(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
Doug (vo): The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are interesting, because everyone has that one that they absolutely adore and another one that they think is okay. Some adore the first one, think the sequel's okay, some adore the second and think the first one's okay. Me? I'm a Vol. 2 kind of guy. I absolutely love this movie's sense of humor, its drama, its visuals, its effects, its characters, its pacing, its themes, I just fell in love with it.
Doug (vo): Our team of space outcasts are back, fighting all sorts of monsters and weird creatures and always on the run. But when trying to find a place to hide out, they come across a celestial named Ego, played by Kurt Russell. Russell, it's revealed, is Star-Lord's father. Yeah, I guess you can't expect a guy like this to have normal parents. His abilities are pretty much that of a god, he can create worlds from nothing. He can also destroy them with nothing, would suggest a very large threat, but the guy seems pretty nice. He gives them all a place to stay, he's a jokester, he's kind, but part of the situation, something just doesn't seem right. Nobody can put their finger on it, but there just seems to be something a little off, everybody, except, of course, Star-Lord, who just loves that he's found his actual dad and he's discovering who he is, where he came from, and what he's gonna do next. But meanwhile, the guy who raised Star-Lord, Yondu, played again by Michael Rooker, is in the middle of a mutiny with his crew taking over his ship and even capturing Groot and Rocket. While they desperately try to escape and even form a little bit of a bond, Star-Lord desperately tries to form a bond, and maybe thinks about trying to escape. It's one of those setups I love, where you feel like a prisoner, but you can never actually say you are. You can go at any time, it doesn't seem like you're really being threatened, yet somehow, it feels like you're being held against your will. Of course, secrets are discovered, betrayals are made, jokes are had, and giant, intergalactic battles involving Pac-Man appear, because that shit can work in a movie like this.
Doug (vo): What drew me the most to this film is not only that the sense of humor seemed to really be upped, I mean, the first film was very funny, but this one seemed especially funny, but the drama really seemed upped, too. A lot of the movie is just kind of taking it easy in these incredible environments and really letting them sink in. I really like films where the visuals kind of tell you the story. The background is almost as big a character.
(A scene showing Gamora and Nebula battling with each other before stopping and reaching an uneasy truce is shown)
Doug (vo): One of my favorite scenes is a really quiet moment where Gamora is just sitting in this field, and then suddenly, this ship comes down and attacks, and it's her sibling, and they try shooting at each other and blowing each other up, but then they both kind of get tired, they talk with one another, and they make amends, like siblings do. It's crazy and over-the-top, yet somehow, it feels kind of real. The emotions are all there, and they don't need to be talked about, they just need to be explored. You can learn just as much about a character with a few choice words and just seeing them walk alone than you can with paragraphs and paragraphs of dialogue.
(Several clips focusing on Yondu, as well as his scenes with Peter Quill/Star-Lord, are shown)
Doug (vo): With that said, there are a few things that don't quite add up. For example, I love Michael Rooker in this film. I mean, he's just a great character in this. But then, there's kind of this connection that he was always his dad and he raised Star-Lord, and...I don't know. The first film did not make that connection very strongly. I know they say, like, he was hard on him because he cared about him, but...eh, it feels like they're retconning the last film to kind of make this comparison work. But honestly, it's okay, because it's done so well in this film.
(Various footage focusing on several characters and action scenes is shown)
Doug (vo): I love the way all these relations work off each other, and they're all so unique and they're so well-defined. Where in the first movie, a lot of the drama seemed to just be at the beginning, a little bit in the middle, and then a little bit at the end, and they just kind of came out of nowhere, here, it seems balanced perfectly. They can go from one funny moment to an incredibly heartbreaking moment in just a millisecond. That way, a gigantic battle between a father and son, god and human can easily be interrupted by just showing Groot how to push a button. They both work, match up perfectly, and you care for everybody.
(The film's final scenes are shown, mostly focusing on the climax)
Doug (vo): Even the ending scene, which I won't give away, I'm not gonna lie, I got a little teary-eyed at. Somehow, this movie was working its magic without me even realizing it, to a point where when a character disappeared, I felt really bad, I felt as emotional as the characters in the film did. And a lot of that is because, we do like these characters, and we do understand where they're coming from, and they're strange, and they're weird, and they're outcasts, and they're goofy, but we can relate to all of it. If I had one gripe, it's that the ending does go on a little too long, and maybe they're making up for the fact that a lot of the action was saved for the end, and they're only bits and pieces in the rest of the film. Like I said, it is a lot of walking around and talking. So I guess they felt they had to make up for lost punching time and just throw it all in the third act. But still, that action is amazing, and it's so incredible to watch, and you're 100% on the characters' side. You want to see them work through what they're working through, you want to see them make connections, you want to see them win, you want to see them succeed.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): So, yeah. I can't say if you liked the first one, you're gonna love the second one, 'cause I know a lot of people that love the first one and think the second one's only okay. But I also know a lot of people that think the first one's okay like me, and absolutely adore the second one. I don't know what it is, but each film has something unique that connects with a lot of people. So whether you want to shoot a blaster or shed a tear, this is a movie that definitely takes you to the stars.
(One scene in the climax, showing the Guardians of the Galaxy, along with Yondu, Nebula and Mantis, all standing, ready to face the wrath of Ego's planet, is shown)