Paraphrasing from director James Gunn: if Vol. 1 was about finding your family, Vol. 2 is about holding it together.
After completing a mission for The Sovereign, the Guardians of the Galaxy find themselves in hot water after Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) slights their oversensitive leader Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). Crash-landing on a remote planet, Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) meets Ego (Kurt Russell), a man claiming he had paid Yondu (Michael Rooker) to make a special delivery: his Earth-born son. While Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) accompany Quill to resolve long-unsettled daddy issues, Rocket and Baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) repair the Milano while watching over Gamora’s wanted sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), but Yondu has been hired by Ayesha to take down the Guardians once and for all…
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a bit of a surprise hit. While it was Marvel continuity and provided an excuse to explore the rest of the universe beyond Earth 616, no one was quite sure how it would be received… plus it was a pure joy to watch. It wasn’t long before director James Gunn was tasked to duplicating the success of his mix-tape-inspired space opera, but could he expand the Guardians universe while topping the bliss of the original?
Vol. 2 gets away with so much more that the first movie could have, but Vol. 1 was less of an origin story than most Marvel franchise film launches, leaving plenty of unexplored material to work with. While still just as large in scope and periodically zany as the first film, director Gunn delved into multiple character relationships, many of which were hinted at beforehand with as little as a single line of dialog. The best of these encounters isn’t even the one you think, but all the moments are earned. If you liked or loved the original, you’ll like or love this one just as much.
Expansion also means more characters; keep a sharp eyes out for familiar faces among the Ravagers… not to mention the five after-credits scenes — it’s a Marvel movie, remember? You’ll want to go big on this one: Real 3D, IMAX, XD, whatever; the bigger and louder the better — not those stupid Dick-Box seats, though. But hold on: is there anything bad that can be said about Vol. 2? Maybe that a few moments get a little serious, but if you think about the original movie, that isn’t entirely out-of-place. From the music to the production design, everything is amped up: more Nebula, more Yondu, more Groot, and more everything… yet it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
As an early start to the 2017 summer blockbuster season, the bar has already been set pretty high — feel sorry for whatever comes out in the next weekend or two hoping to make money. We all knew this was critic-proof from conception to screen, so why are you still reading this? You already watched it, didn’t you?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, brief suggestive content, and Zardu Hasslefrau… Zardu Hasslefrau… hey!
4 Skull Recommendation Out of Four