Marvel somehow struck gold with the original Guardians of the Galaxy, beloved weird outlier for a Marvel movie adored by just about everyone except that one buddy of mine who normally loves MCU stuff but refuses to see these movies because he’s a fan of the original team line-up and not the newer team that appears in these movies.
Well, I’m not him, and I did see the second movie. How was it?
Actually, a lot of fun.
Following another flashback to Earth, we cut to the present as the Guardians are taking on a giant space beastie of some kind for the Sovereign, a race of overly proud, gold-skinned people. Then, of course, they do something that gets the people they just helped mad at them and we’re off to the races with the plot as the Guardians try to avoid the Sovereign while also looking into the mystery of Peter Quill’s father, a man who just miraculously showed up to reclaim his son. He says his name is Ego. He’s basically Kurt Russell.
Good casting there.
What follows may be one of the better movies from the MCU. The villain, once revealed, is a lot more personable and three-dimensional than most MCU villains that aren’t Loki, and the Guardians themselves all get some level of character development. Arguably the only character who doesn’t grow much as a character is Groot, but he’s basically a toddler for this movie and seems to be more of a comic relief character than anything else. But along the way to a final fight with a big bad, we get character development and familial relationships explored between not just the Guardians themselves, but also with Yondu and Nebula. With new character Mantis being paired off with the still socially oblivious Drax, Peter Quill meeting his dad and trying to get somewhere with Gamora, and Rocket being Rocket, the movie promises and delivers a good time for all.
James Gunn has done something rare: he managed a good MCU sequel without completely upending the style and tone of the original like Captain America: Winter Soldier did. Nine and a half original Guardians cameos out of ten.