Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 review: How does it impact Infinity War?

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What worked?

To be frank, damn near everything.

Instead of backing down, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 doubled down on everything that made the first film so fun, ambitious, and original.

All our favorites are back, and a newcomer in Mantis, with character arcs and new development that, amazingly enough, outpace those of most of the traditional heroes represented in The Avengers.

Space Lord is funnier than ever, more clever, more human and relatable in a world of the bizarre. Drax is still the most unintentionally funny character in the history of film. Rocket is the selfish rogue with a heart of gold that Han Solo only wishes he could be. Gamora and Nebula, still suffering under the shadow of Thanos, have grown large in their own right, into the most fascinating, compelling female characters seen yet in the MCU.

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Beyond that, Kurt Russel is sublime (as he usually is) as Ego, with an energy and screen presence that capably balances the motley cast and their diverse styles.

Micahel Rooker’s Yondu is better than ever–given depth and some of the best lines of the franchise. He absolutely kills a performance that requires him leaving you in stitches for 80% of the movie and then bringing you to tears in the final stanza.

Apart from the human aspects, the film is visually exhilarating, inventive from a cinematographic perspective, perfectly paced, and tight as a drum from a story and plot perspective. It is the rarest of things, the sequel that actually improves on the original. It brags an unusual distinction among Marvel movies, being arguably the funniest film and the one with the most affecting emotional moment when Peter Quill’s battle with his omnipotent father takes an unexpected, tragic turn, leading to a final resolution that is nothing short of stunning.

It is, simply put, a good frickin’ movie, and I don’t really mean frickin’.