Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues Marvel’s string of successful films.  It’s also a sequel that lives up to and in some aspects, exceeds the original.  This is something that Marvel Studios excels at that most other studios have failed to figure out.  I think the success of Marvel’s sequels can be attributed to planning and forethought that Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, has put into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Every film has a place and advances the overall narrative of the universe.

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Having already established these previously unknown characters in the original Guardians film, they are able to jump right into the action.  Along the way they also introduce new characters, Ego and Mantis, and delve further into Gamora’s relationships with both Nebula and Starlord.  The fast-paced action scenes and comedy throughout make the two hour movie fly by.

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There is no shortage of comedy in Guardians of the Galaxy.  I found myself laughing pretty hard throughout the film, even more so than the first one.  Marvel Studios (and Disney by virtue of being its Parent Company) really pushed the envelope in this regard.  The film is rated PG-13, but I think they really brought it as close as they could to an R rating, language wise, without crossing that line.  I never thought I’d see a Disney film with so many jokes about a certain part of the male anatomy.  I don’t have kids, but I would think twice before bringing someone younger than 13.  I don’t know if this was done because of the success of Deadpool, a film full of graphic language and gory violence, but this does at least seem to be the start of trend in the superhero genre.  We’ll have to see if it continues with Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok.  I’d just like to make it clear that Guardian of the Galaxy was nowhere near as vulgar as Deadpool, and I don’t see Disney/Marvel Studios producing an R rated film.

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The film has a good, but not excellent plot.  It seems to be a little all over the place during the first half of the movie, but it’s all tied together in the second half.  While there are some surprises and touching moments, the film is driven more by the action and comedy than the plot.

Overall, this was a great film.  I saw it in a 3D theater and the visuals and special effects looked excellent as was the sound.  If you have not seen it, you should try to make time next weekend to go.  I saw it once to write this review and will probably be back before it’s run in theaters ends.  I’ll also be buying the Blu-ray if it has some quality extras and bonus features.

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Make sure to stay through the credits.  There are a few different scenes added in between the credits.  Some are just in there for fun, but there is one that seems to be a hint toward the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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