The Biggest Problem With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ is Its Humor, According to Fans

The long wait for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has fans revisiting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and wondering why Marvel Cinematic Universe fans don’t like it better. 

Like a lot of sequels, such as, say, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians 2 is generally considered a good movie, if not as fresh and funny as the original. Some fans point the finger at, oddly enough, the humor, which one would think would be a Guardians strong suit. 

How well did ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ do?

James Gunn on the red carpet
James Gunn | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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Before the first Guardians came out in 2014, there was some thought that would be Marvel’s stumble. It looked too … weird. A talking raccoon? A talking tree? Why does Chris Pratt wear that goofy-looking helmet? Isn’t that the lady in blue from Avatar? She’s green now? Show me, Marvel, some said. 

And show them Marvel did. The movie made $333  million domestically and $440 million overseas. Audiences loved the humor and derring-do of it all. When the sequel came out three years later, it did even better, making $390 million here and $479 million overseas. 

Critically, the second movie did a little less well than its predecessor.  The first movie scored a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while the second movie scored 85 percent.

The consensus read, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that’s almost as fun — if not quite as thrillingly fresh — as its predecessor.”

So how did a movie only a little less good than the original become a problem? 

How do fans see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2?’

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On Reddit, a topic-starter asked, “GotG Vol. 2 turns 3 today. Don’t know why it gets so much hate sometimes — in my opinion, its character development, story, emotional resonance and (most of the time) humor are top notch. Top 5 in the MCU for me!”

Even that fan qualified the humor with the phrase “most of the time,” and some fans seized on that. One wrote, “The relentless humor is far and away the biggest criticism of it. I actually have never seen anybody complain about anything but the humor, which seems to be an indicator of how good the movie is beyond it … I’ve seen criticisms about too many jokes, forced jokes, jokes at inopportune times, etc.”

In a way, the movie’s greatest sin may be that it never lives up to the humor of its opening sequence, which features an unbroken shot of Baby Groot dancing to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” while all kinds of chaos erupts around him. One could argue that it’s all downhill from there, even if the slope is pretty gentle. 

What’s the latest on the long-awaited ‘Vol 3?’

Had it not been for the James Gunn controversy, the third Guardians movie probably would have been out by now. As it stands, the entire Marvel lineup is on hold, with Phase 4 pushed into 2022 by the pandemic. There won’t even be a Comic-Con this year at which Marvel would announce the next lineup of movies. 

That said, Gunn has promised it’s on its way, and he’s been working on the script. In the interim, he has written and directed The Suicide Squad, due out next in August 2021.

That’s one of the few tentpole movies that probably won;’t get delayed because Gunn reported that he finished production before the shutdown hit. If he can shoot Guardians Vol. 3 with the same kind of efficiency, the wait for it may not be quite so long.