<Review by: Farzad Mistry>
Directed by James Gunn. Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker and Kurt Russell
Running time: 2 hours and 17 minutes
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 picks up from where the previous film left off.
We finally meet Peter Quill/Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father who turns out to be a powerful immortal being named Ego (Kurt Rusell). Interestingly, the film does make an effort to actually explore the characters and their relationships to a certain degree with some entertaining dialogue and crazy action sequences. At times it felt like Marvel was trying to inject a heart-warming family comedy into a super hero film; it didn’t always work, but I’m glad to see a slight deviation from the standard formula. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of action, wise cracks and adventure, but it builds on the distinct look and feel of the previous film maintaining the uniqueness of this quirky franchise.
The Guardians fight off various alien creatures and make more enemies than friends along the way while keeping up their characteristic amusing banter. As always the soundtrack is a mix of hits from the 1980s, which complement the action scenes most of the time. There are also some fun flashbacks to popular TV shows of the time like Knight Rider!
In the middle of the chaos and non-stop CGI action we get glimpses of the way the main characters are developing and growing, with a few fun surprises sprinkled in. There are a few mushy moments between characters that don’t always work too well, but they aren’t overly ridiculous.
It’s not all mush thankfully as the Guardians still have to save earth and the rest of the galaxy, I assume the connection to earth (besides explaining Peter Quill/Star Lord’s origins) was put in to tie them into the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies at some point. There certainly are references to Thanos (the main villain in the upcoming Avengers movies) in both volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy so we can expect the Guardians to show up in those movies.
It’s the typical weekend film that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still manages to hold your interest. The closing credits have a few short scenes sprinkled in as opposed to the traditional one right after the last credit so don’t forget to stick around in your seat till the end