I’m on and off of Marvel’s hype train pretty frequently. One minute they’re producing thought-provoking and thrilling content like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (still my favorite Marvel movie), then other times they’re producing un-interesting and only mildly enjoyable action set pieces like “Thor: The Dark World”. Sometimes it’s just garbage… “Iron Man 2”, anyone?
But 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a fun and refreshing new take on the well-loved superhero genre. While it suffered a bit from an inconsequential villain, its rag-tag group of lovable if slightly insane heroes more than made up for any ineptitude and delivered a rollicking good time at the movies. For these reasons, I was stoked about the follow-up and I have to say it mostly lived up.
This time around Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his merry band of misfits Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and a now pint-sized Groot (Vin Diesel) are cocky about their world saving abilities and searching for meaning in their galaxy. They’ve been acting as hired hands to protect valuable objects, but when this goes awry as it must, they escape to a planet where nothing is quite as it seems.
I just have to say that Baby Groot is everything. Other than every excellent frame that includes him, the movie was pretty good. It definitely got better as it got into its groove, and while the jokes are more laugh out loud funny, I’m not sure if it’s as outright enjoyable as the first. Understandably, it’s hard to recreate the freshness of the original. Something so unique is hard to duplicate, but the filmmakers worked hard here to make sure that what we loved about the first one still worked, even if it just couldn’t be quite as creative.
I like that the villain here had a bit more connection to the characters this time around, but in the end he still was mostly just a “I want to rule the world” type of guy – the Marvel standard baddie. The final battle had just a little too much going on to be hugely thrilling, but it was entertaining. There was a lot more emotional connection and themes of family and trust that tied everything together, and I found those very intriguing. I quite liked this overall, so the Guardians can continue to save the Galaxy as they please.