On DVD & Blu-Ray: August 22, 2017


With the first Guardians of the Galaxy I went (or at least wanted to go) into the film with little to no expectations. Of course, with Vol. 2 it would be next to impossible to do the same unless one had skipped the first which, of course, would then only mean it would be next to impossible to fully understand or better yet, appreciate, what this second film has to offer. And so, despite having some expectation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 there wasn't much beyond suspecting that writer/director James Gunn might hand pick a new list of late seventies/early eighties hits to set something of a remixed version of the original's events to while pushing whatever story points the Marvel overlords needed pushed forward. If this sequel teaches us anything though (and it does try to teach if not at least say something significant) it's that sometimes expectations aren't detrimental to the overall effect a piece of art can have. That's right-I'm calling a Marvel movie, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 specifically, a piece of art as well as stating that it surpasses all expectations. I'm saying this loud and clear because I feel like it would be easy to think otherwise about the rather unconventional super hero movie that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actually is. It seems it might be easy to be disappointed in the sequel because it doesn't exactly fit into the conventions we've become conditioned to expect. How does Guardians numero dos buck this trend that Marvel has so perfectly perfected as of late? Well, the first thing it changes is that of setting up a convenient villain in the form of another Thanos crony looking for world domination (Gunn literally thought bigger this time, going for galactic domination) while also giving our heroes a real and emotional investment in the plight of the antagonist. Sure, the film opens with the guardians on a for hire mission that sees them doing battle with a large CGI monster for the purposes of getting paid handsomely by a race of snobby and rather pretentious Goldfinger/Goldmember lookalikes, but this is essentially only a framing device and reason to usher Michael Rooker's Yondu back into the fray. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is instead mostly about the relationships between the members of the titular team and developing those dynamics in exchange for progressing the overall Marvel arc. Where Vol. 2 really exceeds though, is in balancing the exploration of these relationships with that of still telling an effective story, the guardians story, and there's just something special about a ginormous, big-budget, special-effects extravaganza that feels this personal. Also, Baby Groot. Full review here. A

Check out Initial Reaction's take on Guardians Vol. 2 as well and don't forget to subscribe!