Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 review: All heart, all feels, but only for fans
Baby Groot had us excited about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Let's not even pretend otherwise. However, the chance to see Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, and Drax get together again with their oh-my-god-I-will-punch-you-but-I-love-you camaraderie is always a plus.
However, while the film is undoubtedly entertaining, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is for the fans. If you haven't seen the first part, we suggest you watch it before making the trek to a theatre for this one.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 begins with a flashback that ties the story of Ego (Kurt Russell) to Peter/Star Lord (Chris Pratt). It follows the five Guardians as they are given 'work' to protect the galaxy ever since they stopped Ronan and saved one of the Infinity Stones (the purple Space stone).
Then, of course, there's the inevitable fighting, with the team battling an intergalactic beast to stop it from stealing batteries from the Sovereigns (so golden those things!) as the movie opens. This is scene, with Baby Groot dancing around, is an absolute delight.
After Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some of those little batteries himself, the Guardians end up in a crazy chase sequence through a quantum asteroid field, and, while it apparently defies the laws of science, it's incredibly fun to watch.
The Guardians are saved by Ego who takes Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) to his planet, leaving Rocket, Groot (Vin Diesel) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) to be found by Yondu (Michael Rooker).
The story proceeds on two separate tracks to finally meet again on Ego's planet. And long story short – Darth Vader was probably a better father than Ego.
Funny but soppy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is funnier and feels much more spontaneous than other inhabitants of the Marvel universe. However, Marvel, please, this constant harping on heart and family is getting a wee bit tedious.
There's a scene in the movie where Yondu tells Peter that he does not control his arrow with his mind, he does it with...we were praying that there was a cheekier answer to it. But no. There are kids in the audience, behave.
The answer, as it turns out, is heart. This play-it-safe attitude is especially disappointing given the irreverence of the first film, as well as the take-no-prisoners attitude of fellow Marvel movie Deadpool.
That being said, director James Gunn makes sure Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 sticks to the brief. The banter between characters sets this franchise apart and it is played up very well. Between Rocket and Peter, Rocket and Yondu...ok Rocket is our new favourite, but only after Baby Groot, of course.
There's also some memorable dialogue between Drax and the new addition to the Guardians – Mantis (Pom Klementieff). The actors know their characters well, and it makes the whole narrative flow that much better.
The movie has its heart in the right place, and though at times it seems far too contrived, it works wonderfully where it should, resulting in some of the best scenes. And surprise, surprise – those scenes star Rocket, Yondu and Peter.
That's not to underplay Baby Groot, though. Coming in to the film he was a major draw, and that certainly holds true in the movie itself. The one time Baby Groot actually fights in is probably one of the most fun ones. Gunn seems to have made sure that he plays up Groot no matter how the narrative shapes up, and we are not complaining.
The soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 delivers as perfectly as it did in Vol 1, especially the song Father and Son that plays at the end of the movie. It is absolutely a collection you should have on your Zune. If you don't remember the Zune (like I didn't because well, iPod) – this is a great throwback.
Reminder: Stay till the end of the credits, there are at least five extra scenes thrown in and Stan Lee has a longer cameo than he has in the other Marvel flicks, except maybe in The Avengers.
Should you watch it?
The rating for this movie is strictly based on the fact that the author is an unabashed Marvel fan, however, you can rest assured that the movie is an all-out entertainer, and even if you don't leave amazed, you'll certainly be entertained.