Guarding the galaxy is never easy but does seem to be a lot of fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 [2017]

Directed by: James Gunn

Written by: James Gunn,
based on the comic by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star Lord)
Zoe Saldana (Gamora)
Dave Bautista (Drax)
Vin Diesel (Baby Groot voice)
Bradley Cooper (Rocket – voice)
Michael Rooker (Yondu)
Karen Gillan (Nebula)
Pom Klimentieff (Mantis)

The Guardians of the Galaxy are now seen as heroes after their exploits with Ronan but as usual with ‘Starlord’ and the motley crew things never go smoothly. Whilst protecting some valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster Rocket can’t help himself and steals some for himself. From this point on things go ‘pear shaped’ and the GOTG soon find themselves under attack from their former employers. They are saved by a mysterious figure who turns out to be Ego, Peter Quill’s father. But all is not as it seems and as enemies become allies and Ego is not everything he claims to be everything gets more and more complicated for the Guardians.

I’m utterly biased with this film. I really enjoyed the original Guardians of the Galaxy and so felt as long as James Gunn could keep this story and characters roughly on the same track everything would be fine. This being the very point that some people would dislike the film for. He did. I was happy.

The first film was fun, frothy, silly but still exciting. The pomposity that can really be a huge stumbling block in on-screen comic book antics were focused mainly on the baddies which was a stroke of genius from the get-go showing the viewer that perhaps a bumbling idiot such as yourself could overcome the seemingly insurmountable all-conquering baddie.

The second film is much the same, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and the rest of the cast inhabit their characters like comfortable suits and in all honesty I would pay to watch this film just to see Dave Bautista who has made Drax his and his alone. No other actor could ever play this role.

If you came into Volume 2 unaware of the first story I suppose it could seem as if were a gooseberry and left slight out of the loop as the story fires off at a pace and everyone slots into their roles with ne’er an explanation of who, how or what? I can see that problem but even if somewhat true the fun and dynamic pace of the film should sweep you up and along with the story. Admittedly the story is a bit light at times and with obvious plot-holes but if you are nit-picky enough to start picking apart the logic in a story like this, which is clearly never meant to be taken seriously from the very start, then perhaps this type of film really is not for you.

Chris Pratt is fun, brave and downright idiotic as Starlord bringing along small parts of Parks and Recreation in with his DNA but luckily for him his capable shoulders are not strained by carrying the film, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan are impressive and highly believable as the warring sisters and Bradley Cooper avoids the trap of being extremely annoying as Rocket. There’s not huge depth to this comic-book heroes but neither are they flat and cartoonish. You feel the pain of Rocket for what he has been through and you believe Michael Rooker’s ‘backstory’ as the not-as-bad as he seems Yondu.

The villain duties are spread across a couple of characters but the stand-out is Ego played to perfection by ‘war-horse’ Kurt Russell who starts off too good to be true and gets worse. Throughout the film the chemistry amongst the cast easily papers over any cracks in the story or pace. The creativity on display by director Gunn, his special/visual effects team and everyone else involved in the production is all up there on the screen to be seen.

If you liked the first in this series you’ll more than likely enjoy Volume 2. The jokes are thick and fast and the story has a quick enough pace for modern day audiences. If you like serious comic-book films, where the plot-holes become jarring, then this is not for you. If you take Marvel films really, really seriously and feel each film should be tailored to your personal liking, well, you’re not going to like any of them really.

This old man who only ever read Tales from the Crypt-type comic-books, if any at all, really like Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.

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