Similar to the first movie, too much computer animation for my liking. Also, sadly I believe there was a little too much Chris Prattiness in the fist half of the movie, it was trying too hard to be funny and it hit on some jokes and missed on others. It got to the point where the comedy was too obvious, the banter seemed robotic. Not a fan of Gamora and Pratt’s star lord, we get it Gamora has attachment issues stemming from having Thanos as an abusive father and having Nebula as a crazy sister. This is the worst dynamic in the movie, it is portrayed flatly and Saldana and Pratt didn’t impress me from a chemistry standpoint.
On the other end of the spectrum, big fan of Drax and Mantis. I like that they both tell the truth and deal with the consequences, time to get heavy, but I think this quality lacks in our society as a whole. We white lie all day long in attempts to remain Politically correct or “nice”. What is nice? I would say Drax saying he likes Mantis because of her personality and how she treats others would qualify as “nice”, but I also think there is an argument to be made that when he says “she is hideous to look at” it works to give weight to his feelings. Yes it is a horrible thing to say to someone, but is it really that horrible when Drax puts it into context by saying he likes her anyway? Now Mantis knows Drax actually likes her and not her looks all because he is incapable of couching his comments as our society demands of us. I digress, but like I said I like the Drax and Mantis dynamic, it rings as true as the comments they constantly throw at each other.
However, my favorite coupling of the whole movie is Rocket Raccoon and Yondu. Michael Rooker is great in his badass to father figure role, not only to *spoiler alert* Chris Pratt, but also to Rocket. Yondu’s unexpected turn to the sensitive side really struck me and was something I did not entirely see coming. Obviously it works as a plot point to motivate Pratt’s Star Lord to fight against his father , Ego, with some cheesy line about piloting his arrow with his “heart”( even though it is connected to his brain telepathically through his fin I believe) not his mind. Yondu’s line to Rocket about, ” I know you boy” brought a tear to my cynical eyes and to me was a much more effective emotional moment because it didn’t have the dramatic “save the galaxy Starlord with this wisdom” backdrop, instead it was Yondu sincerely reaching out to a rough and tumble, emotionally vulnerable cynical character similar to himself just for the sake of doing it.
Overall, the movie hits a lot of the points from the original, good banter sprinkled with good action. Explaining that your main antagonist is a living planet was handled well enough considering not having much precedent, unless maybe you consider the “plants are killing us” reveal from “The Happening” as being of the same vein. That reveal also sucked so still nothing to go off of. Too much computer animation, but that seems to be the way most of the film industry is trending. Another Guardians movie is promised by the ending, I think for the next one the formula will need to be tweaked or audiences will start to get the feeling that we have been tricked into watching the same movie 3 times. Still a solid movie, sprinkle in some more Yondu bonding moments with any of the characters and it would have been pushed into the great category for me. Also, baby Groot was pretty cute and I thought it was hilarious that it was integral to the plot that he was an idiot. Michael Rooker wins in my book for best performance in them movie, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket is second for me.