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How an angry, talking raccoon ended up being the best part of Marvel movies is somewhat of a miracle.

The sophomore outing of Marvel’s resident space pirates has finally arrived to the cultural zeitgeist, and it is printing money as fast as any other recent Marvel film. While it trades in a lot of the same fun and frolic as Vol. 1, it does seem hampered by the tradition of living up to the expectations set by the game changing original. There is lots of action, plenty of laughs and a lot of the same quirkiness that made Guardians of the Galaxy a household name, but at times it seems a little over long with a little ham-fisted injection of things that would normally be considered subtext.

All that being said, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 is still a great film. After nine years, and 15 movies, Guardians of the Galaxy has proven one thing: outside of the heroics, megablockbuster action sequences and hero on hero violence, the Guardians franchise continues to be the heart and soul of the interconnected, spandex-clad, bad guy punching universe, and here’s five reasons why.


It's Directed by James Gunn

Marvel chooses its directors based on some weird algorithm that sees potential in some of the weirdest entertainment industry outsiders (keep in mind that prior to directing Winter Soldier and Civil War, the Russo brothers were most known for directing episodes of Community). James Gunn was a director who lived in his own little world making films that were weird, and out there, and unique. Given the opportunity to take of the weirder part of the comic book world he jumped in with both feet.

James Gunn truly loves the ideas and characters that he gets to play with. He regularly — more so than any director should — interacts with the fan base in an unfiltered way. If you spend even two minutes on his facebook page, you can see him responding to fans directly. He knows that these characters mean a great deal to a lot of people, and he takes great pleasure in shepherding them through their trials and tribulations. Where Joss Whedon was the nerd messiah that brought The Avengers to the big screen, James Gunn is everyone’s favorite uncle telling them bed time stories that he really loves.

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