Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is a worthy followup to the movie which redefined success. In fact, the first James Gunn directed entry was far from a sure thing. It featured an unknown superhero team that wasn’t The Avengers, with a cast of actors that seemed to be thrown together ad-hoc. Guardians 1 was a roaring success and nobody seemed to hate it.
Enter Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2. James Gunn’s second directorial effort for the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes up for a lack of direction with character development. For the first hour so, the audience is going through the motions just like our Guardians: not really sure what is going or where we’ll end up. Nevertheless, a flurry of jokes and good natured banter make up for what would otherwise be a boring trip through space.
The strength of Guardians 2 is in the character development. Whether it’s the heroes or the villains, everyone gets their time in the spotlight. Insecurities about trust, ego and trauma are explored in meaningful ways. Even if you hated someone going into the movie, you understand who they are by the end.
The team is stronger for it. And even though Guardians 2 isn’t the obvious home run like it’s predecessor, I would say it’s a more thoughtful film that stands tall because of its characters.