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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2 is just as fun and entertaining as the original…

Posted on May 9th, 2017
Posted on May 9th, 2017

by Coop Cooper

Now infamous cosmic heroes, the Guardians use their newfound celebrity to take high-profile jobs. Their latest assignment has them working for gold-skin beings known as The Sovereign lead by the regal and arrogant Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). After completing the job, they end up offending the highly pompous and sensitive Sovereign race, who in turn attempt to destroy them. While on the run, the team is separated. Star Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is confronted by a ‘Celestial’ named Ego (Kurt Russell) claiming to be his long lost father. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) attempts to reconcile with her murderous sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan) while Drax (Dave Bautista) attempts to instruct Ego’s child-like alien ward, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) in the ways of social interaction. Separately, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) team up with Yondu (Michael Rooker) to escape a band of mutinous Ravagers while attempting to rejoin the other Guardians. Some characters have ulterior motives but ultimately, it is Quill who must make the decision to remain with his father, or join his friends in saving the Galaxy once again.

While the format of the plot is different, “Vol. 2” is every bit as fun as the first “Guardians of the Galaxy”. It’s still surprising that such an obscure Marvel comic with such an oddball premise could become such a rousing success with critics and fans. A good bit of the credit goes to the writers for filling the story with copious amounts of character development and director James Gunn whose creative vision, music selection and the assembling of a cast with perfect chemistry hit the as close to the bullseye you can get. The rest of the credit goes to the actors who own their characters completely and interact with each other flawlessly. The story does lag a bit in the middle, but the third act makes up for this with an exciting, funny and moving conclusion.

Assorted musings: 1. Drax’s newly developed sense of humor gives his character some of the funniest reactions and one-liners in the film. 2. “Vol. 2” solidifies Yondu as my favorite character in the franchise. He is emotionally complex, and as deadly as he is funny. I’m sure he will win everyone over who loved to hate him in the first film. 3. Baby Groot was an instant hit at the end of the first film and he steals the show here as well. It will be interesting to see how well his next incarnation is received. 4. Gamora and Nebula’s relationship didn’t progress as well as I had hoped, but I appreciate where they were going with it and where it might end up. 5. Rocket is a real pain here and doesn’t get as much development as I wanted but we at least get to see how formidable he is in a solo fight against a large army. His trigger finger and sarcasm serve him best, but his immature decisions make him the weaker character in this story. 6. Mantis will need to be reworked if she is to become a valuable member of the team. As she stands, she not interesting or skilled enough. 7. Since the majority of the story was a resolution to Peter Quill’s past, I’m guessing any future development to his character will focus on his potential relationship with Gamora. 8. The musically-themed opening credits tops the one from the first film, especially since it’s Baby Groot doing the dancing this time. 9. Ego was such a strange, yet memorable, character in the comics, but I’m not sure his story arc was completely satisfying enough for me. Casting Kurt Russell was a stroke of genius and his first appearance in the opening scene was a joy to watch. 10. There are a few terrific cameos from some famous actors who, when assembled, comprise of the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” characters from the comic books… Although their appearance will require some explanation to those unfamiliar with the comics.

The end credits are nearly as entertaining as the movie itself. Like Pixar and Dreamworks animated films of the last decade or so, “Vol. 2” has countless ‘Easter Eggs’ (surprises for the fans) included in the final credits. There are also not one, or two, but FIVE post-credit bonus scenes that provide a bit of humor, a little more character development and a hint of upcoming threats in future sequels.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” has quickly become the most fun of the Marvel film franchises and will definitely continue while others are concluding or dead-ending. Luckily we won’t have to wait for a third film to see The Guardians again. They are slated to appear in “The Avengers: Infinity War” on May 4th of 2018.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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