Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review: Come and Get your Groot!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review: You will leave the theater with a smile on your face as you head to the nearest toy store to buy a dancing Baby Groot. Continue reading for a spoiler-free GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 review, and click here for behind-the-scenes insights from the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY creators and cast learned during the press conference.

“I am Groot!”

Is there anything more that needs to be said when talking about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2? In short, Baby Groot steals the show. As much fun as this sequel is, when that toddler tree is onscreen all eyes are on him. For better or for worse. I mean, look at him:

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) ©Marvel Studios 2017

Can you tear your eyes away? How about this:

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) ©Marvel Studios 2017

LOOK AT HIM!! It’s ok to stare. The rest of this GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 review just doesn’t compare to that face. But I’ll keep writing anyway.

This new GUARDIANS adventure takes place a few months after the 2014 film. Now, our returning heroes Peter Quill or Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) have been hired by the Sovereign to protect some valuable assets. Nothing ever goes easy for the Guardians as they are attacked by a large intergalactic whale creature. We don’t get to see much of the battle as we, the audience, follow Baby Groot as he dances around. This bit mirrors the Star-Lord dance sequence at the beginning of the first film. Not sure what the point was but it was fun to watch the adorable Groot.

The Guardians complete their job at hand, collect their payment and leave the planet. They fought, served and lived to see another day. Everything appears to be all well and good until we see that Rocket has stolen some very valuable batteries from the Sovereign. It is not long until the High Priestess, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) finds out and launches an attack. I’m not quite sure why Rocket has stolen these batteries. I can see him doing this in the first film, but he has grown since then and come into his own as a hero. Did director James Gunn need a way to jumpstart the actual plot and this was the way to go? I spent some time trying to figure this out. Regardless, the film takes off from here.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) ©Marvel Studios 2017

As action-packed as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 is, the underlying and unifying theme is family. The Guardians were brought together and formed their own misfit family. However, now they separate into groups to face their own bloodlines. Star-Lord has some real daddy issues when he is reunited with his birth father Ego (the always-awesome Kurt Russell). Questions about Peter’s dad in the first film are answered here. Questions like ‘how did he connect with Peter’s mom?’ ‘What does he want from Peter?’ There are very heartwarming moments as Peter and Ego try to connect. All Peter ever wanted when he was a kid was a father to play catch with like the other kids. Like any child he longs for acceptance and a sense of belonging. But what happens when Peter learns of his dad’s greater plan?

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..L to R: Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Ego (Kurt Russell)..Ph: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. L to R: Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Ego (Kurt Russell). Photo by Chuck Zlotnick ©Marvel Studios 2017

Then there’s Yondu (Michael Rooker) who, for better or for worse, was a surrogate father to Peter after kidnapping him on Earth when he was a child. Yondu was a character you loved to hate, but now he shows depth and his story arc is well developed.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Yondu (Michael Rooker)..Ph: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Yondu (Michael Rooker). Photo by Chuck Zlotnick ©Marvel Studios 2017

We also learn a whole more about Gamora and her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) and their extreme hatred for each other. Although they are at each other’s throats again… literally, there is a bond. As the daughters of Thanos, who is missing this time around, we see why they hate each other with backstory and resolution. Without giving anything away, I can’t wait to see where they go in Vol. 3!

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Nebula (Karen Gillan)..Ph: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Nebula (Karen Gillan). Photo by Chuck Zlotnick ©Marvel Studios 2017

The film gets deep and sporadic as we follow all these storylines but never loses the fun which made the original such a hit. The humor hits on all levels, although I’m wondering how the “Cheers” joke with a Sam and Diane analogy will play to a younger audience. But Baby Groot gets most of the laughs. In one sequence, he’s literally just sitting there and gets roars of laughter. Rocket is Rocket and gets plenty of laughs just trying to keep his young tree friend in line.

Then there’s another major character in the film to discuss, and that’s the soundtrack full of classics from the 1970’s. Last time around Peter listened endlessly to a mix tape he got from his mom before she died. That film ends with him opening Awesome Mix Vol. 2, and we all wondered what kind of gems we will hear next. Let’s drop a few titles and see what you think.

  • “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
  • “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO
  • The best montage sequence in the whole film owed everything to “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison
  • An honorable mention goes to “Guardians Inferno” by The Sneepers featuring Peter Quill’s childhood hero, David Hasselhoff.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The first film owes so much to the soundtrack. Yes, the character chemistry worked, the humor, the intergalactic environment we hadn’t seen as a central location in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, but it was the trailer that featured Peter dancing to “Come and Get Your Love” that hooked us. I’m sure Kevin Feige was on the edge of his seat waiting to see if today’s audience connected with these 40-year-old songs. The gamble paid off with the chart topping, platinum Awesome Mix, Vol. 1. I would equate using those songs to George Lucas using a symphony orchestra for Star Wars instead of the conventional synthesized score prevalent in 1970’s sci-fi films. The score went against the grain and elevated both films.

By the end of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL 2, the Guardians come together for a huge battle against the Sovereign for their initial crime, and another baddie which I won’t spoil here. Like last time, this climactic battle is nothing short of a visual effects feast for your eyes. It would’ve been more impactful if it was 15 minutes shorter, much like the way Luke Skywalker’s battle with his dad (spoiler!) Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. We now care about these characters and feel empathy when they are hurt. But when the action just kept going, I felt my mind wandering to what we will see in the infamous Marvel bonus tag scenes. With that said, the film gives us a satisfying ending. And like always, keep your eyes peeled for the many of the Easter Eggs and cameos. I’m gonna be watching it in 3D IMAX on opening day like this:

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) ©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may not be as original as the first film, but it digs deep into family and connects the viewer with these heroes and anti-heroes. Audiences will leave the theater with a smile on their faces as they head to the nearest toy store to buy a dancing Baby Groot.

For those of you keeping track, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the 3rd film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. For more family entertainment news and reviews, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Richard & Sarah Woloski

Richard and Sarah Woloski are the co-hosts and creators of the Disney / Star Wars Podcast Skywalking Through Neverland. The husband and wife team strives to create a polished, positive and fun weekly show celebrating fandom. They also love writing for Adventures By Daddy. Find them @SkywalkingPod