By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers) –
Oh James Gunn, how I adore thee, let me count the ways. Thou hath given us Baby Groot and, um, okay so the rest of the Guardians are pretty cool but, let’s be real, ninety percent of us bought a ticket because we’re blasting into theaters riding on the Baby Groot fan van. If I could put into sound my pure, unadulterated love of Baby Groot it would probably be in an octave only dolphins or dogs could hear. If there was an accident in a super secret government science lab resulting in a spliced together life form that consisted of James Gunn and Joss Whedon, the two halves of my heart owned by these men could die happily. Once I achieved world domination and the hand of Channing Tatum in polygamous mawwiage. Obviously.
Guardians Vol. 2 starts up approximately six months after Guardians Vol. 1 ends with the Intergalactic Scooby Gang all getting together to save a megawatt space battery (owned by what I imagine a society of Hitler-esque Goldfinger-ized Bond Girls would look like) from a giant space worm with teeth. And that’s just in the FIRST FIVE MINUTES.
Rocket does some Rocket shit and they’re off on an intergalactic odyssey filled with long-lost father figures and enough fucked-up family dynamics to fill THREE thanksgivings at Casa De Felicis. The Guardians are plagued by threats from all sides (both internal and external) and they have to decide whether or not to come together and save the motherfudgin’ galaxy from a threat all-too-close-to-home… Again.
If you loved Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 1 then you are going to love the shit out of Volume 2, guaranteed. The snark is snarkier, the sass is sassier, and the villains are even villain…ier. Volume 2 is a multi-faceted study in intergalactic family dynamics (including both blood relations and friends- the family we choose and/or kidnap). Chris Pratt continues to kick ass as Star Lord (gratuitous abs shot for the ladies included) and everything you loved about Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (voiced by the sexy-enough-it-gave-me-weird-feelings-about-trash-pandas-aka-raccoons Bradley Cooper), Groot (a high-pitched-we-can-only-hope-it-was-helium Vin Diesel), and Drax (Dave Bautista) is firing on all cylinders here; not to mention Michael Rooker’s Ravager ‘Yondu’ absolutely steals the show lock, stock, and blue smoking barrels. Volume 1 (as reviewed by yours truly) was all about Rocket and Groot. This time around there was a menage-a-trois of awesomeness added when Yondu joined the pair for some surprisingly poignant blood-soaked shenanigans.
Volume 2 has irreverent charm coming out its ass thanks to James Gunn and it shows in not only the final product, but in the daring (if heartbreaking) narrative choices. Much like one of my television obsessions, The Walking Dead (also starring Michael Rooker early on) Gunn isn’t afraid to put his characters in real danger and it pays off with probably enough (well deserved) collective tears gathered in theaters to float Gunn’s director’s chair all the way to the bank. Good news for Gunn freaks; he’s already lined up to write and direct Volume Three.
Let me preface this beer by saying Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is AMAZEBALLS. AMAZE. BALLS. ALL THE BALLS OF AMAZE. It can haz cheeseburger AND a bag of chips. That said, it had a few minor flaws (that should’ve, could’ve, would’ve pulled any other movie farther down the beer scale) I just couldn’t ignore. The plot in Volume 2 could’ve doubled as a white girl shopping a Forever 21 BOGO sale because, quite frankly, it was basic AF. Unless you were a comatose squirrel or cucumber on life support, you’d be able to predict every twist and turn in the narrative with Miss Cleo-like accuracy. Don’t get me wrong, this is a summer blockbuster that’s everything you could want in popcorn entertainment and it’s still going to junk-punch you dead in the feels, you’re just gonna see it coming from a mile away.
Add to that characters that don’t reeeeeally evolve much past their starting points, a soundtrack that (while so kickass when married with the movie’s visual cues that it SLAYS nonstop) really doesn’t stand on it’s own as well as the Volume One mixtape did, and the rushed delivery of Star Lord’s backstory (in time for Avengers: Infinity War) we end up with something I am in no way mad at. In the slightest. I’m just so impressed with what James Gunn gave us in Volume One that there’s a higher standard I’m holding his sequels to. The characters are a (shout out to James Gunn’s real life brother Sean Gunn as Yondu’s fantastically nuanced and loyal-ish Ravager second-in-command ‘Kraglin’) stellar ensemble and work so well as a whole that I had a blast regardless from beginning to end and beyond.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a ninja kitten riding a flaming unicorn blasting fun and feels from two golden revolvers named “kickass” and “bitchin”. Fire up Fandango and get your galactic ass in a seat today.
Last Call: stay through the very end for multiple post-credit scenes.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Sip: anytime Rocket is an itty-bitty, fuzzy-wuzzy dick and/or winks with the wrong eye.
Do a Shot: for each super manly (in some cases), super crystalline (in other cases) teardrop cried by your dealer’s choice Guardian.
Take a Drink: for every show-and-tell science fair diorama. Take Two: if it’s super creepy.
Take a Sip: anytime David Hasselhoff is mentioned or appears.
Shotgun your Beer: when the Hero Tableau appears!
Take a Sip: whenever Baby Groot saves the day, runs away, and/or is JUST too PWECIOUS to kill.
Pour a Little Out: when you’re feeling a little “Blue”…