galaxyGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released May 5th, accumulated $146,510,104 in the opening weekend at the box office and has racked up 642.90 million in gross revenue so far, according to imdb.com. This thrilling, action-packed adventure earned every penny. Through its exhilarating battle and chase scenes, fascinating character development, and powerful themes, this sequel doesn’t just live up to the high-standards set by its prequel. It shatters them.

Watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is like riding a rollercoaster through outer space.

It’s consistently exciting and thoroughly entertaining. It’s filled with climactic highs, like when Peter and the gang are fighting the Kraken-like monster at the beginning of the film and more reflective lows, like when Peter sits down with his father after having a fight with the woman he loves. It is also important to mention the amazing cinematography and beautiful scenes presented by this movie. Viewers really do feel like they are flying through outer space at warp speed as Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot’s faces contort in uncomfortable positions. The planet in the shape of Kurt Russell’s face and the spectacular firework display at the end are also exemplifications of this movie’s stellar cinematography. These moments simply wouldn’t be the same without today’s technology.

Everyone should take a moment to appreciate how far the movie and TV industry have come. My parents talked to me about how amazed they were growing up to watch Star Trek and see the actors/actresses hold up a mobile phone and fly in spaceships. Looking back, it is laughable to them how fake everything looks in comparison to today’s standards.

However, many movies are action-packed and contain advanced cinematography. It is what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 does differently that makes it such a special film.

This movie’s focus on character development brings with it a powerful portrayal of emotion that many action and Sci-Fi films lack.
Peter’s discovery of his unique origins, Rocket’s touching conversation with Yondu, and Baby Groot’s hilarious dancing and battle scenes are sure to make any audience laugh, smile, and even cry. Some may call it sappy, but many are sure to connect with the ostracism shared by Rocket and Yondu, the journey of self-realization undertaken by Peter in finding and understanding his roots, and the selflessness shown by Yondu. This portrayal of emotion also helps to develop the film’s surprisingly deep themes. For example, the danger of obsessing over a dream, the danger of absolute power, and the importance of appreciating what you have: “Sometimes what you’ve been searching for your entire life is right in front of you” (Chris Pratt).

One thing I really like about both Guardians movies is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. The actors/actresses acknowledge the ridiculousness of certain scenes, and they aren’t afraid to poke fun at it or even at themselves. These movies are unique in the way they maintain a light and humorous tone while still containing important themes and lessons.

Additionally, I like how each actor/actress stays so true to his/her character. So many movies stress the importance of dynamic characters, but the character of Drax shows that a character doesn’t have to be dynamic to be both lovable and interesting. Baby Groot’s scenes, Drax’s unchanging loud and bold nature, and the numerous other funny scenes make this a truly hilarious sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a unique film, because it is just so wonderfully weird.

It embraces the strange aliens and settings presented by canon in a way that most superhero movies of the past (such as Batman and Superman) shy away from. It embraces diversity to such an extent that it creates entirely new races! This movie and its prequel’s proud portrayal of diversity marks a significant shift in the comic book movie industry. It is an inspiring change to see, and it may help to change the hearts and minds of people today. Racism and discrimination arise from a fear of the unknown and a fear of what is different. If people can accept and even enjoy watching a golden race of people remote control battleships, an alien reading emotion through her antennas, or a raccoon instructing a tree on the mechanics of how to detonate a bomb, perhaps they will learn to accept the diversity of today’s world.

From its talented cast and thought-provoking themes to its engrossing battle sequences and stunning settings, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits a wide span of criteria for what makes a Sci-Fi/super hero movie great. No matter who you are or how you feel about movies with aliens in them, you are sure to find something to appreciate in this fantastic sequel.

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