Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Not long after stopping whoever it was in the last film (honestly, does anyone even remember that villain?), the Guardians are back to saving the galaxy all while Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) learns about his parentage.

Having seen one of their riskier projects turn out to be one of their bigger successes, Marvel has happily churned out a sequel to 'The Guardians of the Galaxy' and pretty much offered more of the same: a lacklustre plot with forgettable galaxy-saving predictability made watchable by the antics of the Guardians themselves.

There are probably many who feel that this isn't quite as good as the first one but that wasn't a problem I had considering I wasn't as fond of that film like so many others were (it was entertaining enough, but hardly anything spectacular). But I didn't see much in this beyond just being a couple of hours to keep you occupied in the most basic way.

Plot-wise, there is minimal to discuss in regards to the film. Despite it being 15 minutes longer than its predecessor, it feels like less actually happens as the crew mainly end up in two locations; a spaceship and the same CG planet. Any kind of plot or character development doesn't feel like the most developed thing. They feel more like a reluctant and forced attempt just to put something there but it's clearly not what the film wants to focus on. All this stuff about Peter's father, Gamora and Nebula's sisterhood, the bits with Yondu, and so on are all very clunky and underwhelming (some of the exposition is awkwardly shoved in your face) in their execution but don't go away and, instead, linger to consume a lot of the runtime. And I wish I could say the film was playing them so it could subvert them but that doesn't seem to be the case. It wastes precious minutes of your life seemingly playing a lot it quite straight.

As for the plot, it's just generic stuff happens until the big CGI-heavy climax that feels devoid of any stakes despite the supposedly universe-threatening villain (by far the most dangerous one in the MCU so far is barely a challenge, it seems, to a bunch of randomers). Little more to say about that.

Where the film is more comfortable, and this is like the last film, is with the humour and general silliness. While much of it may make the film appear a little full of itself and many of the jokes either get overplayed eventually (e.g Drax's comments on Mantis' attractiveness) or just feel too forced/attention-seeking (the Taserface stuff, which also gets overplayed), there's no denying there are plenty of chuckles to be had in the moment. Enough of which actually hold up on subsequent viewings (yes, I've seen this more than once). They may not be the kind of jokes and scenarios I'll leave the cinema buzzing about and going on for days after but they are fun while they last. That said, there were moments that were ripe for a joke or a humorous overdoing of a scenario that the film disappointingly doesn't take advantage of. Other times, it can get a bit annoying having a character laugh to remind you that it is meant to be a joke.

And that's about the gist of the film. It's an adequately entertaining couple of hours of no real weight or consequence. It's nothing to get buzzed about and the underwhelming plotting and characterisation makes much of the film feel needless but it's still an enjoyable watch. I didn't really think there was much more to it than that.

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