It is very common for studios obstinate to create a millionaire film franchise, after managing to make the first film a box office success, to carry out a sequence in which the characteristics that had been successful in the initial venture are extrapolated, as if a bigger dose of something good was necessarily better. There are countless examples that confirm this market trend. So it was to be expected that we would find something like Guardians Of The Galaxy vol. 2. However, my surprise was great to see how James Gunn, the screenwriter and director of the two films, going against common expectations, did the exact opposite.
Please, please do not get me wrong, as just as in the first feature, the sequence is full of explosive action scenes, sharp comic moments and charismatic supporting characters, in addition to having a group of leading actors and voice actors in perfect harmony with their respective roles. However, instead of narrating an even grander plot, with increasingly impressive digital effects, the director, in telling a story marked by the protagonist's first meeting Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) with your biological father Ego (Kurt Russell), decided to take the more intimate route, offering the public the opportunity to get to know a little more about the characters' inner lives, instead of delivering an easily forgettable escapist adventure.
After all, if there is a theme that permeates Guardians Of The Galaxy vol. 2 - above the adventurous situations that the characters go through, the continuous construction of the universe Marvel and the obligation to deliver a visual and technological show - it is the family's. In the story, Peter Quil first meets his parent, at the same time as the relationship between father and son he has with his mentor Yondú (Michael Rooker) is strengthened; Gamora (Zoe Saldana), between comings and goings, he cannot get away from his sister Nebula (Karen Gillan); and the Guardians of the Galaxy, as a whole, also form a family nucleus inside out, with space even for the presence of a Groot baby (voice of Vin Diesel).
Surprisingly, since this type of thing is not commonly seen in a film of this magnitude, family relationships are not worked on superficially but with a satisfactory level of depth. Throughout the projection, attention is drawn to the fact that a considerable part of the story is used to establish the conflicts that separate some characters from others, making it clear to the viewer the nature of the family and emotional connections they maintain with each other. By the way, Gunn finds time even to address new interactions (although they are not as well developed as the others), such as that of Brax (Dave Bautista) with Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Yondú with Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone). This type of thematic concern is not easy to find in a blockbuster of the Hollywood industry.
However, as people are not going to watch Guardians Of The Galaxy vol. 2 hoping for a touching drama about family problems - considering this only as a bonus - but rather an efficient mix of adventure with comedy, James Gunn, safely passing through a creative universe with which he is completely familiar, he is able to dose intimate moments with action scenes and comedic moments. Even as these last two were responsible for the overwhelming success of the first film, this sequence was in danger of repeating to exhaustion what had worked previously, in a failed attempt to repeat what had already been seen, never expanding it to the extent certain.
For the happiness of fans and the general public, the directors, aware of the material they had in hand, in addition to not repeating the same action scenes and jokes, improve the visual aspects and present new and inspired gags, surpassing even the first film in these aspects. With regard to the first of these elements - the action scenes - they have their own logic and character, distancing themselves correctly from the influences of Star Wars. Visually, the replacement of Ben Davis per Henry Braham as director of photography has resulted in a more colorful and saturated work (although there is a strong work of color grading), and therefore more in keeping with the Guardians of the Galaxy fantasy universe.
Regarding the comedy moments, they sound fresh and original. Containing at the beginning a masterful scene in which Baby Groot dances in the foreground while the other heroes fight with a creature in the background, the film, throughout its narrative, presents the audience with other moments of pure genius, as the most intelligent reference to cartoon characters from Chuck Jones (those of Looney Tunes, mainly) in an instant involving the Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper) and Yondú entering space portals, and the homage to the 1980s in a scene in which there is the presence of Pac Man, which results in a brilliant moment (the best of the film).
It is clear that the film cannot escape some cliches typical of the superhero genre, nor to prevent the predictability of some unfolding of the plot. The viewer will have no trouble remembering other films that used the feature commonly used in the third act, which consists of creating a suspense about the protagonist's final destination (if we remember that news has already appeared about Peter Quill's participation in the Avengers films, this becomes even more disposable) or imagine that Ego's motives are more obscure than the first impression suggests. In addition, despite packing the film satisfactorily, the soundtrack does not have the same strength as the previous one (for example, there is no memorable song like “Hooked On A Feeling”).
But, given the various merits present in this sequence, these problems pale. Consolidating itself as the franchise of Marvel most successful from an artistic point of view, Guardians of the Galaxy it has everything to last even after the wave of superhero films has lost its breath, becoming one of the iconic films of the current generation. Now, we can only hope that James Gunn find ways to reinvent yourself again and close the trilogy with a flourish - the third chapter has already been confirmed.
Note: Do not forget that there are five additional scenes during the final credits.
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