Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — Very Funny, But the First Was Better

I took my kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and wish I had not. The jokes were more crude, the dick jokes more voluminous, and the sex talk greater than the first. The movie doubled down on the crudity and amped up the profanity to deliver as many laughs per minute as possible at the expense of plot points and consistency.

It was a very funny money. Chris Pratt does a great job as does Bradley Cooper as Rocket the Raccoon. The star is Baby Groot.

This second part is more focused on family building, both Peter Quill finding his father and the Guardians realizing they are a family. Unfortunately, the exposition on this takes up more movie than necessary and the movie lacks the depth of the first movie. This one is superficially entertaining and superficially funny. Nicole Perlman wrote the first movie and was superseded by James Gunn, who both revised the script and directed it.

Volume 2 is all James Gunn and we get a sense of what Nicole Perlman must have contributed by what is not there. What isn’t there? Moments that were all necessary. Great portions of this second movie could have been left on the cutting room floor.

The ending wanted to be the ending to the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, where for thirty minutes the movie said goodbye in various scenes. Same here.

The movie is worth seeing and 3D, as usual, is not necessary. You will laugh throughout. But you won’t leave the theater glad you saw it there and running home to pre-order it in iTunes.

My kids, eight and eleven, both agreed it was funny, but not nearly as good or entertaining as the first one. They also both agreed it had some really inappropriate moments and unnecessary language inappropriate for kids.

Honestly, though, the worst part was the pre-show. It was what more and more theaters are playing before movies, highlighting various shows on Hulu, TNT, etc. It was completely inappropriate for all the kids in the crowd. The level of sex, violence, odes to lesbianism, etc. were off the charts and make me wonder if I’ll be able to take my kids into movies in the future. Increasingly, I think not, or we’ll have to go claim our seats and then leave till the previews start.

This is what our local movie theater showed before what was billed as a kid friendly film. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, at least, was less explicit and funnier. It still could have been more appropriate. But it was enjoyable and the kids laughed throughout, even at the cartoonish violence.

This one is worth seeing, but you can wait for iTunes.

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Erick Erickson

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