If you like useful plots in your movies, don’t watch “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” The storyline is underdeveloped — it leads nowhere. The character progression is there, but it is half-baked and seems pointless. The whole movie is like a long TV mini-plot thrown into a series just because the producers need a certain number of episodes but don’t have the time or money to fully support each one.
And it is a completely hilarious masterpiece in disguise.
Though the second pales in comparison to the first in regard to plot, it is more emotional, and arguably, funnier. There is also an additional romance for the romantics and a glimpse of dystopia and disillusionment for the cynics.
While watching, the movie comes off as simply good for a laugh, which it is. Like volume 1 and like the characters that populate Star Lord’s universe, volume 2 of the space comedy is endearingly clumsy and funny. It is certainly best watched with a friend with whom you can share the jokes.
The movie also follows Marvel’s trend of holding the characters together with comedy and a spattering of meaningful one-on-one conversations. In a way, the movie is about friendship, and how relationships grow stronger the longer people are together, though the people themselves may stay the same.
The star of the movie — Peter Quinn (Chris Pratt), or “Star Lord” as the universe calls him — is as charming as he is in the first volume, as are the rest of the crew. Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) really shines, and the audience gets to learn more about him and his life before he became a Guardian.
Out of all the characters, though, the one that really steals the heart is, of course, Groot. Baby Groot is even more lovable than he is in the first as an adult. Be sure to watch the post-credit scenes for additional cute blurbs of this Vin Diesel powered tree baby.
However, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has more value than the average cat video. It artfully creates the feeling of disillusionment felt in the ‘70s and semi-modernizes it. The soundtrack, Amazing Mix: Vol. 2, incorporates music from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, much like the first Amazing Mix. The result of this, when juxtaposed with the modern cinematography, is an air of nostalgia with a renewed sense of urgency.
The opening scene captures this well, with a carefree baby Groot dancing to Electric Light Orchestra’s 1977 “Mr. Blue Sky” as the other Guardians fight a giant monster behind him. On the surface, the scene is funny and cute, but the content is reminiscent of the ‘70s, when so many Americans were trying to live in the moment and enjoy life in spite of growing discontent with the Vietnam War and disillusionment with their country.
The film also seems to reflect how many people today use escapism to block out the bad around them. And it does an incredible job of doing just that for the entire 2 hours and 18 minutes. It’s a great way to take your mind off the stress of life, make you laugh and form a bond with others who also enjoy a good pun.
Nina Rydalch can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NinaRobin7