I’m not going to lie. I didn’t start to like this movie until I was well over an hour in.
It’s probably subjective, but in my opinion, the long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy sequel started out…well, rough. I talked to my sister a lot during that movie, and I think the word “sucktastic” might have been uttered. Aside from the normal hurdles of sequel-tude (the disconnected plot, the forced fanservice, the overwhelming feeling of “why are we here?”), GOTG2 really didn’t seem to know who its audience was, especially concerning its brand of humor. There were the kind of toilet jokes you see in daytime cartoons, alongside these overt sexual references (and every unfunny thing said by Drax). Maybe they didn’t want to alienate any of the age groups in their audience, but it kind of backfired.
Despite how little I cared for the beginning, this movie really hit its stride in the second half. If I watched it again (I probably will), I’d consider starting from the halfway point and watching from there, because (and I’m not exaggerating) it got extremely good, extremely fast. The plot twists pretty much owned me. The characters always kept me engaged. There were times when I thought I wouldn’t be able to suspend my disbelief, but every time, it ended up working.
There were many parts of this second movie that reminded me why I liked the first; the killer soundtrack, the diversity of the character design. GOTG2’s universe is always a fun one to live in for a couple of hours. (The concept of remotely operated ships controlled like an arcade game? Perfect combo of scifi and nostalgia) Also, like the Beauty and the Beast remake I just posted about, this sequel also managed to develop its side characters rather well. I’m talking about two specific characters here: Nebula and Yondu. Nebula was featured in the first movie, but never got much of a chance to shine until the sequel. It gave me a better understanding of her motivations, as well as of her relationship with her sister, and on top of that, she gained the audience’s sympathy. Similarly, Yondu, who had a small role in GOTG, is presented as more of a father figure to Quill in this movie. In an effort to keep this review spoiler free (not that it matters so far after its release), all I’ll say is that this choice literally reduced me to tears by the end of the movie. You win this round, Marvel.