Starlord, AKA Peter (Chris Pratt), and his band of unlikely heroes are back to save the galaxy once more—only this time they must first determine who is truly friend or foe.
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The first instalment of Guardians of the Galaxy was an unexpected hit. In the Marvel Universe, these characters have been a by-line to other bigger, and more exciting things. But, thanks no doubt to the roguishness of Chris Pratt, whose Starlord quite obviously references the 80’s imperfect action heroes (think Indiana Jones, or Snake Plissken), audiences have responded with almighty applause.
Add a cool soundtrack and enough childhood nostalgia to titillate late Gen Xer’s and early Y’s, and you’ve got a franchise success. This second instalment focuses on the backstory, giving Peter and the audience some of the answers we’ve longed for, especially about his father.
Hired by a strangely perfect and golden race, lead by a wonderfully wicked Elizabeth Debinki, the Guardians are tasked with returning stolen batteries (worth surprisingly more than one would think batteries should, in this futuristic realm). They discover that the evil mastermind behind this theft is none other than Nebula (Karen Gillan), who just happens to be Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) evil little sister.
They return the batteries and take Nebula as hostage—or, at least, that was the plan. But, a double cross by Rocket (Bradley Cooper) leaves them all exposed to the golden army’s wrath.
With all hope of escape extinguished, they are rescued by a man named Ego (Kurt Russell). It turns out that Ego has motives of his own for tracking down the Guardians, which may not be as pure as they first seemed. They must work together to decide who they can truly trust, if they are to survive this adventure.
Sometimes when a film is an unlikely breakout success, the pressure of meeting the heightened expectations in the sequel can be all too much. While not disastrous, there is a sense of labouring to this instalment that was absent in the original. There’s good bits and not so good bits. There’s predictable bits and a few unexpectedly warm moments
For those of us old enough to remember the films this one references, we might also be aware that nostalgia has glossed their memory. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 would have to have been otherworldly to outdo the expectations built by the original film. Like many in the Marvel universe, it’s just good enough to keep you entertained for a couple of hours, and the characters are just likeable enough for you to hope they survive.
If nothing else, this film has baby Groot. He’s a merchandiser’s dream, and brings an undeniable cuteness to the film. No matter how ugly it gets out there in space for our heroes, Groot is there to make it all better. And, thankfully, he does.
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Debicki, Kurt Russell
Runtime: 2 hours 17 mins
Release Date: April 25
Reviewer Rating: 3/5