Marvel is back with its 15th movie in the Cinematic Universe. But can this sequel live up to the probably best installment in the series?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Guardians of the Galaxy are at it again, guarding the galaxy and stuff. Back with an awesome new soundtrack full of cheesy and fun 80s music, a slightly smaller talking tree, and an emotional journey across the universe. After a job gone wrong, a crashed ship, and an old enemy in custody, their lives take a surprising turn as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord is finally reunited with his long lost past. Ego, a celestial being of immense power and father to the ragged space mercenary, resurfaces. But not everything is as it seems when Star-Lord’s heritage is revealed. All the while, the Guardians are hunted throughout the galaxy and can only rely on the family they themselves became, to survive.

When asked what my favourite Marvel movie is, there are always two possible answers. There’s the movie that did so much for the overarching narrative, and proved that these movies are far more than just mindless superhero action, but a legitimate powerhouse of intriguing and meaningful stories in this almost over saturated genre. That film would be Captain America: The Winter Soldier. An excellent spy drama with immensely surprising twists and turns at every corner. And then there’s the far more simple question: Which one was the most fun? Guardians of the Galaxy. Truly, to watch the far more story and drama heavy Winter Soldier one has to be in the right mood. The movie is demanding attention and the dedication to be present for the whole thing because you’d surely miss something if you were to doze off in the middle of it. Guardians is just fun. Not that it fails to provide an engaging story or misses the array of intriguing characters, it’s just easier to digest than a convoluted tale about spies and secret organisations.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 executed every aspect of its identity to near perfection. Providing characters with immense depth while keeping them whacky, having great action sequences while never losing its sense of humor, and ultimately planting themselves as the first proper stepping stone from which the whole MCU’s Infinity Stone plot can leap into the universe, something that Thor: The Dark World utterly failed at. Vol. 2 though takes a step back from this big story line and offers a much more condensed and personal tale, for better and for worse. The movie makes space for some of the most heartwarming moments in the entire series, fleshing out side characters from the previous installment and delves deep into the past of the Guardians on emotional levels rarely seen in superhero movies. But in doing so, it loses part of the stupidly ridiculous fun that made this team of ragtag „A-Holes“ so brilliant. While no attempt at a humorous line falls inherently flat, many feel forced into the middle of emotional scenes while those emotions are packed into fun action sequences that really didn’t need them.
The entire plot is engaging and offers many unexpected moments from start to finish, some will break your heart, some let you burst into childish laughter. Ultimately though, the film lays heavy. While it doesn’t have too much of everything, the distribution is a problem as it tried to be everything at once at every moment. And that’s just not what Guardians of the Galaxy is, at least that’s not what everyone expected.

Kurt Russel is pretty cool though as Star-Lord’s father Ego and guest appearances by Sylvester Stallone and David Hasselhoff (I kid you not!) were quite amazing. So yeah, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still manages, despite all its shortcomings, to rank among the Top 5 within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Let’s see how Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok do later this year.

Beitragsbild: Kevin Wendlandt
Bilder: Marvel Studios