by Lucy Kuchma ‘18
From the kick-butt soundtrack to its incredible CGI, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”(GOTG2) measures up, technically speaking, to its predecessor. Although the gang consists of superheroes, the film touches on many emotional complexities such as romantic longing and the importance of family.
The story follows the same group of galactic warriors including Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora
(Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Baudista), and Rocket (Bradley Cooper), with one major change: the once towering character of Groot (Vin Diesel) is shown as his baby self, earning the audience’s affection immediately.
One brand new character catches the audience’s attention big time, however, and his name is Ego (James Gunn). To say Ego causes the guardians trouble is a massive understatement. Along the way, the audience slowly learns of familial ties that take everyone by surprise as well as efforts by an unknown villain to destroy every being and object of substance in the universe and absorb it all into himself.
Additionally, contrary to popular prediction, Thanos, Gamora and Nebula’s father, does not make a reappearance in GOTG2, although Nebula (Karen Gillan) does return, having a significant impact on the story’s progression. She and Gamora butt heads throughout the entire film, resulting in a final physical battle between the two of them. Nebula ultimately reveals to her sister that, although Gamora was always so concerned with winning and being the best, all Nebula ever wanted was a sister.
A resolution between siblings as well as between Peter and the father who left him as a child prompt a terribly emotional and complicated string of events. Following an epitomal battle near the close of the film, the gang has to escape from Ego’s planet to avoid a ticking bomb, and the gang loses its newest member. Such a heart-warming yet painful ending leaves the audience knowing one must always accept and forgive.
From a graphics and audio standpoint, the film was superbly made. And even much of the guardians’ banter measures up to that of the prior film. The only major plot hole that many major GOTG fans drew attention to is the fact that Ego, although merely a manifestation, an embodiment of an immortal soul, mysteriously ages. It is unclear whether the directors made this decision consciously or whether it slipped their minds, but if it was intentional,
it should be explained.
Aside from that slip-up, however, the film is grossly entertaining. Drax endlessly taunts Peter about his apparently obvious infatuation with Gamora, which is revealed when Ego’s personal assistant, Mantis, reads Peter’s emotions and tells the group he feels intense love for her. The two, at the very end of the film, meet one another’s gaze momentarily and subtly verbally acknowledge that there’s an “unspoken thing” between them, possibly foreshadowing their building relationship in another sequel.
Future audiences might do well to approach each character with an open mind. The movie features some shocking turnarounds and side-changes, if you will, that take the audience by great surprise. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a feel-good action film that, while cheesy at times, sends messages of acceptance, family, and determination against the odds, which are messages everyone needs a dose of from time to time.