The Difficult Second Album…?
“It’s unlike the first movie in so many ways. It’s wild, it’s daring…” – James Gunn.
“It’s high on its own supply,” stated one discouraging early review.
But hey! That’s no bad thing, ‘cos Brad is high on believing that Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is another veritable smash hit for Marvel! Everybody enjoyed the original – this reviewer included, especially captivated by the wisecracking hamster/monkey/puppy, as you can see here.
Rather than copy all that was awesome and entertaining from the original, this sequel attempts to expand – on the largest scale possible! Plus, just about every riotous and rambunctious scene is ram-packed with a delirious spectrum of candy colours.
Kicking off not long after the end of the first movie, our beloved bunch have to deal with a typically gooey reject from the Men In Black franchise for Ayesha, Gold Leader of the Sovereign race. Due to the uncompromising wiles (and winks!) of the unscrupulous Rocket – stealing batteries?! BAD hamster! – they escape with Sovereign remotely-piloted drones (in a wacky swipe at vintage arcade gaming!) darting after the Milano. In a bizarre twist, the Guardians are saved by the intervention of an ancient and mysterious celestial entity, who ends up providing a substantial emotional heft to these chaotic proceedings.
“Now the expectations are very high, so there’s more pressure… I still think we’re going to surpass expectations, but it’s going to be monumentally different…” – Chris Pratt.
You just gotta dig the snazzy ingredients that constitute the Guardians formula: a groovy opening credits sequence; madcap action; quirky humour; and zingin’-an’-a-pingin’ cosmic thrills presented in a whopping great fun and frenetic package!
Well done to James Gunn for creating a script exploring – within such a mainstream blockbuster – the intriguing psychodynamics of family tensions and, in addition, it’s (g)rooted in how the Guardians find the belonging they crave – developing their own adoptive family unit.
Cool to see the Ravagers again, but even better to see Kraglin – one of the first film’s underrated supporting figures! – receive a more meaty role this time around. But praise for Michael Rooker! Another terrific outing for Yondu – who knew this red-finned dude would provide some of this sequel’s funniest and most powerfully moving moments?!
Oh yes, the Stan Lee cameo is hilarious – one of his best! And for this Marvel fanboy: a great surprise to see the Watchers as well!
Inevitably, the biggest scene-stealer is the smallest “Guardian”: Baby Groot, in turns a tricksy twig and soppy sapling.
We all want one! Don’t we?!
“I have the biggest fin because I’m the coolest dude. You will see, in the process of the film, how that comes about“ – Michael Rooker.
Sure, Vol. 2 had no hope of matching its predecessor: an unexpected smash that set the bar so enjoyably high, but it certainly did pile on lots to relish, but…
Let’s get the niggles outta the way.
One of the weakest points of the first movie is now the primary problem of the second. The only viable reason for bringing Nebula back involved developing her character, but – ho-hum, once again – all she can do is bitch and brood – her presence here is even more pointless than three years ago…
Again, Zoe Saldana spent more time getting her face painted than being allowed to expand Gamora’s character…
Really wanted to like Mantis, but she came across as too fizzy and fragile. Her interactions with Drax undoubtedly came cursed with the movie’s poorest lines.
Yes! Sylvester Stallone is more unintelligible than ever…
Naturally, there is still more bickering than actual guarding going on, but hey! That just adds to the charm of the whole caboodle.
But please! Spare me the David Hasselhoff-was-Peter’s-childhood-icon crap. And that frickin’ cameo! Jeez, really wanna unsee THAT…
What, you imagined… he was your Dad?!
You got issues, Quill…
“Only someone like me could pull something like this off…” – Kurt Russell.
To think that Pratt’s own suggestion led to the one and only Kurt Russell being cast as Ego The Living Pranet – a quite formidable opponent who, back in the day, certainly kept Thor – even Galactus! – “occupied”!
Not as badass as Snake Plissken; not as cool as R.J. Macready, Russell’s Ego – ha! love typing that – is nevertheless an unforgettable monster. Thankfully a more substantial antagonist than Ronan The Accuser! Uff, celestials make rotten Dads, but as our awestruck gaze sweeps across that sumptuous vista, you can’t help but think: that is a handsome planet…
Kurt Russell, the star of Stargate, and doughty white-vested hero of Big Trouble In Little China, is an undeniable icon of SF cinema, and thus certainly adds the necessary style and gravitas here.
The interaction between this father and son is engrossing, until a shocking revelation leads to Peter unleashing his Pac of tricks.
In conclusion then, this movie is an absolute blast!
From the dashing 1980 Russell beaming at Meredith (and listening to Brandy), to the gargantuan finale, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers just the right level of energy and escapism to ensure the quintessential cinema experience.
In actual fact: can’t remember the last time a Big Release elicited so many laughs and tears from yours truly!
Even digged that Mary Poppins gag you never knew you needed!
So, many repeat viewings are assured then.
And the tantalising hint from the post-creds indicating the appearance of one of my Top 5 All-Time Fave Marvel Cosmic Characters in Vol. 3 sounds like the next instalment could be even bigger!
BRADSCRIBE RATING: 4 Ooga-Chakas outta 5
“‘Rocket do this, Rocket do that…!'” – Rocket Raccoon.
No raccoons or sentient trees were harmed in the making of this Post.