Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff
The Star-Lord and his crew, the Guardians of the Galaxy embark on another galactic adventure and raise blazing hell all across the universe.
Picking up where the first film left off, the second immediately goes straight into the action, where the Star Lord and his crew are hired to battle an inter-dimensional monster whilst hits from the 80s and the credits roll in the foreground (which form the basis of the film’s soundtrack more on that later) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel). An action by one of their crew, Rocket Racoon, causes the military force of the planet to chase them instead, and inadvertently crash-landing on an empty planet where Peter Qull (Partt), the Star-Lord, meets his biological father (portrayed by none other than the Kurt Russell), who turns out to be none other than the lord and master of the entire universe.
Mind you this is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, while still retaining an emotional core around themes of family (biological and otherwise) and fatherhood (themes that are somehow sneaking into all my favourite franchises these days- see also Mass Effect: Andromeda). It is first and foremost, a Marvel Studios popcorn film, with the twice the explosions and the amount of ships chasing the main characters, and as many running gags, cameos, and off-the-wall humour as it can pack within the 130min runtime.
That said on this note, it is a very entertaining movie, and if you liked the first, the second is more of the same, volume-wise. If you didn’t enjoy the first, the likelihood of you finding something valuable of the second is astronomical. The second film however digs deeper into the characters personalities’, most of whom in the first film seemed like cut outs of certain common archetypes, and a bit more slower, more plodding, than the adrenaline charged affair and less straight forward than that of its predecessor, but the action set-pieces remain epic to boot.
Visually, it’s a feast if a little on the bright and garish side of the aisle, and the effort and detail is lush for some of the worlds we see only briefly- that there’s a sense of imagination and wonder in its presentation of otherwise fantastical worlds, and the 80s hits soundtrack lend an air of levity to the proceedings. But ultimately you’re only watching this if you’re a real Marvel geek, or enjoyed the first movie (and often both reside in the same person), because at the end of the day, it’s very much feels like a throw-away movie (which to be honest, most are).
Oh and do stay for the credits.