When Guardians of the Galaxy was released in August 2014, it took the world by surprise. The combination of the cast, soundtrack, and visuals made for a movie experience that was special and completely different from anything else Marvel had been doing. To say that the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, was highly anticipated would be a complete understatement and it didn’t disappoint fans – with many walking away saying that it was even better than the first. While I don’t agree with that statement, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a great action-comedy that is enjoyable even after multiple viewings. Now you can own it on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD or Digital HD! Let’s look at why you should bring home Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 today.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The end of Guardians of the Galaxy was really the beginning of the journey for the newly formed and dysfunctional family consisting of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel). Like any family, the Guardians aren’t perfect, and things become complicated when Peter’s estranged father, Ego (Kurt Russell) shows up to reveal the mystery surrounding him. The family theme runs throughout the entire movie, and the Guardians are closer than ever by the end of the movie. I won’t go into the plot anymore for those who haven’t seen the film yet.
Writer/Director James Gunn started working on Vol. 2 the day that Guardians of the Galaxy was released, and you can absolutely tell that this movie was a labor of love. Almost the entire cast of characters are fleshed out further than in the original film, with the most development surrounding Drax and perhaps the stand-out character from Vol. 2, Yondu (Michael Rooker). The only reason I can’t give Yondu more credit is the phenomenon of adorableness that is Baby Groot. We knew that a baby version of Groot would be amazing after seeing the dancing Groot at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, but I don’t think anyone could’ve prepared for how annoyingly cute Baby Groot was in this sequel.
The rest of the cast delivers strong performances and Kurt Russell doesn’t miss a beat with his performance as Ego. Throw in some cameos, including one by Sylvester Stallone, and this is one of the best casts you could ask for outside of an Avengers movie. Add in some of the most visually beautiful environments with a mesmerizing use of color and everything is taken to the next level. Although Gunn believes the soundtrack to the sequel is better than the first, I would disagree. That’s not saying the soundtrack is bad, but it doesn’t have the same impact. A lot of the musical choices in Vol. 2 are specifically serving the plot, whereas the first movie felt more like Gunn chose his favorite songs to make his Awesome Mix Vol. 1.
If you haven’t seen Vol. 2 yet, let me reassure you that it absolutely worth a blind buy if you were a fan or own the first in the series. It isn’t better than Guardians of the Galaxy, but it is a great extension of the story.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is somewhat lacking in bonus features, which is disappointing considering that the features available leave a lot to be desired. Nonetheless, there are some gems included that are absolutely worth watching.
- Bonus Round: The Making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – This four part series acts as the making-of the film comprising of In The Director’s Chair With James Gunn, Reunion Tour: The Music Of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Living Planets And Talking Trees: The Visual Effects of Vol. 2, and Showtime: The Cast of Vol. 2. The whole behind-the-scenes look combines to be around 30 minutes, but it feels like it only scratches the surface. The short with James Gunn is great, but you might as well just listen to his Audio Commentary track if you want the real deal. The music short does explain a lot behind the song choices and is worth a watch, but the visual and cast shorts just feel like fluff.
- “Guardians Inferno” Music Video – If you’ve watched Vol. 2 or read the soundtrack list, you might remember that David Hasselhoff is featured in a song. Well, they made a music video for that song in a ’70s throwback fashion, and while I found it to be absolutely bizarre at first, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the day after watching it. Besides the style being a ton of fun, it’s also entertaining to spot the cameos from the Guardians stars, especially the ones who only appear in full make-up in the film.
- Deleted Scenes – When you’re lucky, deleted scenes will help to flesh out the story more and sometimes even fill plot holes that were accidentally created when the scenes hit the cutting room floor. These special scenes are disinteresting at best. First off, there are only four deleted scenes and I could only say that two of them worth watching and both are more or less just extended scenes – one showcasing the back and for between Star-Lord and Adolescent Groot that is shown during the end credits and another between Star-Lord and Kraglin showing a bit more information about the Zune.
- Gag Reel – Gag reels are always a ton of fun, but a lot of the outtakes shown in this one have already made their way around the web, but it will still deliver a chuckle or two.
Now, it should be noted that these are just the features that you’ll find on the physical disc of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. There are two sets of extras that are available only digitally that add to the collection. The first is a behind-the-scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure, and if you’re a theme park fan then chances are you’ve already seen everything you need to know about the attraction or you’ve already been on it. The other is a Scene Breakdown that shows the progression from storyboard to raw footage to VFX to the final product of three different scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. For those of you who are truly interested in how this movie was made, look no further than the scene breakdowns. Over the course of an hour, you’ll learn way more than in the actual making-of featurette.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Marvel Studios films, Guardians of the Galaxy and Vol. 2 are both highly entertaining and seem more like Star Wars-inspired stories than comic book movies. So far, the pair of movies is the best origin and sequel that Marvel has created so far and I highly recommend bringing home Vol. 2 if you already own the first, and if you own neither then just splurge for both!