Mid-Week Mela: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review has been edited by Suraj Zala.
Writer-director James Gunn has once again identified what clicks with the comic-book movie audience. He found ways to recreate those emotions and beats, with slight variations, and made this sequel. He knew that one truism in comic-book-movie-making is that its giant superhero team-ups are almost always sure-fire hits. It is tough being a moviemaker who is weighed down by corporate expectations, but for a while, Gunn does a pretty good job. He does not try to top the first movie as such; he attempts to augment it with character development, and he succeeds.
The movie starts off with the Guardians helping the Golden Sovereigns in exchange for a blue one. But then Rocket does something, well, rocket-y, and they all get into trouble. The pilots of the Sovereign army are not strapped in their cockpits in the heat of battle. Instead, they were controlling them remotely from a multi-tiered video-game arcade. Saved by an unknown one-inch man, they crash and find out that it was Peter’s dad who helped them; he then invites them to spend some time with him. Accepting the invitation, Peter, along with Gamora and Drax, travels to a paradise filled with beautiful vistas and architecture. And this is just the beginning.
I thought GOTG Vol. 1 was colourful and grand in scope, a Marvel property that was refreshingly new. GOTG Vol. 2 steps it up a notch. The humour is great. Some jokes left me in a fit of laughter. But there are times when you feel that they are trying too hard. Like dick jokes, winking gags, Drax saying “We aren’t friends, we’re family” (Vin Diesel much?). It is almost enough to make one not want to forgive the movie’s cumbersome midsection and all its familial melodramas. The plot’s lightness, however, allows for greater emphasis on the ensemble, which is its very best component. The few major expository pieces of dialogue come from Ego. He delivers it all with charm and grace. He is, unsurprisingly, as charismatic and vulnerable as they are.
A very popular opinion on the internet when it comes to superhero movies is, “Prequels rock. Sequels ruin everything.”
Be it Iron Man, Thor or Avengers, Marvel’s sequels have always struggled to capture the magic of their predecessor. But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was nothing less than a wrecking ball of emotions made of kittens, caked in rainbows, glitter, and bubble mixture. It is about family and getting along with people, realising we are not so different after all. It is a simple theme, but it is meaningful. The characters are deep and human.
The one thing I loved the most about the entire film was the character development. In Vol. 1, I never would have thought that Gamora would be the type to dance. Or that Drax would lovingly hug Groot, or even pet Rocket. Even Nebula is not wasted, which was wonderful to see. The sequel explores the plethora of human emotions such as jealousy, rage, bereavement, sadness, betrayal, love and much more. Exploring and feeling those emotions was maybe the toughest thing the Guardians could ever face. The director has captured several emotional moments as well.
And that brings me to a question I often ask myself about a given movie. What makes it worth watching? Do I look at its box-office collections? Do I look at the emotional connections it builds with me? While I’m not sure about an absolute answer, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 does both and balances them well. It is certainly worth a watch for me.
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