Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (M)

In a Word (or two): Enjoyably weird

Guardians2 

NEWCOMER: Kurt Russell plays Peter Quill's father, Ego, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

 

"There’s plenty of laugh-out loud moments...however, the narrative isn’t quite as strong as in the first film and while the depth of emotion we encountered in the first is still present, it's shallower here."

It’s always hard to recapture the magic of a film like Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy in the sequel and while Vol 2 doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original, it’s another colourful blast of, at times, mind-spinning humorous fun which doesn’t always seem to make sense (but kinda doesn’t need to).

Vol 2, again directed by James Gunn, focuses on the origin story of Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt). We join the action as the Guardians – who also include the green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the muscle-bound and ever bluntly-spoken Drax (Dave Bautista) and the tree-like Groot (here just a sapling but apparently still voiced by Vin Diesel) - complete a mission to kill a monster on behalf of a gold-skinned people known as the Sovereign.

Thing start to go awry, however, when another of their number, Rocket (a raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper), steals some batteries from the Sovereign which they were being paid to protect.

Pursued by the Sovereign (via their numerous remotely operated space-craft), they are only saved when a mysterious stranger steps in and vapourises the enemy. That stranger turns out to be Quill’s father, a “celestial” (read god “with a small g”), known only as ‘Ego’ (played by Kurt Russell).

Happy to be reunited with his son, Ego – who is accompanied by an antenna-bearing servant known as Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff) - takes Quill and his companions back to his home planet where he reveals to Quill his true heritage (as half alien) and asks him to stay with him. But alarm bells are ringing and…well, it may be giving the game away to say more.

A sub-plot sees Yondu, Quill’s adopted ‘father’ (played by Michael Rooker) facing a mutiny among his crew - we’re briefly introduced to his comrade a key leader of the outlaws known as the ravagers, Stafar Ogord (played by Sylvester Stallone) – while another concerns Gamora and her blue-skinned sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Following on from the first film, Vol 2 is filled with amazing CGI-effects (indeed most of the film seems to be computer generated) and, as was the case with the first, the music is a highlight, although this time the soundscape ventures into the Eighties rather than the Seventies.

There’s plenty of laugh-out loud moments - although, be warned, the humour does get mildly crude in places. However, the narrative isn’t quite as strong as in the first film and while the depth of emotion we encountered in the first is still present, it's shallower here (and along with that, the sense of right and wrong does seem to be becoming increasingly muddled - witness the scene where Yondu embarks on a killing spree of his former colleagues with his telepathically controlled arrow).

That said, Guardians Vol 2 – which doesn’t take itself too seriously - is a diverting way to spend a couple of hours. We look forward to the next instalment (and, as with all Marvel films, don’t forget to watch until the end of the credits).