The eagerly awaited sequel to Marvel’s more humorous side. After the unexpected cult success of the first film how does Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 stand up to audiences’ expectations?
The soundtrack as expected is amazing, being released a week prior to the UK premier audiences had plenty of time to acquaint themselves to the quirky and offbeat 70’s soundtrack. The inclusion of lesser known songs alongside powerhouse classics such as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ and ELO’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’ create a dynamic soundtrack that fit the mood of the film. George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ and the prominently featured Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It Home To Me’ add emotional depth to the slower and more emotive scenes. However sometimes the inclusion of the soundtrack as a prominent feature can seem forced and over emphasized, this is unlike the previous film which incorporated the soundtrack organically and in a way that created a dynamic connection between the songs and the story.
The humour was another largely praised point of the first film, the inclusion of classic 70’s comic humour to the film stops it being too serious whilst making it more appealing for older viewers. Due to the fantastic casting choices that reappear in the sequel this of course was not a worry for audiences. Dave Bautista brings his excellent comic timing and absurd lack of nuanced understanding of human emotion back in a larger role. Another character given more screen time is Groot as an adorable toddler in the form of a fully CGI anthropomorphised tree. Without giving away spoilers, Groot becomes more integral to the plot throughout the film, using humour created by his inability to follow simple instructions. Audiences should watch out for amazing cameos from celebrities and of course Stan Lee. Yet again, however like the soundtrack sometimes it felt like the film was trying too hard to make the audience laugh instead of letting the excellent script and comic timing of its cast do the work.
Due to the first films success and now cult following Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 did have a larger budget than its predecessor, which allows more fantastic CGI work and visual effects. These are especially apparent on the planet Ego, which is almost completely reliant on CGI to create a fantastical otherworldly experience for the audience. The larger budget (especially in in action and fantasy films) allows the production team to rely on the special FX rather than plot or an excellent script. This is not done in Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2 as the script revisits important emotional points from the first film such as the death of Quill’s mother and the familial bond between Gamora and Nebula.
The film works excellently and its cult following will endure to a third film which is made very apparent in the post credit sequences. In relation to the other Marvel films due to be released this year it will work very well with the 70’s comic style now being explored in Thor: Ragnarok and is a great stepping stone to next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Audiences should definitely stay for the entire credit sequence as director James Gunn teats audiences to not one or two after the credits scenes but five that show after film development of characters and hint to the future of the franchise.