Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review
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For almost a decade, Marvel’s superhero movies have been summertime staples. Each May, audiences flock to theaters to kick off the season with the latest big, noisy, over-the-top installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, in August of 2014, Marvel took a chance on the quirky space adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy—a chance that turned into more box office gold and an eagerly-anticipated sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 finds Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his motley band of misfits capitalizing on their new-found fame by taking on jobs as heroes for hire. But after genetically altered raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) angers one of their clients, they find themselves on a hazardous high-speed chase through space, only to be rescued by a strange and powerful man. That man turns out to be Ego (Kurt Russell), Peter’s long-lost father. But as Peter finally gets to do some father-son bonding, his friends begin to fear that Ego might be more than just a lovable, doting dad.

Once again, Marvel kicks off another summer with explosive action and over-the-top adventures. This spirited sequel races through outer space, battling intergalactic beasts and dodging all sorts of angry adversaries along the way. It’s big and thrilling, with some striking effects, too.

But the Guardians of the Galaxy movies aren’t the typical Marvel movies—and this isn’t exactly the grand and valiant superhero adventure that we’re used to seeing the first weekend in May. It’s quirkier and a lot more playful—with a cast of comical characters of varying species and a soundtrack full of easy listening tunes from the ‘60s and ‘70s that seem more appropriate in a dentist office’s waiting room than in a summer blockbuster. Even the most action-packed moments here have touches with laugh-out-loud humor, while other moments may surprise you with their sincerity.

The story is full of gray areas, too. The heroes aren’t especially altruistic. In fact, they’re typically motivated by money—and they spend a whole lot of time bickering and trying to one-up each other. Really, the film’s colorful characters are far from black-and-white. Good guys can turn bad, and bad guys can do good. And that adds to the unpredictability of the adventure.

Like many Marvel movies, though, this one is sometimes remarkably complex. There’s so much going on here—so many interwoven storylines and complicated relationships—that it’s hard to boil it down to a quick and concise summary. And, as the story grows and expands within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s sure to become even more complex. But if you can let go of some of the complexities of this far-reaching franchise, you’ll be able to enjoy the action, comedy, and musical stylings of this out-of-this-world superhero adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may not be as grandiose and heart-swelling as the Avengers films, but it’s good-natured and fun—and often just plain lovable, too. Yet again, the latest Marvel movie is the perfect way to kick off another Summer Blockbuster Season.

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