Back in 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy was released to theaters and was a box office mega-hit. The film was generally loved by critics and especially audiences and helped cement Marvel’s movie Empire by expanding its reach into space.
Back then, I wanted very badly to catch the film in theaters but was unable to, finally picking up the BluRay when it was released and finding… I didn’t like the film. (You can read my full review of Guardians of the Galaxy here).
In fact, re-reading the review of the original Guardians of the Galaxy I posted, if anything I was being a little too nice in describing my feelings about it. I hated the film. I hated having wasted my (and my wife’s) time watching this juvenile, silly, and incredibly un-original work.
So little did I think of the film, Dr. Strange, and Captain America: Civil War (three Marvel films which I saw in close temporal proximity) that my feelings about Marvel films took a serious nose-dive. Where once I looked forward to catching the latest Marvel films, I found myself avoiding them. To the point where I have yet to see most of the Marvel films released since this period of time such as Ant-Man and the Wasp, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the last two Avenger films (I have digital copies of both and intend to catch them, though!).
The other day Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, yet another of the Marvel films I was avoiding, aired on TV and I caught the first few minutes of it.
Mind you, I’m still smarting from how little I liked the original film and had no intention of seeing the sequel. Especially when I recalled upon its release GOTG Vol. 2 found more than a few of the fans of the original feeling it wasn’t as good as the first one.
If I hated the first one and fans of that film didn’t like the second quite as much, what were the odds I’d like it?!
Funny thing happened on the way to my ignoring GOTG Vol. 2. I caught the first few minutes, as I said, on TV and… I kinda liked what I saw. It was silly but pleasantly so.
Alas, I didn’t have the time to watch the whole thing in one sitting so I set the DVR and let it record the movie. I finally caught the whole thing a couple of days ago aaaaaannnnnndddddd….
I liked it!
Understand: The film isn’t “perfect” and there are some rather clunky elements in it, but overall GOTG Vol. 2 carries a more original plot than the Star Wars retread of the first film (which was a large part of the reason I didn’t like that film) with more emotional payoffs. The silly humor is still there but toned down from the overbearing nature I felt was in the first film, and the characters feel like they’re more of a part of a team and care for each other.
The plot -for those one or two people not me who haven’t seen the film- goes like this: The Guardians are contracted to protect power cells from an incoming monster. They complete their mission but Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) betrays their employers by stealing a handful of the power cells.
The Guardians are pursued and their ship crippled as they escape the wrath of their employers and crash land on a planet. It is there Peter Quill/Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) long lost father Ego (Kurt Russell) appears and reveals he has been looking for his son for years.
With their ship nearly destroyed, Rocket is left with the young Groot and their prisoner Nebula (Karen Gillian) alone to fix the ship while Quill, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Drax (Dave Bautista) fly off with Ego and his companion Mantis (Pom Klementieff) to his planet while those pursuing the Guardians approach…
Shakespeare it ain’t, but then again, other than Shakespeare, what is?
The film moves along at a brisk pace and while at times very silly, plot-wise, I found the characters this time around more intriguing and the story better presented than the Star Wars retread of the first film.
So, yeah, I liked the damn thing even as I hated the first and, you know what?
That’s the way it goes.