Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Film Review | 5*

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 review

After the smash hit success of the first Guardians of the Galaxy feature, Starlord and his merry band of misfits have reunited for volume 2 of this cosmic superhero story – and dare we say it? It was just as good, if not better, than the first!

With true directorial vision from James Gunn and a cinematic and storytelling style that makes it stand out a mile from the rest of the Marvel movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an absolute romper of a film, filled with a rainbow of colour, an incredibly detailed myriad of alien worlds and species, and enough action and comedy to leave you wanting more.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 review

Chris Pratt returns in the lead role of Peter Quill, aka Starlord, and completely pulls off the comedic blockbuster hero role that he has been building a reputation for over recent years.

Zoe Saldana is also strong as Gamora, although it feels like we don’t see quite as much of her as we did in the first – the bits we do get start to show a crack in her emotions and real tenderness towards Peter, as well as a great development of her relationship with sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Bradley Cooper is the voice of not-a-racoon, not-a-fox Rocket, Dave Bautista is given a much more comic role as beefy but not that bright Drax (which although wearing eventually, he pulls off with straight-faced brilliance), and Vin Diesel contributes as the now Baby Groot. Spoiler – Baby Groot is ridiculously, insanely cute, and might just be the star of the show.

There’s also strong support from Kurt Russell, who we meet for the first timeĀ in order to discover who Peter’s real father is – and why he’s a little bit special – and Michael Rooker as the baddy-turned-goody Yondu, captain of the Ravagers.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 review

The first of these films experienced such success because it was a superhero movie like we’ve never seen before – it was smart, but knew how to make fun of itself. It subverted emotion and action with comedy, and it had an absolutely banging retro soundtrack that set a fun and relaxed tone for the whole film. In this second instalment, all that is turned up to 11 – there’s more comedy, bigger action (although it all feels quite lighthearted), and all the groovy coolness we loved from the first one. Despite this ‘turning up’ of the stuff that makes it great, it’s done to the perfect degree, and just about all the comedy lands really well.

It really revels in the action scenes, too – each is approached differently to make it a real feature of the film and not just another fight, and the credit scenes at the beginning of the film in particular are done with a masterful touch.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers more than just fun though – there’s real heart in there too, some emotional scenes exploring Peter’s relationship with his parents, and just a great sense of camaraderie between the whole group, with everyone working together well considering the sizeable ensemble that the film has to juggle.

guardians of the galaxy vol 2 review

The cinematic beauty of the film is undeniable – intense colours shown through epic otherwordly landscapes and more alien races that you can shake a stick at all work to build a totally immersive intergalactic world.

Plot twists are there, although the biggest one feels like it could have been done better and more smoothly, and you do feel forced into shallow sympathy sometimes without the real emotion to back it up – but to be honest, you’re having so much fun that you’re not really looking too deeply into the nuances of the story.

Unsurprisingly then, it’s the whole 5 stars for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for the sheer joy it delivers throughout it’s whole 2 hours and 16 minutes. Fans won’t be disappointed.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is in cinemas now, so get yourself there! Here’s the trailer to get you even more excited.

(Images from here, here, here and here)

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Sophie Butcher

Writer, media graduate and marketing manager with a love for escapism through quality film and TV - and then writing about it. Blogging, always.