I don’t do well with hype. When everyone loves something I end up getting my expectations raised and leave inevitably disappointed. Even if I like it, I’ll think “Well, it was good. But It wasn’t THAT great.” and leave in a malaise, as I am wont to do.
This happened to me with the first Guardians Of The Galaxy. Everyone loved it. I didn’t see it until a month after it’s release. And so despite a fun film, complete with great soundtrack and dancing baby Groot, I left saying “It was good. But it wasn’t THAT great.”
Well, I had the pleasure of seeing this right at the peak of anticipation, and right before all the hype, so let ME be the one to tell YOU that this really will live up to whatever inevitable hype you encounter.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is better than it’s predecessor. Yes that’s right I said it.
A tough feat for any sequel, much less one of the biggest films in the monolithic Marvel franchise. But this film knows exactly what it is, what it should be, and what a summer audience wants to see. It doubles down on catchy seventies jams and adorable anthropomorphic trees doing adorable things. It opens their world even further and gives a deeper peak into their universe.
And! Imagine this! The characters in the movie are actual characters! Who want things! And have feelings! And the things they feel and the things they want are actually what moves the story forward!!! This may sound like an odd thing to say, but I promise you… Go back and watch 99% of the blockbuster action fare and see if cardboard cutouts meandering through a plot in order to get to the next catchphrase or explosion aren’t what you encounter.
Which by the way, there are lots of explosions. And fights. And cool spaceships and gun thingies. And they are all pretty darn exciting and beautiful to look at. But it is still a blockbuster. You’ll still be exposed to some forced one liners and (insert necessary plot point) emotional moments in this movie. There’s even a moment about an hour in that feels like we had to hop around character to character and let them have a therapy session for no real reason at all. Not to mention a villain who, even now…. I kind of have no clue why he did what he did. (Spoiler Alert: He wants to take over!!!)
But none of this really matters. Ahead of my hype wave, I grinned from ear to ear like a stupid kid for the entire run time watching them foil brightly colored bad guys, even if I didn’t understand their motives entirely. It was just plain fun. A pretty rare commodity in a world where there’s a brightly colored bad guy doing bad things I DO understand. So given that, I’ll gladly take the former.
Don’t be a dummy like me. It DOES live up to the hype. It IS that great. Start off your summer with Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 hits theaters May 5.
Ian Gary is a comedian and actor living in Los Angeles. You can follow his new series, “Man Without A Country,” at www.facebook.com/manwithoutacountry