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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Come rain or shine, comic book nerds must fulfill certain obligations, and so I braved the storm to catch a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Honestly, I’m not yet sure where this one falls on the scale of Marvel movie quality (with the Captain America series representing the highest ratings, while the Thor films fall somewhere near the bottom). Because the heroes initially lack a strong, unifying goal this time around, the narrative meanders aimlessly for about the first hour as they split up and… well, kind of just do their own thing. However, every seemingly irrelevant interaction serves to flesh out the personalities and internal conflicts of our lovable, roguish protagonists, and that groundwork pays off when the central plot (heralded by the emergence of one of the studio’s most interesting villains to date) finally does kick into gear. The result is a genuinely emotional third act and denouement that more than make up for the uneven pacing of the earlier scenes.

I’ll have to revisit Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when its strengths (which include another creatively irreverent opening credits sequence, enough crowd-pleasing cameos and Easter eggs to populate an entire living planet, and a greatly expanded role for Michael Rooker, one of my favorite character actors) aren’t quite so fresh in my mind before I can accurately judge how well it really holds together, but for now, I’m penciling it in my book as a winner.

[Originally written May 5, 2017.]

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