Movies, Books & Disney+

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. has been releasing in markets around the world for a week before my preview on Tuesday night before the U.S. release, with friends of ours from Europe already having seen it. So my expectations were set pretty high from their glowing thoughts on the movie. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same feelings they did after the screening.

The opening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. begins with a young Kurt Russell (Ego), looking as he did maybe 30 years ago when I watched him in first-run films like Overboard and Back Draft. Yet his voice seemed not to have been changed from the more gruffer one that he has currently.

My favorite scene in the film comes early, just after that opening. I remember thinking as Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel, though there wasn’t much he needed to say) danced his way through the chaos that was hitting the screen during the ELO song “Mr. Blue Sky”, that this particular segment would be worth the price of admission alone. And even though I didn’t love the movie, it would be worth having the Blu-ray just for it. Baby Groot is adorable, and this scene just was a lot of fun for me. That kept my expectations up, until the movie then began in earnest.

Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) wants to find his father – and that sets up a pretty predictable storyline that didn’t really offer many surprises through the whole film. Rounding out the other members of the returning cast include Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, and Michael Rooker as Yondu. New to the film is a more intriguing character, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who can not only read people’s emotions, but change them. The scenes she was in tended to be the more amusing for me – although by the end, Drax’s comments to her got a little repetitive. And for someone who said she wasn’t good with social interaction, I thought she was ahead of some of the other characters in that department. I hope to see much more from her character in future movies.

I don’t want to give details that give the plot away. I’ve already written some of what I did like about the movie – but overall I found the film bloated and kind of boring. I laughed very little during scenes that much of the audience found funny, including at below-the-belt comments (there are many of them). The humor in the film is often juvenile, ranging from – literally below a man’s belt – and poop and puke and anything that was just thrown in for laughs. It just felt like director James Gunn was throwing everything in but the kitchen sink, including just enough to keep the PG-13 rating.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 also has a high body count as far as violence, though it isn’t graphic. But I will never listen to “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans the same way again.

So while my favorite scene was early on with Baby Groot, my second favorite was the ending. I didn’t really feel a lot of true emotion between the characters throughout the movie, but the last moments of the film between the characters was touching for me.

Sylvester Stallone (Stakar Ogord) and David Hasselhoff are both in the movie, I felt both were unnecessary (though the Hasselhoff cameo did bring about a lot of laughs).

The soundtrack is decent, though I don’t think quite as strong as the original film.

I don’t recommend Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. for young kids.

Mousesteps grade: C- (But Baby Groot as a character gets an A)