“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is another wisecracking hit for Disney and Marvel

Marvel is a machine. Partnered up with Disney, the company has made their Cinematic Universe the biggest franchise attraction in the land. Not only is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) the peak of connectivity among properties, but they’re always turning out quality products in the process. This week, the MCU offers up a sequel to what was once their riskiest project in Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, we have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hitting theaters, assured of being a smash hit. I saw the film last week and can attest to that. It likely will shatter the first one’s box office haul. Marvel has done it again folks.

The movie takes place after the events of the prior film. Here, we encounter the Guardians, made up of Peter Quill / Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voice of Vin Diesel), still in his Baby Groot form. After angering a race with their less than by the book ways, the group runs into Ego (Kurt Russell), who saves them and then drops a bombshell. Ego is Peter’s father. Some of the group goes with Ego to his planet, while others run into Yondu (Michael Rooker), still displeased from his last encounter. Without saying what happens next, let’s just say that the galaxy is threatened while Peter learns a lot about parentage. James Gunn again writes and directs, with the supporting cast here including Elizabeth Debicki, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Pom Klementieff, Sylvester Stallone, Chris Sullivan, and more.

This is a fun flick. It doesn’t have as much of the surprise joy as the last one, but that kind of comes along with the territory. The cast really builds on their strong chemistry from the last time out. This MCU tale actually even has an interesting villain, though they’re still among the weaker aspects. Basically, you’re watching this film in order to laugh at the heroes’ antics and to get an adventure movie fix in. Those seeking that will be more than satisfied. You just can’t quite expect the freshness again. This has become a full on franchise, as opposed to a hard right turn that could have been a one off experiment. It won’t affect your enjoyment, but it’s no longer the new kid on the block.

Awards wise, we’re looking at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 only really competing in a small number of technical categories. Look for it to potentially seek out love in Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Last time around, Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated in Best Makeup & Hairstyling as well as in Best Visual Effects, losing both. As such, both Makeup & Hairstyling as well as Visual Effects seem like potential plays. We shall see though. A lot can happen. Hell, even other Marvel outings can wind up slipping in and trumping this one.

Overall, this weekend offers up something very fun in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, no doubt about that. The MCU has another success story to trot out for audiences. On Friday, theaters will pack with comic book fans and just plain Marvel lovers alike. As things move closer and closer to the Infinity War that will unite all of the characters, this series maintains a quality potentially better than any other in the MCU. These second tier heroes are now as beloved as Iron Man or any of the Avengers. Who would have believe that, just a few years ago? If you dug the first one, you’re in for a treat with this new one. Enjoy…

Be sure to check out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in theaters everywhere tomorrow!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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