Broad humor isn’t really my first preference, but I can still enjoy it. Much like the first Guardians of the Galaxy film back in 2014, the jokes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 tend to be a little too on-the-nose. David Bautista, who plays Drax, gets the most genuine laughs of anyone, and he’s the worst actor–which maybe helps.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his crew continue their adventures as space rascals, when they’re abruptly saved, mid-attack, by a man who says that he’s Peter’s father (Kurt Russell). Throughout the film, Peter is discovering secrets about his past and learning of his true identity. All the while, a Sovereign society is seeking to find and kill the Guardians because they stole something expensive from them.
The highs and lows are even closer together here compared to the first movie. The jokes are too up and down–very frequently making for jarring situations that actually end up inhibiting laughter. At times Guardians plays more like a Mel Brooks film. You could say it strives for a similar tone to, say, The Princess Bride. But that film is much more evenly written than this. Also, The Princess Bride is an actual comedy, so the humor fits better there. These films aren’t strict comedies, but also action/sci-fi. The Guardians movies concern themselves too much with being funny, when they should be focusing on being an action film first–or at least learn how to balance the two genres better.
With all that said, this is a much, much better movie than the first.
Unlike its predecessor, which loses momentum as the film went on, this one gains it. Guardians 2 is genuinely more entertaining–and funnier. The villains have a clear and understandable motive this time. We care more about the premise and the characters, and therefore can enjoy it better all around.
The first film prides itself on being different–which people love it for. And while this one piggybacks off that with its ever-more-present irreverent humor, it does way more than just that by not concerning itself with the Marvel Universe. While the first Guardians touted itself as “not your normal Marvel movie”, it still felt like one. But this one can actually execute that ideal.
Where the last Guardians tries fitting itself into the context of the rest of the Marvel films with all the infinity stone stuff going on, this time around, the series finds its identity separate from that, and you can actually enjoy the storyline of this distinct universe. The X-Men films have thrived throughout the years, partially because they’re free of their relation to the grand Marvel story arc. I’m glad we can see what this one can accomplish with that same thought process, too.
But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is not without the signature set pieces and soundtrack that have made these movies so appealing and have become a staple of this franchise. Fans of the first film will definitely love this one as well. And those who didn’t totally dig it will like this one better.
As an aside, Vin Diesel now officially has the easiest job in Hollywood.