GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (You’re a Fine Blu-ray)

One of Marvel’s best releases, is also one of the best films of 2017

Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)…and the films other tracks. On repeat. It took the potency of the Baby Driver soundtrack to supplant GOTG2’s playlist from my car. A audible delight that serves as a effective reminder as to the film’s charms. Now on digital and home video, a re-watch confirms that James Gunn delivered a film that is unabashedly fun, but one deepened and elevated with its themes and characters. Not just a highlight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but one of the best films of 2017 too.


Riding high on their new reputation as Guardians of the Galaxy, the team find themselves on an assignment, hired by the golden-skinned Sovereign race led by a woman named Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). Their mission, to protect some of their technology against an inter-dimensional beast; in exchange, they will gain custody of Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) sister Nebula (Karen Gillian), so they can turn her over to the Nova Corp, to be punished for her role in the attack on Xandar. While they succeed, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals the tech they were meant to be protecting, leading to the Sovereign attacking their ship. They are saved by the timely intervention by a man named Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) long lost father. Thus begins a journey for them all as Peter, Gamora, and Drax (Dave Bautista) travel with Ego and his companion Mantis (Pom Klementieff) to his planet to become acquainted. Meanwhile Rocket, Groot, and Nebula find their mission to repair their ship sidetracked when Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravager crew turn up, hired by Ayesha to capture them, while also looking to settle some old scores. As the Guardians are brought back together, they discover that Ego might have an ulterior motive for seeking out his son.

With its opening, a baby Groot shimmying to ELO’s Mr Blue Sky as the rest of the Guardians battle a beast behind him, GOTG2 immediately sets a tone for what is to come. A joyous, playful venture, guaranteed to put a smile on your face and set your toes tapping for much of its runtime. It’s a journey of self-discovery for the Guardians. Each having personal arcs that deal with sibling rivalry, daddy issues, loss, and abandonment. Combined with the irreverent humor, stunning visuals, and quirky characters you’d expect, together with more baby Groot than you can shake a stick at (sorry/not sorry).

Gamora is far more fleshed out this time round, shades of vulnerability drawn out by the prolonged presence of her sister Nebula, which also gives Gillian more to work with too. The latter is even used to convey more of the twisted nature of Thanos than anything else the MCU has shown so far. Rooker’s Yondu steals the show as both he and Cooper’s Rocket combine ass-kicking with eliciting an impressive amount of sympathy for their plight. The breakout pairing might just be between Drax and newcomer Mantis, an empath imbued with a naive sweetness by Klementieff. Bautista has made his talent for comedic timing evident, but he takes it to another level here. His bluntness counters the sentimentality the film occasionally veers into; it’s a wonderful ‘get out’ as mawkishness creeps in. The emotional content does show up Pratt’s limitations, but it’s a minor niggle. The film even manages to muster not just one, but two well fleshed out villains in Ayesha (Debicki) and Ego, the latter played with gusto by the always magnificent Kurt Russell. Together, the cast continue to develop and play off each other brilliantly. If Vol. 1 was about bringing this family together, Vol. 2 is about them dealing with that union, and all the baggage each of the crew brings along with them.

With such a focus on the characters, Vol. 2 is a really personal tale, unsurprising given Gunn’s sole writing credit and seemingly free hand in crafting this series. He obviously has a love for these characters, and it permeates the film. His off-kilter sensibilities seep into every aspect of it. Gorgeous design work from sleek craft to art-deco inspired palaces, to snow strewn outposts, or the sight of a living planet, are all populated by an array of incredible creatures. Gunn continues to embrace nostalgia and pop culture, not just in term of a stonking soundtrack, but also with references to Cheers, David Hasselhoff, and even a beauty of a joke at Microsoft’s expense. Most of the laughs come from the characters and their banter, but there’s also a foray into physical comedy that is straight up Looney Tunes at times. Plus, that toe gag. The most impressive thing about the film is that it never feels tired, never loses energy or heart. It brings new characters into the fold while developing those that exist, solidifying an emotional core that ensures that Vol. 3 can’t come soon enough.

The Package

The image is as impressive as you’d expect from a Marvel/Disney release. Rich and vibrant colors, sharp detail, textured, with deep blacks. The film is a visual feast that is well represented here. Special features are plentiful and include:

  • The Making of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — A four-part, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, done in the style of classic-rock album liner notes: A wide range of topics are covered including Gunn’s vision for the film, personal anecdotes and insights from the cast, the musical selections for the film, special effects, and more. Pretty generic stuff, but covering a nice range of topics
  • Visionary Intro — Director James Gunn provides context on how he continues and expands the storylines of these beloved characters in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”: Gunn provides some nice context for how Vol. 2 takes these characters forward, as well as the overarching story
  • Guardians Inferno Music Video — Join David Hasselhoff and special guests for a galactic retro dance party: You’ve probably seen the video doing the rounds on YouTube. As hinted at in the end credits, a disco collaboration between the cast and the Hoff
  • Gag Reel — Laugh out loud at all the hilarious off-script shenanigans and bloopers that took place on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” featuring all your favorite Guardians: Short but amusing enough
  • Four Deleted Scenes — Check out four specific scenes that had to be cut from the film, including two extended scenes and two deleted scenes: Adolescent Groot ‘Extended’, Memorial to the War on Xandar, Kraglin and Quill Talk Tunes, and Mantis and Drax Feel the Sadness ‘Extended’. Interesting to see but sadly no context is provided for their exclusion
  • Audio Commentary — Check out a special narration of the film by director James Gunn, who guides fans through an inside look at the making of the movie: If you follow Gunn on social media, you’ll know he’s very open about his ideas, reasons, and processes when it comes to these films. His insight here is matched by a exuberance for the characters and their stories. It’s an entertaining, and detailed commentary and the best special feature in the release
  • DVD/Blu-ray combo with digital download code

Digital Exclusives:

  • Three Scene Breakdowns : We’ll reveal the anatomy of a few key scenes from the film. Discover the process in bringing these scenes to life. It starts with a doodle and the rest is film history. Audiences will be given the option to view 5–6 layers of specific scenes in the film. Scenes include “Eclector Escape,” “Gamora and Nebula,” and “Rocket and Ravagers.”
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!: Get an exclusive sneak peek inside the most anticipated ride at Disneyland, Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!. We’ll dig into the concepts and inspiration, and talk about what it took to bring the most epic ride at Disneyland to life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If a customer pays a premium for physical media, they deserve to get all the content on physical media. It’s egregious for companies to continue punishing loyalists in their push for all digital platforms.

The Bottom Line

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, writer/director James Gunn delivers a sequel that maintains the scale and spectacle of its predecessor, but puts more focus on the characters. It’s a joyous experience from start to finish, with a top notch presentation on Blu-ray. A film brimming with action, humor, heart, and SO much Baby Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is available on combo Blu-ray/DVD and 4K from August 22nd

Get it at Amazon:

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2- [4K] | [Blu-ray] | [DVD] | [Instant]

Further reading:

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