For the better part of a decade, #Marvel Studios has kept a fairly good critical track record. In a time full of action-packed blockbusters, the consensus is that the House of Ideas knows how to treat its unique characters. So, does the studio's latest installment continue that tradition?
- 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2': News, Trailer, Release Date, Plot, Cast, Characters & All You Need To Know
After almost three years of anticipation, #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2 is here. Prior to its releases, early signs suggested Marvel was on to another winner: the film was the first in Marvel Studios' history to get a perfect score of 100 during a test screening, and the Twitter reactions we've seen so far have been overwhelmingly positive. But now, the official reviews are in — so, what exactly do they say? Let's take a look:
Good news for Guardians fans: the reaction so far is definitely positive. A number of high-profile publications have heaped praised upon the sequel; let's take a look at the positive consensus.
"Perhaps The Most Special Film We've Gotten From The Marvel Universe Yet"
Movie Pilot's own Alisha Grauso praised the film for the most important aspect in any film, regardless of the its scale or story: its heart. Grauso describes Guardians 2 as a deep and welcome exploration of its characters that manages to be more interesting than its eye-popping visuals:
"This is the real strength of the film, the heart that beats within. It's not the eye-popping visuals, it's not the quirky weirdness, it's not even its rollicking humor that makes this film pulse and gives it life. It's the emotional journey we go on with these characters.[...] It creates a movie that is perhaps one step less nonstop fun, but richer, deeper, and dare I say more surprising than anything we've gotten from the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet.
Although Grauso points out that the movie isn't without its flaws, she also highlights that its weaker moments never detract from the emotion and sincerity that propel it:
[...] Is it a perfect movie? No. [...] But it really comes damn close. The love and care with which Gunn and crew have crafted this film show through in every moment; the result is perhaps the most special film we've gotten from the Marvel universe yet."
"Gunn Wisely Decides To Add More Depth To His Team"
Den of Geek focuses on how the movie benefits the most from being a character-driven piece among all the alien and action craziness. The depth of characterization will definitely be a great addition for fans looking to get more from our beloved space adventurers:
"Gunn wisely decides to focus on adding more depth to his team [...] and they’re still such a likable, entertaining bunch that 'Guardians Vol. 2' succeeds more than anything else as a character piece [...]
That is just enough to keep the movie compelling and captivating despite a generally slender plot and a structure that essentially consists of a terrific opening and a knockout ending bridged by a meandering second act [...] Spending a little over two hours with these folks is still a hell of a lot of fun."
"Beneath The Film's Sass There's A Real Beating Heart"
Have you ever seen a certain quiet scene in a film, and wish that was the whole story? Empire's Chris Hewitt talks about the fact that #GotGVol2 shines brightest when focusing on the dynamic of its protagonists, but falters once it focuses on the over-arching plot and the antagonist:
"With the introduction of [a villain and a plot], that’s when the movie starts to falter. What was previously assured becomes a little abrasive and, at times, unappealing. Jokes that landed unerringly start to miss the target [...] The final battle, try as it might, can’t help but become a greenscreen jamboree [...] There’s plenty to enjoy here [...] Perhaps not quite as fresh or fun as the original, but still very much a triumph of the Quill."
"It's Uproariously Funny"
Collider's Haleigh Fouch vouches that Vol. 2 possesses the same kind of wit as its predecessor. However, it manages to pack a more emotional punch, taking audiences on a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, those emotional twists are not allowed the time to be digested:
"The film’s greatest strength is the respect and genuine interest it has for its ensemble [...] 'You’ll have a smile plastered on your face most of the way through, until a moment sneaks up on you and you find yourself choking back tears [...] Ultimately, 'Vol. 2' can’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film, but it’s got everything you could want from a big superhero spectacle and then some."
CinemaBlend also believe the film isn't as resonant its predecessor, but that it remained original and quirky enough by delivering the same things we loved first time out:
"While the sequel doesn't pack the full punch of the original, it's a wonderful, beautiful follow-up that is richly dense in detail and features a parade of thrilling and fun surprises. [GoTG Vol. 2] was never going to have that full effect, but it does still feel remarkably different, while also reminding audiences why they fell head over heels the first time."
"It's A Very Good Movie With One Of The Most Emotionally Impactful Endings Of Any MCU Story Yet"
IGN's Terri Schwartz takes a different stance, lamenting that the movie tries to give audiences too much of what we loved the first time (here's looking at you, Baby Groot). Due to the movie's exploration of heavier themes, some pacing issues are palpable. Fortunately, according to Schwartz, that doesn't take away from its overall quality, or emotionally charged finale, two aspects that make this a worthy addition to the #MCU:
"[GoTG Vol. 2]is a fun go-around with characters we love to spend time with, but the second film is far denser and has a few more pacing and story problems than the first. Still, it's a very good movie with one of the most emotionally impactful endings of any Marvel Cinematic Universe story yet. 'Vol. 2' does a great job developing its characters and growing them over the course of the story."
TheWrap's Alonso Duralde also touched on the movie's lack of story, which was ironically nicely counter-balanced with the Guardians' signature lovable personality. According to him:
"'Vol. 2' is filler, to be sure, but if you like the flavor of these movies, you’ll enjoy this second bite. James Gunn loads the movie with incident [...] but not tons of story, which is fine when you have characters whose interplay is so fun to watch."
As you can see, even the good reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 are not as glowing as the ones for its now classic predecessor. There seems to be consensus seems to be that it's still a fun Guardians story — but with some major flaws. Other critics were keen to highlight that this is far from a perfect addition to the MCU.
"They're Like Bickering Family Now, and Not in an Amusing Way"
THR argued the film showed early, not-so promising signs of its almost-unlikable characters and its apparent repetitiveness:
"Warning signs turn up early on in 'Vol. 2' that things are not quite as they were the first time around [...] Most of these maverick mercenaries prove rather less charming the second time around; they're like bickering family now and not in an amusing way."
The Verge also took issue with the characters no longer being likable:
"A major issue is that none of the characters are particularly endearing this time around [...] There’s only so much the ancillary players can do when the heart of the movie is so painfully, soul-crushingly inert [...] 'Guardians 2' has a hollow emotional core, and the plotting feels clumsy."
"The New Movie Is Flush With What A Big Deal It Is"
While he enjoyed the film, Variety's Owen Gleiberman talked about two things in particular the movie got wrong for him: Feeling too important, and trying too hard to be like its predecessor:
"This time you can sense just how hard the series’ wizard of a director, James Gunn [...] is working to entertain you. Maybe a little too hard. 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' is an adventure worth taking [...] The difference between the first 'Guardians' and ['GoTG Vol. 2'] is that the new movie is flush with what a big deal it is. Ironically, that makes it a smaller deal.
"While There's Plenty Of Comedy, It Doesn't Really Go Anywhere"
Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw touched on the sequel's apparent blandness and "pointlessness" — ouch.
"This film rattles along and there’s a lot to enjoy, but there’s a weird air of pointlessness, almost plotlessness to this sequel.
The revelations about Quill’s background just zing and ping around with the same pinball-velocity as everything else in the film. It’s fun, though 'GOTG2' doesn’t have the same sense of weird urgency and point that the first film had. They’re still guarding, although the galaxy never seems in much danger."
- James Gunn Wants Fans To Chill About Obsessing Over Sequels To Movies That Haven't Even Been Released Yet
- The Avengers And Guardians Of The Galaxy Will Definitely Butt Heads In 'Avengers: Infinity War' Reveals 'Vol. 2' Cast
- James Gunn Warns That Guardians Of The Galaxy Won't Play As A Big Role In 'Avengers: Infinity War' As Fans Expected
That's what official reviews have to say about the space a-holes' newest galactic adventures. From the looks of it, the sequel didn't quite manage to wow critics as much as the first, but it retains what we love about these guys: Their heart. That's a tall order, if we consider just how much the first film connected with audiences.
Overall, in spite of its flaws, this movie seems to be something special. And it makes the prospect of what Marvel, #KevinFeige and #JamesGunn have in store for the Guardians in Infinity War, Vol. 3 and forward just got a whole lot more exciting.
#GuardiansoftheGalaxy2 flies into theaters on May 5, 2017, don't forget to check it out.
What did you think about the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reviews? Let me know in the comments!