You know how sometimes you can watch the sequel of a movie without having seen the original film? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is not one of those movies. If you haven’t watched the first one yet, I suggest you watch it, and then continue reading this review before watching the second movie in this MARVEL series.
For those of you who have seen Guardians of the Galaxy, which debuted in 2014, you will be pleased to know that the same familiar faces (super handsome, wicked ugly, and even furry) all return for the second chapter of this unusual group of galactic misfits who’ve banded together to, as the title suggests, guard the galaxy.
With a second “Awesome Mixtape” soundtrack, the guardians, led by Chris Pratt’s character Peter Quill, continue their adventures. Zoe Saldana’s character Gamora, reticent to acknowledge any hints of affection she may be developing for Peter, is still dealing with her little sister’s “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!” issues while Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, still has a chip on his shoulder as he tries to prove his superiority over Peter (in everything but looks, of course). Dave Bautista reprises his role as Drax, a shirtless giant who still finds others’ misfortune terribly funny. And then there’s Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, who steals the show with his adorable facial expressions and inability to comprehend simple directions. Like Peter, Baby Groot is all about the early ’80s music.
As the guardians are going about their business, Peter’s father, you know the guy he’s never met, finally presents himself. Is Ego, played by Kurt Russell, really who he says he is? If so, then where has he been all these years, and why has he finally decided to find his long-lost son? With years of built up mistrust, Peter questions Ego’s legitimacy as well as his motives, and as he searches for the truth, his friends are, of course, by his side, hopeful that Peter finally has the dad he’s always wanted.
The movie was entertaining for sure, but there were definitely some differences between the first movie and its sequel. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 I noticed that there was a lot more violence than I anticipated. None of it was gory really, but one scene almost reminded me of the last scene of The Godfather, where lots of people got what was coming to them.
The amp-ed up violence didn’t bother me, but some of the language caused me to bristle since I had my ten year old daughter with me. She absolutely loved the first movie, which was rated PG-13 “for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language.” My husband Mike and I didn’t question whether the sequel would be appropriate for her (our bad). If I had paid close attention, I would have noticed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was rated PG-13 “for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.” To recap, the first one’s rating included “some language” while the sequel contained “language”. A small, yet important distinction for sure!
At one point during the movie I cringed when a word that ends with -bag and starts with the fourth letter of the alphabet was used. I leaned over and whispered into my daughter’s ear, “That is a very bad word! Never say that!” In addition to the language, the “brief suggestive content” in the second film was a bit uncomfortable at times. Let’s just say the word “impregnate” was used, and as my daughter laughed, my husband and I looked at each other, as we simultaneously shook our heads.
If you’re the not the parent of a child under the age of 13, then by all means, go enjoy this film. You will find yourselves laughing throughout, and maybe even getting a tad bit emotional here and there. Overall, it was a fantastic movie, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that it might not be the best choice of movies for younger kids even if they’ve seen and loved the first movie. I’m pretty sure the majority of the things that were inappropriate for little ears went over my daughter’s head, but then there’s that small part of me that worries that they didn’t!
After the movie, my daughter said, “I loved it!” My husband Mike shared, “It was just as good as the first one, action packed yet silly, and I loved the soundtrack.” As for me, all I have left to say is, “I am Groot.”
Movie times: click here
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: James Gunn
Actors: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Kurt Russell
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content
Running Time: 2 hours 16 minutes