By Tom Larsen-Wright
The misfits of the marvel universe are back, an action packed sequel with another nostalgic soundtrack provides a film worth seeing. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 offers an uplifting two hours of entertainment, which is only held back by a somewhat shaky plot, some weak jokes, and a bit too much Hasselhoff. Spoilers beyond this point!
The film begins with the Guardians fighting an inter-dimensional space worm, to the classic sound of Mr. Blue Sky. This exhilarating opening sets the tone for a movie whose greatest attribute is undoubtedly the action scenes.
After this, the film tries to build a story around the main character, Star-Lord, but veers off course too often. The narrative is disjointed at times, as it jumps from one character’s issue to another, even when faced with their impending doom.
The Marvel franchise is certainly better off with these oddballs running around though. Their slapstick gags and love for schadenfreude is a refreshing spin on the more serious superhero movies we’re used to seeing.
And there’s only one place to start when discussing the characters of this film…
Baby Groot is a whole lot cuter than the towering creature that appears in the first film. A standout moment of ‘Vol. 2’ sees him tasked with detonating an explosive. Rocket explains the procedure which starts the timer on the bomb, only for the innocent Groot to totally misinterpret his instructions; producing a hilariously relatable scene for any parent. The adorable, child-like demeanor of Groot makes him totally endearing, a quality not many Marvel characters hold. Vin Diesel again voices Groot, in a rare high pitched performance.
Chris Pratt can add another great performances to his fast-growing list of major roles. Star-Lord contends with his life-changing revelation for much of the film, and so does not offer as much comedic value as shown in ‘Vol. 1’. The main character faces a grim reality when he finally meets his father, and his emotional story just about holds the film together. Kurt Russell plays Star-Lord’s father and subsequent enemy Ego elegantly. His performances ranges from wise mentor to evil egomaniac.
Bradley Cooper plays the genetically manipulated racoon, Rocket, who has his short fuse tested, whilst remaining as irreverent as ever.
Zoe Saldana again wows as space assassin Gamora, her character clashes with her sister Nebula, played by ex-Doctor Who star Karen Gillan.
The wrestler turned actor Dave Bautista gives a good performance as Drax the Destroyer, a sometimes obnoxious but lovable character who brings lots of laughs, and reveals a soft center in ‘Vol. 2’. Both Rocket and Gamora also follow the movie’s theme of family and belonging.
The Marvel spectacular also features a whole host of cameos, not only from the superhero universe but also from Hollywood. Sylvester stallone, David Hasselhoff and of course Stan Lee all feature. Unfortunately the Hoff joke becomes stale after the fifth occurrence.
The film includes heavy use of CGI animation for many scenes, with fast paced action throughout, but avoids any computer-generated hiccups. The vibrant colour palette of the first film is largely retained second time round, most brilliantly when we’re introduced to Ego’s living planet.
It is worth adding that there are five, yes, five post-credit scenes after the film’s climax. So stick around for some extra content, including the tease of a new villain.
Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a lighthearted movie from Marvel Studios, which fails to totally match the charm of the first film, and lacks a stable story, but provides thrills and scenes of hysteria from start to end.