It's felt like a long three years since we've last seen the Guardians of the Galaxy, but that wait is officially over with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2! Which means that the frenzy over the latest Marvel Studios feature should be at an all time high right about now. But hype and expectations aside, there's one important question we have to ask and answer before the general public enters the theater: to 3D, or not to 3D?
Now if you're looking for what we thought of the film itself, you'll have to read our official review, which can be found here. But if you're interested in figuring out whether you're buying a 2D or IMAX 3D ticket to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, then you've come to the right place. So make sure your Walkman has some fresh batteries, as we're about to crank this baby up!
The question isn't, "Do you release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 3D?" Rather, anyone involved in the production should be asking themselves, "Why wouldn't we release the damned thing in 3D?" With so many of the hallmarks of both superhero movies and space-bound adventures on display, and coated in a crazy color palette that recalls the trippier parts of the 70's and 80's, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 more than deserves a three dimension overhaul.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, much like most films on the market, is a post-conversion 3D effort. However, just as he worked on Guardians of the Galaxy's third dimensional enhancements, James Gunn himself oversaw the 3D AND IMAX conversion of this film. While you can tell a good 3D job had an excellent team behind its creation, there's some extra special love in this film's presentation, both through ratio expansion and 3D thrills. Your eyes are going to be so busy with this one!
For the most part, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is pretty reserved with what it throws out of the screen and into the audience. It's not that it doesn't include a good amount of objects blowing up and scattering towards the screen, it's just that they don't protrude too far out from beyond the window. Except for one, beautiful example of breaking the 3D window that happens quite a couple times throughout the film: Yondu's arrow. We won't spoil it here, but suffice it to say that this effect really puts a fine point on the film's 3D presentation.
The depth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's "Beyond The Window" is quite astounding, especially considering the elements that are on display in the world of the film's visuals. In particular, the sequences exploring space travel show this aspect of the film's presentation very well. Not to mention, battle scenes where there's tons of crafts zooming around in every direction are enhanced by the field of depth between said craft and the backgrounds they're fighting against. Even dangling a Guardian out of an attack craft demonstrates perfect visual focus, paying more attention to the person in peril than the backgrounds, but not losing any detail.
Now, while Brightness in a 3D film will vary depending on the theatre you frequent, the screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that was seen for the purpose of this review was quite dim. Beyond the noticeable difference between having the glasses on and off during the film, the 3D presentation seemed dim even without the glasses on. This only made putting the glasses back on dim the picture further, and it also affected the film's audience health score in a significant way.
If you like your 3D blur turned up to the highest setting, then you're going to have a lot to smile about with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Raising your glasses during any sequence of the film's story will show you a varied field of blurry vision. This typically means the depth in the 3D picture is going to be exemplary, and that's certainly the case for this movie. Even closer shots of characters that would typically be closer to 2D in other conversions are presented with a subtle blur provided.
There is a fair amount of visual confusion during the earlier parts of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The frenetic action, and some of the quick pan motions, wonk the eye out just a little. This causes the focus of the frame to be a bit blurred, and taxes the eyes when trying to understand just what's going on. Of course, due to the dimmed brightness of this particular presentation, the entire film is a little rough to watch when it comes to eye strain, as there are moments where taking off your classes is greatly encouraged, if only to take a break.