Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 - This Movie Rocks The Whole Goddamn Universe
Dir: James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debecki, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Sylvester Stallone, Laura Haddock, Pom Klementieff
Fact number 1 – Guardians now totally own Mr Blue Sky.
Fact number 2 – if you’re not totally won over by the time the opening titles run – as Baby Groot dances and the big action set piece is wittily relegated to the background - be concerned, they may well be something wrong with you.
Yes, some of the shock of the new has gone – the first Guardians of the Galaxy arrived semi-unheralded and blew a long, concentrated breath of fresh air through the superhero universe. Wisely, writer-director Gunn knew he couldn’t play that card twice. Instead, rather than going more out there for the sequel, he has gone internal, focusing more on the characters, and in doing so he has created one of the most purely entertaining and winning movies that Marvel has made to date. Simply put, Vo. 2 is a movie that never fails to remind you just how much fun you can have in the cinema.
There is a plot as such – golden people are after our heroes and Star Lord’s dad turns out to be both Kurt Russell and an entire planet (named “Ego” just in case you miss that little bit of in your face irony.) But, as we said above, what really counts here are the characters, and Gunn does a superb job of not only juggling the original five whilst adding some new recruits (Gillan, Rooker and Klementieff) he ensures that every single one of them is well served, developed, given their moments. Yes, everyone here gets their slow motion walk – and every one of those is definitely earned.
Beautifully designed and smartly written, Vol. 2 is a film that firmly builds on its origins rather than offering the sequel-prone law of diminishing returns. The soundtrack is better, Dave Bautista proves himself a comedy god, Michael Rooker gets to shine, Pratt confirms his well earned movie star status, Rocket rocks, and nobody says “Son of a bitch” better than Kurt Russell – who also looks remarkable in his remarkably de-aged state (how about him for Ang Lee’s Gemini Man? A much better choice surely than Will Smith.) And Howard the Duck shows up again. Result!
Indeed, Gunn’s film is so poised and confident that a sequence of mass murder even comes across as utterly delightful!
Once again, Marvel has proven that they know how to take great strides where other stumble. Everyone who works in the DC cinematic universe should take themselves and their families off to the multiplex this weekend and see how the big boys do it. Because, on the strength of this, they’re still doing it better than any one out there. And if you’re not in tears by the time Cat Stevens shows up – once again, get yourself checked out, something’s not right! (Oh, and stay for the titles – and all five – yes, five – post credit stings.)
Fact number 3 - Vol. 2 is an almost ridiculous amount of pure, pure fun. Bring on Infinity War.
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