Thursday, 18 May 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 film review

I went to see this film last night with my husband and son at the Leeds/Bradford Odeon.

IMDB says: Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' continues the team's adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

In this James Gunn (Dawn of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy) written (based on the Marvel Comics by Dan Abnett: Guardians of the Galaxy, Alien: Isolation and Andy Lanning: Guardians of the Galaxy, Star-lord created by Steve Englehart: Atlantis: Milo's Return, Guardians of the Galaxy and Steve Gan: Heavy Metal 2000, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora and Drax created by Jim Starlin: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot created by Stan Lee: Iron Man, Spider-man, Larry Lieber: Thor, Iron Man and Jacky Kirby: Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rocket Racoon created by Bill Mantlo: Ultimate Spider-man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Keith Giffen: Young Justice, Superman) and directed film, stars Chris Pratt (Passengers, Jurassic World) as Peter Quill/Star-lord once again teamed with the other guardians Gamora (Zoe Saldana: Avatar, Star Trek), Drax (Dave Bautista: Spectre, Guardians of the Galaxy), Rocket (Bradley Cooper: American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and baby Groot (Vin Diesel: Fast and Furious, xXx).

Hired to protect precious crystals by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki: The Great Gatsby, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) High Priestess of the Sovereigns, they are given Gamora's sister Nebula (Karen Gillan: TVs Dr Who, Oculus) in exchange who they intend to take to Xandar to collect the bounty on her.  Rocket however, has stolen the batteries and in the ensuing battle with the Sovereigns they are saved by another spaceship but they have to crash-land on a nearby planet.  They were saved by Ego (Kurt Russell: Stargate, The Hateful Eight) who says he is Peter's father.  The guardians split up, Gamora, Drax and Peter go to Ego's planet along with his empathic assistant Mantis (Pom Klementieff: Old Boy, Avegers: Infinity War), leaving Rocket and Groot behind to fix the Milano and guard Nebula.  But is Ego all he seems?

Meanwhile, Yondu (Michael Rooker: Jumper, The Bone Collector) and his team of Ravengers meet his old comrade Stakar Ogord (Sylvester Stallone: Rocky, The Expendables) who has exiled Yondu for child trafficking, leading to some of the Ravengers questioning his leadership, even his normally loyal ally Kraglin (Sean Gunn: Super, TVs Gilmore Girls).  The High Priestess of the Sovereigns then hire the Ravengers to find the guardians and their batteries, but once they capture Rocket, Groot and Nebula, the Ravengers, led by Taserface (Chris Sullivan: The Drop, Imperium), now stage a coup and Nebula leaves to track down and kill her sister, Gamora, who is already beginning to question Ego's motives and feels that Mantis knows more than she is letting on.  

This film is that rare thing where the sequel is better than the first movie.  We start with backstory from Peter Quill's past showing us his parents and then a wonderful slow-mo set piece set to one of the awesome tape songs with baby Groot just lighting up the screen.  The essence of this movie is that it is so character-driven.  Every one of the guardians gets to show their real selves and this is the movie that the blunt to the point of cruel Drax comes into his own.  There are plenty of jokes and over-the-top wackiness but this is grounded with some excellent heart-wrenching moments that you just didn't get with the first movie.  This time, you really care about the fun characters.

Fine acting throughout, but for me Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista and Michael Rooker were the stand-out performances.  It did seem to lack a coherent storyline though, a clear goal, yet here is a non-stop sci-fi action comedy that feels it is beyond that, because it is just having too much fun in this 80s infused romp, complete with hilarious celebrity cameo.

Be sure to stay right until the end because there are five, yes count them, five end credit scenes that contain lots of Easter eggs.  Roll on number three.

Pom Klementieff in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Trivia:  Dave Bautista's Drax makeup took only ninety minutes to apply, down from four hours for the first film. However, he would have to sit in a sauna at the end of the day to get the makeup off.  According to Chris Pratt, the film's script helped him come to terms with the death of his father.  In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Taserface is a warrior from the cybernetically enhanced race known as The Stark. The Stark are a race that found Iron Man technology that accidentally crashed on their homeworld and as a result, worship Tony Stark (a.k.a Iron Man) as their god.  Director James Gunn revealed that he and Kevin Feige wanted David Bowie to appear in a cameo before his death on January 10, 2016.

Tagline:  You only get one chance to save the galaxy twice.                                       9/10

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2 #ChrisPratt #KurtRussell #SylvesterStallone #ZoeSaldana #DaveBautista #KarenGillan #BradleyCooper #VinDiesel #Odeon

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