“I am Groot”

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The Guardians of the Galaxy are back for another run through space. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”, written and directed by James Gunn, who also took the helm of the original, brings our favorite team of misfits back to the big screen.

The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe centers the Guardians through their worst enemies, themselves. This story takes what the first film developed and builds the characters. The focus on these characters is what determines whether moviegoers are watching another superhero spectacle of explosions and fan service, to being an actual movie. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” got this right.

Gunn is able to recreate the magic of its predecessor. The writer/director keeps one sustainable story line through his dialogue, something you would not see in a movie like “Batman v Superman”, where every draft of the script was scribbled on by executive heads. Gunn’s script is not a masterpiece, for the plot could have turned razor thin, but he was able to escape that possibility with a compelling story and numerous humorous lines.

If you were a fan of the soundtrack to the original film, get ready to hum for the next week. The music in this movie is fantastic. “The Guardians of the Galaxy” invented the use of dated rock songs into this generation’s blockbusters. Movies like “Suicide Squad” and the upcoming “Justice League” film mock what the 2014 hit did, their use of The Beatles and other groups felt gimmicky. In the “Guardians” films, not only is the choice of music a direct part of the story, the contrast between campy folk songs from the 70’s and the dark images on screen work. I enjoyed blasting through the past listening to goodies in surround sound. If you are interested in collecting the tracks from the film, the soundtrack is on iTunes for a reasonable price.

A film that centers around characters should succeed in well-balanced characters. Vol 2. achieved expectation, and a bit more. You can tell Gunn has a soft spot for the characters and the franchise. Gunn goes above and beyond not skimping out on any characters left empty handed. Each character goes through an arch; yes, even the talking raccoon and the baby tree. This singles out again what an actual good hero film could be. Chris Pratt is back again along with his co-stars and they are all great. I was drawn more to the side characters, like Kurt Russell’s role as Pratt’s father. This is the first villain in a hero movie that a studio has done right in a long time. 

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” welcomes back the familiar faces we’ve began to love over the past years. Almost every aspect of the film competes with the original, from its writing and performances, to the outstanding visuals and confident cinematography, the sequel hits hard. Whether you are a casual audience member or a die-hard Marvel gazer, the next couple of hours will blare the imagination.