Director James Gunn returns us to the far away side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2! It has an impressive ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Kurt Russell, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, and of course, a cameo by Stan Lee. It is similar in style to the first film. Sadly, that is its flaw.
Star-Lord and the Guardians save a race of genetically superior aliens known as The Sovereign from a tentacle wielding beast. Afterwards, Rocket and Groot (now in the form of a small child) steal some of the very batteries that belong the golden skinned aliens. As they flee the Sovereign’s remote powered fleet, they are rescued by Ego, a man claiming to be Star-Lord’s father.
Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora leave with Ego and his socially awkward servant Mantis for his planet. Groot and Rocket stay to guard the captured Nebula, only to be trapped by Yondu, whose Ravager crew mutinies against him. Yondu, Groot, Rocket, and the a still loyal pirate escape, destroying the Ravagers in the process.
Star-Lord discovers that his father is a Celestial, a being of “god-like” who fell in love with a human woman. Though he claims to want to share his power with his son, Ego has greater plans of universal proportions.
The special effects are some of the best for a science fiction film. Chris Pratt and Vin Diesel steal the movie as Star-Lord and Groot, respectively. Pratt has some epic one liners that make the movie enjoyable. While referred to as Baby Groot, the young sapling is more aligned with that of a two year old than a baby. He speaks, dances to music, throws tantrums, and is a little scary when angered. While researching the making of the film, I discovered that Vin did the young Groot’s voice with very little computer help. That’s impressive.
On the flip side, the movie tried too hard to be the original but lacked the easy flow of the first film. It jumped from plot point to plot point without ever stopping for a decent transition. While Kurt Russel is an incredible actor, the character of Ego himself was confusing. His motives seemed more like that of a spoiled child than a universal being with almost limitless power.
They also take several liberties with the comic book plots. Though that is common in these films, the changes were unnecessary and they did nothing to improve the story.
To conclude, the film is a whole lot of fun. When you get past its flaws, it is a treat to describe to someone who hasn’t seen it. Also, the music was incredible. The soundtrack matched the movie perfectly. Of course, the Stan Lee cameos were spot on hilarious. It is definitely worth seeing, even though it lacks the gravitas of the original.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I am Groot!
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, thematic elements, foul language
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