hilarious references to TV Shows like Cheers and Bay Watch along with Disney staples like Mary Poppins.
Anyone who saw the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie will likely remember the clever use of 70s music that clashes with the action filled violent scenes. This second part of the series delivers even more on this great factor. Less than ten minutes into the movie, the audience can already tell when a battle is about to begin by listening to the music.
The movie is a self-parody of sorts and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is the main charm. The sharp contrast between the action and the violence with the soothing songs only adds to this charm. Funny, but not for the younger lot.
The movie boasts a great cast of interesting characters. The movie focuses on Peter, who deals with his biological father Ego as well as Gamora, the subject of his affections. The other great characters include Gamora’s sister Nebula, Yandu the space thief who raised Peter, and Drax, a fellow member of the Guardians who is a warrior who doesn’t understand metaphors. The movie also introduced Mantis, an alien pet to Ego with empathetic powers.
But the real show stealers are the nonhuman members of the Guardians. These include Rocket, an arrogant talking raccoon, and his friend Groot, a small sentient twig who packs a punch. These characters both provide the main comic relief of the movie, though all the characters are humorous. As a continuation of juxtaposition song with action, the audience gets introduced to Groot through ELO’s Mister Blue Sky in an explosive scene. He continues to charm with his unpredictability throughout the movie in scenes that I absolutely cannot spoil.
The Special Effects
Marvel fans love the movies for their special effects, bringing the comic books to life in a very real way. Action in these movies is always right around the corner with explosions, fireworks flashing and figures flying across the screen in rapid sequence. I’m sure it would look amazing on an IMAX screen, as my son and I saw the movie in 2D and were already blown away.
The movie features some amusing cameos, from Stallone to David Hasselhoff. Again, no spoilers, but the David Hasselhoff cameo is especially delightfully bizarre.
For What Ages
The movie features mature themes, jokes about private parts, and traded insults. However, even they joke about how their rating would go down if there were a romance between Peter and Gamora within the movie. A similar joke is made about how they can charge more now that they’ve saved the Galaxy twice. I’d recommend this as a fine movie for kids aged ten and up.
This movie makes several references to several icons of previous decades like Pac-Man, the Smurfs, Troll Dolls, and even a slight nod to ET. But the Walkman takes a life of its own, playing 70s songs and Peter is incredibly attached to it.Needless to mention, my son is actively looking to buy the overpriced Sony relic on eBay now.
Obviously, I cannot spoil much here. However, I will say the director certainly didn’t want the audience to leave without shedding a tear or two. In fact, the entire movie was sprinkled with genuinely touching scenes between the action and the humor. The ending tied everything up nicely.
A Final Tip
For newbies who have never seen a Marvel movie, make sure to stay until the end. Marvel movies always show a bit of info about the next movie in the franchise cleverly intertwined with the credits.
The movie contains some adult language that may not be appropriate for some kids to hear or repeat.
The flick has many noisy scenes with flickering lights, so clearly it is not recommended for those with extreme sensitivities.
Disclaimer: We took part in a special pre-screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 sponsored by Ford.All opinions are our own.