From planet-sized daddy issues, through petty theft as an act of war, to sibling rivalry resolved through gunfire: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 pushes Marvel Studios further outside its comfort zone than ever.
The first Guardians movie, the tenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, surprised an audience that thought it knew all the tricks in the company’s playbook. It wasn’t just the trigger-happy raccoon or the walking tree with a three-word vocabulary, but the sense of character connections played out against an eye—widening cosmic backdrop.
The sequel flies at light-speed away from the basic comic book movie structure – there’s no ultra-powerful object to obtain or protect – instead diving deep into the busted psyches of Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax, while adding new characters and developing drama hinted in the first chapter. (Groot mostly acts as a comic relief, but his place in the film’s opening action sequence makes him an MVP all the same.)
Vol. 2 drills down into what makes the Guardians unique, and delivers all the juicy and weird new details to the beat of a soundtrack that can stand alongside movie mix tapes from the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Cameron Crowe. Our own Guardians single features an in-depth look at the film’s family dynamics on the A-side, and a B-side that breaks down the most important songs in the film.