As Marvel keeps adding movies to the MCU it’s natural to assume that they’ll eventually make a movie that drops the ball. Especially when they advertise their movies for so long and get them surrounded by so much hype. However, Guardians of the Galaxy is not going to be the movie that drops that proverbial ball. Warning, spoilers ahead.
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After saving the galaxy, the Guardians of the Galaxy have been getting good work as galactic mercenaries. Their most recent employers are the Sovereigns. They have been tasked with secure some Anulax batteries for the Sovereigns. After a battle set to the tune of “Mr. Blue Sky” the Guardians report back to the Sovereign High Priestess, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) with news that the batteries have been secured. In exchange for their services the Guardians are given the prisoner, Nebula (Karen Gillan) so that they can collect her bounty.
As the Guardians are leaving, Rocket (Bradley Cooper, voice) reveals that he stole the batteries from the elitist Sovereign. About that time, Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) notices that they’re being pursued by the Sovereign fleet. Despite some evasive maneuvering they’re still about to be blown apart before a mysterious ship appears and takes out the rest of the fleet. The Guardians crash land on a nearby planet and are greeted by their mysterious savior who reveals himself to be Ego (Kurt Russell), Peter’s father. Ego is accompanied by Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and empath that assists him in dealing with the suffering associated with losing Peter and his mother. Despite constantly lamenting the absence of a father in his life, Peter is hesitant to believe Ego. After taking some time, Peter decides to accompany Ego along with Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) leaving Rocket and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel, voice) to fix the ship and look after Nebula.
While repairing the ship, Rocket is ambushed by Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his team of Ravagers. They were hired by Ayesha to track them down. It is also revealed that Yondu was dishonorably dismissed from the Ravager core after dealing in children. When Yondu looks like he’s going to help Peter instead of fulfilling Ayesha’s request, his crew mutiny’s. Aided by Nebula the Ravagers capture Yondu, Rocket and Groot. Nebula is provided with a ship while the mutineers proceed to kill the members of the crew who are loyal to Yondu before locking Rocket and Yondu up. They leave Groot free as a mascot because he’s too cute to kill. Eventually, the duo are able to free themselves with the help of Groot and Kraglin (Sean Gunn), the lone Yondu loyalist left on the ship. They proceed to murder the traitors and head to Ego’s planet in order to save Peter.
On Ego’s planet, Ego has been explaining to Peter how he met his mother and had to leave in order to return to himself. Ego, is the actual planet and the body that he inhabits is a shell that he used to explore the universe. Ego shows Peter that his power runs through his son and that he can use it to build and shape things. Peter is enjoying bonding with his father and taking some time to try to who Gamora after Mantis already revealed that he was in love with her.
Later, Ego reveals that his plan is to use his progeny as a power source to destroy the galaxy so that he can reshape it. Ego had many children all over the universe and used Yondu to bring the children to him, the task that Yondu was dishonored for. Unfortunately for those children, they did not inherit the Celestial power like Peter and Ego killed them. He also reveals that he killed Peter’s mother so that he wouldn’t feel the pain of being separated from her. Upon hearing this, Peter erupts in a rage and unloads his guns into Ego. This doesn’t really affect Ego, who plunges a tentacle through Peter in order to start siphoning off his Celestial energy. Once he does this, seeds of Ego all over the galaxy begin consuming planets. Oh yeah, he also breaks Peter’s Walkman.
Elsewhere on the planet, Gamora is ambushed by Nebula in the Ravager ship. After the two engage in a ridiculous battle, Nebula reveals that she’s not angry at Gamora for being better than her, but because she just wanted to be her to be her sister. Nebula was mutilated by Thanos every time she lost to Gamora when they were children, but Gamora was only concerned with winning and saving herself. Gamora apologizes to her for not considering what Thanos was doing to Nebula because of her losses when they were children. The two of them form a tenuous alliance when they discover the tomb of Ego’s discarded children.
All of the Guardians (including Nebula, Mantis and Yondu) converge on Ego and prepare to go save Peter and the Galaxy. At this point, it’s become clear that Yondu fell out with Ego and the Ravagers in order to save Peter from Ego and, instead, raised him as his own son. After a bizarre battle that pits a super powered Star-Lord against his planet father, Groot is able to plant a bomb at Ego’s core. Star-Lord is willing to sacrifice his immortality and his life to save his friends and the Galaxy and has them all start to get on the ship while he battles Ego one-on-one. Before the final explosion kills Peter, Yondu flies in and scoops Peter up. He uses the only space suit between them and puts it on Peter. Yondu tells Peter that he’s proud of him and that Ego may have been his father, but he was never his daddy. Peter is then forced to watch his real father figure freeze in the void of space.
When they return to the ship, the Guardians give Yondu a proper Ravager funeral. Nebula heads off on her own to search for Thanos and gives her sister a reluctant hug before she leaves. Mantis, having lost her charge, decides to stay with the Guardians. Kraglin presents Peter with a Zune to replace his lost Walkman. Yondu had been meaning to give it to Peter for a while. In return, Peter gives Kraglin Yondu’s arrow. Having learned everything that Yondu had done, Kraglin had sent word to the Ravager core in the hopes of posthumously clearing his name. As Yondu’s body goes out into space, the Guardians (and Kraglin) are happy to see the other Ravager ships appear to give Yondu a proper send off.
- The movie also has a story arc for Rocket where he learns to not be such a jerk all the time.
- Stan Lee cameos as a Watcher
- In the post credits, Ayesha reveals her new plan to take down the Guardians is in a birthing pod. She decides to call it “Adam” (probably referencing Adam Warlock)
- Groot is now Teenage Groot in the post credits.
- Yondu’s old Ravager buddies honor his sacrifice by forming a new team. It consists of Stakar (Sylvester Stallone) ,Martinex T’Naga (Michael Rosenbaum), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Starhawk (Michelle Yeoh), and Mainframe (Miley Cyrus). So many cameos crammed into a post-credits scene.
What did I think?
If you enjoyed the first Guardians of the Galaxy and wanted more of that movie, then this movie gives you exactly what you want. The characters are pretty much exactly the same as they were in the first movie. The humor is almost exactly the same. The musical references have been reloaded and, this time, they’re even intertwined into the story. If you wanted, something new or something bigger, then you’re probably going to be disappointed.
That was probably my biggest complaint about the movie: it’s too much of the same thing both with respect to the previous movie and the content of this one. There’s only so many times that Drax can say a phrase wrong or say something socially awkward. Gamora and Peter’s dance is also pretty much the same in this movie. Groot’s entire existence is just an extended version of the dancing baby tag from the previous movie who becomes conveniently useful at the end. Then there’s Rocket who’s just slightly more of an egregious dick in this movie than he was in the last one. The Guardians are still irreverent overall and the universe is still in overwhelming danger.
Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it’s necessarily, bad. It did make things feel a little bit stale, but it was still enjoyable. The visuals are still so bright and captivating that it’s hard to not constantly find something visually interesting on the screen. The Guardians’ lovable personalities, anchored by Chris Pratt, kept me invested in their characters and the humor is, at least, at the same levels as the previous movie.
So, even if it’s not a standout movie for me, it’s a great follow-up for fans of the first movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy
- They really lean into the comedy and interplay that made the first movie popular
- This time the music is part of the plot, not just a retro soundtrack
- Michael Rooker has an unexpectedly moving role
- It starts to feel like some characters are just making a different version of the same joke over and over again.
- The plot elements aren't very deep