Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 ****

Running time 138 mins Cert: 12A

Synopsis: The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of  who Peter Quill’s (Pratt) true father is.

For many filmgoers, the first Guardians of the Galaxy was a total surprise. They were weird and the characters involved a talking raccoon and tree. How could this possibly work? 

Thanks to James Gunn’s fun packed script and toe tapping music, it would become one of Marvel’s best movies. Although not as good, vol 2 is a lot of fun and uses many of the elements which worked before including another cracking 70/80’s soundtrack.

Gunn has chosen one of the oddest, but interesting character in Peter Quill’s (aka Star-Lord aka Chris Pratt) long-lost father, Ego the Living Planet (played by the mighty Kurt Russell). Russell is obviously enjoying himself and brings an energic and charismatic performance to a complex character. Another character added to the mix is the nervous Mantis (played by  Old Boy’s Pom Klementieff) who provides many of the laughs when she is onscreen with Drax (Baurista).

It’s also refreshing to see that while the returning cast brings the biggest emotional punches, those hits don’t all come from the main Guardians crew. In fact, former villians Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) have the most dramatic arcs, with the former leaning in hard on the underlying father/son dynamic he had with Quill in the first film, and the latter finally revealing the source of all her angst and anger toward her sister Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Yondu, it could be argued, is the beating heart of Vol. 2. 

Where it falters is the usual development of the villian and at no time do you sense that the gang are in any peril. The element of surprise has come and gone by this sequel is a roller coaster blockbuster of fun.
Reviewed by Paul Logan

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