Heads up a-holes ! The summer movie season is officially here now that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is out in the theaters.
Time for another slice of popcorn movie delight from writer/director James Gunn. This follow up to the original GoTG stars all the same lovable rouges as last time out plus the Tango & Cash reunion that you did not even know you secretly, or not so secretly, wanted. But you did. You really, really did. More on that later.
The film stars: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot (voice), Bradley Cooper as Rocket (voice), Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord, and Kurt Russell as Ego.
This time around the gang is a fully formed and semi-functional family unit. They try to do the right thing mostly. And they seem to generally succeed at it even if that success occurs in not quite the way they ever actually plan it. The film opens with the Guardians on the job trying to fight off an extra-dimensional being. Simple, right?
Not so much. Thankfully. The result is an opening credit scene that almost outdoes the opening credit scene from Deadpool. Sweet and violent.
The fallout from this job, and somebody’s sticky fingers, are what result in a rousing space armada chase scene. The Guardians try to escape certain death the only way they know how. By making matters worse for themselves. You really will not believe it until you see it. Bickering should count as “distracted driving” is all I will say.
The group then finds themselves being rescued by an unusual figure. Who is it? Not so fast eager film fan.
We next see Yondu getting his ashes hauled in a seedy tavern on a world far away. He seems out of sorts and then he spots a person he had not seen in years: Stakar Ogord. They both glare at each other, exchange some unpleasantries, and we are left with the realization that Yondu has as many daddy issues as Peter does. Ironic, no?
Speaking of Peter, the mystery savior turns out to be none other than Ego. Peter’s long lost father. Turns out Ego has been searching for Peter for the past 34 years. Time to bond? Well sort of.
Ego invites them back to “his place” for some timely exposition. Also, we meet the villain of the film. Then the plot, as they say, thickens.
Now the monkey on the back of any sequel is simple. It is a sequel. The newness is over. You cannot replicate a first kiss is what I am saying here. Not that it is not fun to try, But you simply cannot.
That being said, of course, this film does a bang up job of bringing the fun, cosmic chaos, action, warmth and the silly. Kudos all around. It is not the full equal of the original perhaps, but is clearly a welcome addition to the franchise.
Just not repeating itself alone is a great accomplishment. We actually learn more about the backstory of every character. Even Yondu. Really.
So, while the climax of the movie does land in a somewhat predictable way, that does not really take away from the fun of the ride at all. After all, we got to see Stallone and Russell in the same movie, and that is worth the price of admission all by itself. Right? Right indeed, dammit.
See it. Enjoy it and stay for the five, yes I said five, credit scenes at the end. Excelsior !