Months before Marvel Studios released the first Guardians of the Galaxy film in 2014, director James Gunn and the team behind him were so confident in the success of Guardians of the Galaxy they went ahead and announced the sequel. Though at the time, this was extremely odd and bold choice for a studio to jump the gun and announce a sequel before the film launching a series had been released, it seemed they knew what they were doing. The success of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy was unexpected and left the fans wanting more of the new beloved characters Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. I had the privilege of venturing out to the Gem Theatre in Heber Springs this Monday evening to watch the much-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The movie is a continuation of the story about the team of misfit space rebels turned heroes as they discover the mystery of one of their own, Peter Quill, true lineage. 

The story put together by the writers felt a little off once the movie began. As I watched the first two acts, I was a little unsure where the movie was suppose to go and what it was actually suppose to be about, but once the third act began, the pieces that seemed to be scattered started to come together. The writers did a wonderful job bringing every loose and odd end of the plot together making the movie feel whole. 

Writer and director, James Gunn, with co-writer, Dan Abnett, wrote a fantastic story of the relationship between fathers and sons, a belief in a higher being, and a story of family. The themes and tones surrounding the film I felt were much needed in Marvel Cinematic Universe saga of films Marvel Studios have been bringing to fans. 

One of James Gunn’s best decisions in both the first and sequel was his choice of music throughout the film. The music he chose was great and worked for every moment it was used. From the beginning the film to the end, every song played throughout the movie did its job by progressing the story smoothly and keeping the audience engaged at what was happening before them. 

The cast was really good, but the real stand for me was Dave Bautista’s Drax. In the first film, Drax was a stone cold annihilator that was driven by revenge for the death of his family, but in this film, the writers moved him from a serious unstoppable for a nature to a carefree and loving life character. This made all the moments he had on screen some of the funniest throughout the film. 

The movie, in my opinion, had funnier than the last film. The writers showed the audience how much the characters had developed since the last film which allows the characters to be more open and have the funnier moments they were given on screen. 

It’s always hard to compare a sequel to an original film, but in the case of The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it was just as good as the first. Though the story seemed a little all over the place, it came back around. The cast was wonderful and the music was great. I give Marvel Studios The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 a solid 5 out of 5 stars. 

(Zachary Carlisle is a resident of Heber Springs and writes entertainment reviews as well as other stories of local interest for The Sun Times.)