Guardians of the Galaxy was always the most overtly comedic franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and Vol. 2 follows in those footsteps. Most films in the MCU employ humor, but none are governed by the success of references, call-backs, meta-humor, and jokes quite like Guardians. As a result, one’s appreciation for this sequel is going to be heavily dependent on whether or not these attempts at humor land. If you feel like some of the jokes are a little forced, are over-reliant on pop culture reference, or attempt to recreate similar gags from the original, then you’re going to find Vol. 2 a little derivative and strained. Otherwise, you’ll have a good time.
The original Jurassic Park is a modern masterpiece with memorable and developed characters, a tight plot, and it helped usher in the modern use of CGI in blockbuster films, to boot. None of the sequels have ever lived up to the possibilities created by Jurassic Park in terms of story, character, or heart, and sadly Jurassic World is no exception – but it is closer than anything else. The film also partly succeeds as a meta-commentary on the failure of the modern blockbuster by dialing the dino-action up to 11. Jurassic World often draws attention to the prowess of the original and on the upwards creep of audience expectation, to the point that the final battle scene can only be interpreted as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on “bigger and better” CGI fights. What results is a fun-looking film lacking a coherent plot with broadly-drawn characters who are as annoying as they are forgettable – but at least four different dinosaurs face off in the climactic battle!