Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is weird, funny, acutely self-aware, all things you don’t expect out of a sequel. You expect sequels to overdo on what had worked the last time. Every time you watch a sequel of a movie you loved, you’re just sitting there, letting a sense of nostalgia wash over, making the movie look better than it usually is. Most often than not, you forgive the makers and hope for the next movie to be better. It’s what makes me fear the next Deadpool movie. I think they are going to overdo the wisecracks, the ball-scratching, and the breaking of the fourth wall. Just like the overdid the love story, the battle tactics, and shouting in Bahubali 2 (which I loved despite everything).
Coming back to the GOTG sequel, I had so little expectations from the movie that I had thought to skip it and wait for the movie to come on television. But I’m glad I chose otherwise. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Timepass, masala, one-time watch, all of these phrases apply to it.
What really pleased me was that there’s no hangover from the first movie (which was awesome as well). Even if you haven’t watched the origin stories of Starlord, Rocket, Drax, Gamora and Groot, you don’t feel like you have missed out anything. The sequel could have been the first movie with a little scroll of text in the beginning and you would have been good to go.
There’s a plot about universe domination (like every Marvel movie) but frankly, you don’t care about that. You have seen it in countless variations, each villain and his motivation more bizarre than the last. Kurt Russell as Ego, the antagonist, is as brilliant and charming and ridiculous. But there’s no point in the story you take him or his threat of destruction seriously. You power through the movie for its characters.
What I liked about the movie is that it stayed away from exploiting what had worked for it in the first movie – Quill and Gamora and a bit of Rocket. They didn’t go the Avengers way where everything is centred around Robert Downey Jr. They switched gears effectively, and the movie rode on the shoulders of Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot, Rocket and even Yondu. Drax, played by the humongous Dave Bautista had the best jokes, Yondu had the best action sequences with his flashing arrow, and Gamora had the most badass shooting scene. But the real revelation was little Groot! My God. So cute! Those limpid brown eyes, the angry naughtiness, and the stupid innocence. Everyone in the hall collectively sighed every time he appeared on the screen. Quite apt then, that he was the one who. . . okay, no spoilers. It was refreshing to see the two main leads Peter Quill (who was too busy embroiled in a boring father-son plotline), and Gamora (who was busy sorting out a boring sibling rivalry history), take a backseat while all the action happened somewhere else.
Go, watch the movie.