Review by: lou.
If you’ve perfected the art of surprise with a film that endearingly introduces unknown characters, then you’ve got to know that making a sequel that is just about on the same level as the original is going to be a tough act to follow. That doesn’t turn out to be that big of a problem however for James Gunn with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In this long-awaited follow-up, our heroes are faced with a greater threat – an alien race known as ‘The Sovereign’, and as they attempt to flee, they are helped by a man that claims to be Star-Lord’s long-lost father. Paternity and the central idea of family are themes that are hit on, and they are narrative aspects which allows to create a more intimate circle that lets us get in on the drama and the captivating spectacles that get bore from them. Our heroes are challenged here, but if you were to think that the film would get darker and less fun with it being a chunky sequel, then you must leave all of those expectations out of the door.
More of the same charm that we pleasurably sunk our teeth into its predecessor is delivered in a larger and prettier package, and the only feeling that you would get from that is pure satisfaction. Their appearance of a dysfunctional family is pretty much at bay, and character development is something essential that they bring along the way. Gunn really wants us to know more about these characters, and in an attempt to do that, he divides the Guardians, and leaves us with each of them to savor every single, delectably giddy moment that they create. Even the new additions are very much welcome – be it Kurt Russell’s conceited yet cool Ego or Pom Klementieff’s adorable Mantis, everyone is committed to bringing something weighty and explosive to this thrill ride. An almost equal amount of screen-time is allotted for each star, and this gives us the opportunity to see them step up with performances that are so clearly enthusiastic, that by simply looking at their faces, you already know what you are in for. This comes in early, as early as the knee-slapping opening credits arrive wherein Vin Diesel’s Baby Groot’s dancing steals the show with his adorable presence as immediately as the narrative requires him to.
Subtly, there’s a meaning to that which relates to the story being set to the sonic backdrop of Awesome Mix Vol. 2, and it tells more about these characters as they have grown up over the time. Groovy tunes and deeper cuts surround them, and in that, James Gunn pumps up the volume and lowers it all the way down all at the same time – marvelously so with intricacies sparkling on all sides. Though the music effectively accompanies the moving pictures that we see, it seems like something gets lost in the mix. With that occurring, what becomes evident then, is the film’s diminished sense of surprise and total astonishment even if the supposed simplicity of its narrative takes a few turns at being a bit complex for the human emotion to endure on some occasions. During the climax, you’d feel like it’s doing a bit too much, but it’s easy to just be cool with it seeing that its own filmic ailments gets cured by its own unceasing vigor that actually transforms its weaknesses into a strength.
Getting you cornered within an emotional breakdown and farewell that stems from what’s visceral and sincere, the very final minutes of Vol. 2 breathes as one of the most powerful and tear-jerking moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s where its beating heart is exposed for us to see and feel, and it leaves us where it brought us in the first place – its soul. Music merges with film so seamlessly, that it’s impossible to not get moved by it. Attaining the viewers’ satisfaction is a goal that it so eagerly wants to achieve, and because it does all of the right things, definitely, it wins our graces once again without fail whatsoever as the curtains close, and we sit and groove to its funked-out end credits. Marvel Studios has truly realized that they have found a national treasure in James Gunn, and both him and them really take advantage of that. He really rains down fun in tons and heaps, and it just never stops. The best part? it isn’t tiresome AT ALL.
Once you sit through one giggle-inducing sequence, you’d really thirst for more. And what does he deliver? Exactly just that. He’s pretty much honest when it comes to the story – it doesn’t really have that much depth to pack in, but you couldn’t get wrong with that either. Admittedly, it’s just here to give us a rollicking good time again since the speciality of its original isn’t so easy to be replicated. And so, it creates a new brand of awesomeness to slap onto our ecstatic faces. From all that, it’s not hard to see that Gunn wants to see us smile from time to time as we jump into this beautifully-colored cinematic galaxy, and for that, we are everything but ungrateful for letting him do his work with maximum effort, and heed our cries. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the candy-colored blockbuster sequel you’ve always wished for as it softens the heart and makes you laugh out loud from all of its stored energy that only goes all the way up. So, strap in, and see this in the biggest screen that you can, because this is a ride that you won’t get out of your mind any time soon. We’re absolutely ready for Vol. 3!
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in Philippine cinemas today! Distributed by Walt Disney Studios. See it in IMAX!