Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director(s): James Gunn
Writer(s): James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan and Sean Gunn
Reviewed by: Ian Evans on
Release Date(s)May 5, 2017 - Wide
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 manages quite the magic trick: it hilariously pokes fun at the tropes and conventions of the sci-fi action film while also being a solid sci-fi action film. It opens with the Guardians doing what they do best — saving the galaxy at the behest of a client. As Peter (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (the voice of Bradley Cooper) battle one cuss ugly space monster, Baby Groot (the voice of Vin Diesel) bops and twirls to the sounds of Peter’s mix-tape as mayhem unfolds, slashes and spurts around him. It’s a great reintroduction to the characters and also sets the comic anarchy levels appropriately. When Rocket mischievously makes off with some of the very valuable batteries the Guardians were supposed to save, the action gets kicked up a notch and sets the stage for Peter to meet his alien father, the aptly named, Ego (Kurt Russell).
While the story focuses on Peter and the gang getting to know the deep inner workings of Peter’s half-alien genealogy, we also get to see the current state of affairs of Yondu (Michael Rooker), the mercenary thief who raised Peter and has now been hired to track him down. Yondu’s band of space pirates have as much loyalty as, well, a bunch of space pirates and also host a nice cameo from Sylvester Stallone as the head of another Ravager clan.
The great thing about director James Gunn’s flick is that it isn’t just a shallow swashbuckling adventure set in the far reaches of the galaxy. Drax may be muscle-bound and laugh maniacally at inappropriate moments, but he also has an inner sorrow. Gamora has a complex sibling relationship. Peter must deal with mixed feelings when meeting the father he never knew that also abandoned his mother. Each character has a story arc and set of real emotions to deal with. This added layer pulls the viewer in and commits them further to following this team into action. It’s a bit of a Marvel trope, adding depth to what some perceive as a shallow genre, the way that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a superhero film with shadings of a 1970’s political thriller.
James Gunn’s script gives us big laughs, edge of the seat action, and great character payoffs. The CGI effects are dazzling, the production design top-notch and the 3D version of the film which critics screened showed how far that technology has come as it immerses you in all the fun without some of pitfalls of past 3D films.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will entertain you and have you anticipating the next installment of this fun franchise.
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