THE MOVIE THEATER — If you are like me, you’ve been waiting for the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" since about 1 minute after the closing credits in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" back in 2014.
Back then, none of us had ever seen a Marvel Studios superhero film quite like "Guardians of the Galaxy." It can be argued the novelty of the film completely worked when it was released. So this time around without the element of surprise, Marvel Studios had to find a way to not only build on their previous success but to top our expectations from the last installment.
You may be wondering, “So how did it do?” Let me enumerate the movie's pros and cons for you in a convenient list:
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has arguably the best opening scene of any superhero movie ever, and possibly, most films in general. From the very beginning, this film sucks you completely into its universe without hesitation. During the film's first scene, we are reintroduced to all of the characters and their unique personalities and abilities while the scene is also set for the comedic tones and action for the rest of the film.
Beyond that, these first few minutes contain key plot points that set the entire story in motion. I particularly like the idea that the first scene is integral to the story and not just a cheap trick to keep your eyes on the screen while the opening credits run.
As we came to expect in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy," there is a chemistry between the characters that is incredibly easy and undeniably funny to watch. "Guardians 2" picks up the chemistry between characters where the last one left off and builds on its previous success perfectly. Chris Pratt’s comedic timing is precise and all the other characters naturally fall into orbit around him. Not only do we get all of our favorites back, we are introduced to a few more that we love and ultimately hate to leave.
A lot of credit goes to the writers of this film for recognizing what worked in the first film and giving us more of it in the second film. Character development in this film is great and the dialogue was sharp for most of the movie. There are some slips in spots, but you never feel let down or wanting something more from this script.
The biggest flaw I can point to is the pacing of the story about midway through the film. The flow of the story gets slowed down in parts for reasons that don’t seem necessary. I get that they are trying to explain a lot of information about new characters and their reasons for existence, but I think it could have been done in fewer steps.
I can’t even really complain about the CGI, it was nearly flawless in its execution, but it also wasn’t anything new. I may sound like a spoiled child, but if a studio is going to put that much time and money into something they should take advantage of their opportunity.
Disney could have tried to push the medium forward in some small way, if for no other reason than to benefit themselves down the road. I guess it falls onto James Cameron again to push CGI to the next level if Disney won’t do it.
If by more cowbell I mean Pratt, then yes, it could have used more cowbell. While Dave Bautista stole the show in some spots and Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon killed it with his voiceover, Pratt was truly the heart of the film. There were times when I felt like “Everything is good and all, but where is Chris? I miss Chris.” All in all, a small complaint, but you feel the absence of his presence at different points in the film.
I think it is safe to say that after the theatrical release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" this Friday, the summer blockbuster movie season will be officially underway, and I can’t think of a better way to get it going.