For Reel

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
July 5, 2017, 1:05 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: James Gunn
4 Stars
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.jpgIt is fitting that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2′s new character, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), is considered an empath—that is, not only is she especially perceptive to what a person is feeling, but with her touch she can even temporarily change those emotions. While the intergalactic setting and lightness of tone makes the franchise play as a suitable alternative to the studio’s tentpole Avengers series, what really sets the Guardians films apart is how much they are about self-acceptance, love, and family. While the casual, business relationship of Iron Man and Captain America came to blows in Captain America: Civil War, in the Guardians films it is established that the partnership between the heroes is founded in genuine affection—that is, to these outcasts, the team makes them cope more successfully with their individual struggles. This is a comic book movie where characters relate to each other in interesting ways and even have interests. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) loves classic rock because it connects him to his past and his home—who can name one thing that Scarlett Johannson’s Black Widow finds pleasure in? The Guardians series, no matter how ludicrous it might appear on the surface, is more grounded in its characters’ relationships with the world and with each other than anything else Marvel is producing right now. If this latest installment felt to some like a “transitional” film, it was also one wherein each character (both major and supporting) had identifiable character arcs that mattered. If director James Gunn is willing to poke fun at the absurdity of his world, his characters are one thing he takes completely seriously, and for that reason the audience does too.

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