Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ★★★★

What an absolute blast. There's not an mcu movie like this. It has an emotional core and heart that I really wasn't expecting from it. It's character-driven, sad, funny and compelling. The team dynamic is doubled down on and more about both main and secondary characters is focused on. As someone who thinks the first one is good but nothing more than that I'm happily surprised.

The secondary ones are great. I liked them in the first one, loved them in this. Nebula and Gamora's sub-plot is one of the many things that makes this volume stand out. Even with it's 'world in trouble' standard plot, which on it's own wouldn't mean much but does just fine because it's not what you're focusing on. It actually takes the time to develop the characters, raise emotional stakes and have you care deeply. So much so I was growing nervous about any of them potentially dying. I used the word refreshing in my GOTG review. Vol. 2 is even more refreshing. I've teared up at maybe 3 moments in the entire MCU, 5 times during this.

The effects and score have also stepped up their game considerably. The soundtrack still is the stand out supplying a punch every time it's used but the music in general is so much better and noticeable.
There's less action but when it is there it's filmed nicely. Gunn still has framing issues but with the fighting not being one to one fist fights and instead group fights it's used to advantage to show off how visually fun it all is. There's a great opening sequence with the adorable baby Groot that makes use of this.

The humour is hit or miss. I'm not sure how much I like Gunn's writing. Some of the jokes were just not funny in the slightest.
I am not surprised some that loved the first film didn't like this as much. It's different but in my opinion a massive improvement and a great proof package of the fact blockbusters can still carry weight if they want to. The characters are just so bloody good. I'm dying for a third one.

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