Capsule Summary (spoiler free):
I am Groot. I am Groot I am Groot! I am Groot, I am Groot. I am groot; I am Groot? I AM GROOOOOOOOT!
OK but seriously, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol, 2 is the sequel to the 2014 film that went before it. It lives up to the original, sustaining the action, with more of an emphasis on comedy. The film slightly drags in the middle, but ends satisfyingly.
Recommended, and there are extra scenes during and after the credits, so be sure to stay if you want to see them all.
Standard Review (contains plot spoilers):
The film starts with the Guardians defending a planet from an interdimensional being. Their reward for their job is literally Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s (Zoe Sandana)’s “sister”, who will fetch a huge bounty when they bring her in. Their departure is hampered, and the planet’s leader, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), sends their forces to recapture the Guardian’s ship. All seems lost, but they are rescued, in a fashion, by Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt’s) father. There is some credence to this claim.
Meanwhile, Ayesha wants the Guardian’s heads. She travels to find Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his team of Ravagers, and hires him to return them. The Ravagers aren’t too pleased with how things have turned out, and agree to assist Yondu, for the time being.
Peter, Gamora, and Drax (Dave Bautista) travel to Ego’s home world, and everyone but Peter is uneasy. They aren’t convinced Ego is completely honest with them, and ask why he’s come for Peter, now? There is more to the story then he’s lead them to believe.
This is a proper sequel to the original. It definitely focuses more on the humor in their interactions, but it also plays to your emotions. Peter never knew his father, and struggles to believe. The theme of family is strong in this film, and pulls at your heartstrings. Music was an important component in the original movie, and that continues here, but its use is not as impactful.
There are two issues I have with the movie. It has a runtime of 2 hours, 12 minutes, so it certainly takes its time to build to the finale. The story does slow down a few times, in some ham-handed ways, but they definitely do not ruin the film. The other issue I have with the film more relates to how many of the better moments are teased/spoiled by the trailer. I really wish they hadn’t used so many moments from the movie in it. There’s always that balance of what to tease in the trailer versus what to omit, but unfortunately they should have omitted more of the scenes from the trailer than they did. The trailer doesn’t ruin the film, either, but they could have used fewer crucial moments.
As I indicated in the capsule summary, there are several teaser moments during the credits, as well as one after the credits are complete. There are two minor elements that directly hint to movies that will be released within the year.