a spoiler-free review by the Azure-Winged Magpie (and the Crow)!
So… I done stayed up all night writing this review. And WHY WOULDN’T I?! IT’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2! WOOO!
(◔◡◔✿) look at me rappin!
Just to clear things up… I’m DAYS late with this one. I stole one of the Crow’s early-bird review magic passes and completely messed things up with this one. So…
(◕︿◕✿) sorry people…
But that dopey old Crow got dragged to the theatre (of his own free will — totally! I swear!) so we can at least bring you this review just past release day! And that only means one thing…
[Note: the Crow’s going to jump in at some points to help me out. As always, his sections will be marked out separately.]
GARDENS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2!
This is going to be a short one since I’ll be leaving spoilers and such out.
I was SO pumped for this. The original was a 9/10 for me. And just like with all sequels… I didn’t know if this was going to suck or be that rare kind of sequel that actually is GOOD.
Quiz-time! How many first (immediate? What’re they called?!) sequels are actually good? Hmmm? Let’s see now… We’ve got:
- T2: Judgement Day
- The Dark Knight
- The Godfather Pt 2
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- The Naked Gun 21/2 (not one I’ve seen. The Crow insisted on this one)
- A Shot in the Dark
- Titanic 2: The Sinkening! Iceberg Boogaloo!
- The Corvid Review Vol. 2: The Magpie Strikes Back!
That’s all I/we can agree on or come up with. So… how does GotG Vol. 2 live up to its predecessor? Well…
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS
The Azure-Winged Magpie: The Guardians of the Galaxy are for sale.
And by that I mean that they’re mercenary-ing around for others (more or less — ain’t no better way to put it). First! They stop an inter-dimensional monster so that they can protect some ‘batteries’ (whatever the actual name is) and return them to their owners — the Sovereign: a race of golden cloned (and possibly cybernetic) humanoids who are kinda actually fun, even though they don’t really get chunked out as much.
But when they run into the Sovereign after the fight is done with (after some fun with DANCING BABY GROOT! and the always forward-thinking Drax)… things go a bit pear-shaped. Nebula is given to the Guardians as payment for the return of the batteries. Star- Lord gets into a bit of saucy banter with the High Priestess of the Sovereign. And Rocket — who seems to be having trouble with winking the right (lol) eye does something a bit dumb and gets the Guardians chased down by their old employers.
And this is where I’m going to let the Crow have a bit to say:
The Crow: Let’s get the fact that I loved the intro out of the way first. That said, a thought I had during the first meeting with the Sovereign was that I wasn’t really watching a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, was I? I’ll tell you exactly what I thought: this was more like something out of Firefly (which I’ve meant to review for a long time, and almost published a tribute to the late, great Ron Glass on the occasion of his death before I realised I just couldn’t). Think about it: Star-Lord is essentially Mal, just a little looser; Gamora is essentially Zoecough!; Drax is essentially Jayne; Rocket’s more like a reverse-Wash with so many similar qualities — and other roles get filled in along the way, with Baby Groot being more of an outlier.
To me: that works just fine. It tells me that this movie hails from good stock. It’s got good lineage, this one (and pretty floral bonnets and all).
And as for the Sovereign, all I can say is this: Metropolis, Metropolis, Metropolis. Everything about them just screams a modern-day interpretation of the visuals and the way they were presented screamed at me in reference to that movie.
[Note: We’ve had a very-special review for Metropolis available for months, now, courtesy of a friend; but it’s some 15,000 words long. When I get around to chopping it down, I might start posting bits of it.]
The Azure-Winged Magpie: I sat through Firefly as well with the Crow some years ago, and yep: I can see that.
This film’s a little more… direct (?) than the first one. Instead of some galaxy-spanning crisis, it concentrates on one of the mysteries from the first film and builds its story up from there.
And this mystery? The question of WHO STAR-LORD’S DADDEH?!
Unlike Avengers: Age of Ultron (which our friend The Otaku Judge reviewed here) and Star Trek: Into Darkness (which that dopey Crow never ended up reviewing here on The Corvid Review), this film manages to go ‘more personal’ and ‘smaller’ and make it work.
Yondu Udonta returns from the first film (look at the pic above) and hoo boy! Does he ever steal the show in the scenes he’s in! I was pumped for Sly Stallone in this film since I haven’t really seen anything he’s ever done, but the amount of hype about him being in this one crossed over to me. And he wasn’t really in it as much, so I still have no clue about the dude.
He might appear in later films, though, so who knows?
The film fits near enough all the classic tick-boxes of script writing that the Crow told me about when I crossed over to The Corvid Review. I noticed them all the first time, and this second time last night just cemented everything in my brain-box.
The new characters all fit into the open spaces that the film has for them. Nebula’s story, I thought as a little too… simple, but it still worked. There are different sides to every character that are looked at and slide into the story at just the right times.
While it’s a ‘smaller’ film and focuses on the characters more than the last one could afford to have done, it manages to be one of the films with the most epic consequences yet. While Thanos cometh, the threat in this one is the biggest I’ve seen in the MCU so far.
And now, everyone’s favourite party-pooper has something to say:
The Crow: It’s just a small nitpick: there was a small line of dialogue that stood out to me like a sore thumb. At one point, a character says that he/it wanted to find out what it felt like to be ‘human’ (or something along those lines), which isn’t really the natural thing to say in the context it’s presented. It’s something I’ll address in our full-spoilers post, but even with Star-Lord involved in the scene, it’s not something the rest of the characters should be so quickly on-board with.
The Azure-Winged Magpie: Goddamnit. Sometimes I just want to smack him in the mouth. No I have to watch this film AGAIN to make out if he’s right or wrong (I mean, I have no other reasons to or anything… not like it’s Pom Klementieff or anything the Crow’s already claimed Zoe Saldana long ago sob!
Yeah… this one’s good.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON in it is awesome (apart from some of the minor Sovereign idiots). This is Civil War levels of ‘How to Deal with Tons of Characters at Once for Dummies’.
IS IT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST ONE?!
Yep. It art as good. Is it better, though? No. No, it’s not. But it’s on the level. It’s not worse. It’s just as good. It has some mistakesWHICH SOME KNOBHEADS JUST HAVE TO POINT OUT! but it ain’t a bad film.
We’ll cut this one short since we’re not going to spoil anything more about it. But we both recommend it as a fun summer movie. In the full-spoiler review, we’ll do our usual thing and give you guys the whole shebang, but for now… this is all the Magpie wrote.
And yep: SUMMER IS HERE! WE ARE (BABY) GROOOOT!
THE CROW: 8/10
THE AZURE-WINGED MAGPIE: 9/10
Here’s the poster: