Writer/director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a stunning film full of brilliant creative energy and spirit, but there is one specific reason it continues to stand out in audiences’ minds after three years: the characters. More than just falling in love with the Guardians of the Galaxy blockbuster, movie-goers fell in love with the Guardians of the Galaxy team — connecting with this group of ridiculous misfits who manage to find each other and become a dysfunctional family.
Reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back in the way in which it breaks up the characters and only utilizes a handful of settings (albeit while telling a complete story), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is simply structured with dual plot narratives, but they’re properly harnessed to really get the most out of the entire fantastic ensemble. A huge part of this is the way in which James Gunn pairs each of his protagonists, as the groupings all have special ways of advancing the distinct arcs — whether the relationships are affable or hostile.
James Gunn effectively shut down critics complaining about cookie cutter comic book movies with his authentically auteur-driven Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, and blasted the blockbuster world with a burst of fresh air that effectively altered the industry in the years since. Being a sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was never going to have that full effect, but it does still feel remarkably different, while also reminding audiences why they fell head over heels the first time.
Though its scope doesn’t including the cosmic breadth of the first movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still intensely beautiful and aesthetically inventive — particularly in its use of color (very much a highlight of the original as well). Parents need to know that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the adventures of Marvel’s motley group of space outlaws first introduced in the smash hit Gaurdians of the Galaxy Expect lots of interest from kids of all ages, but it’s most appropriate for teens and up. There’s frequent fighting with weapons (swords, guns, and more), space chases/battles, executions that involve people being “spaced”, etc and more.