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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the follow up to the original mega hit sci fi fantasy, that introduced the motley crew to film audiences and was one of my favorite movies of 2014.

Having now built a reputation among the cosmos as superheroes, in the sequel, team members Peter Quill/aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), green hued, kick ass space warrior Gamora (Zoe Saldana), heavily tattooed, bald and muscular Drax (Dave Batista), machine gun toting raccoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and tree-like sapling Baby Groot (Vin Diesel, whose voice has been digitally altered) are back fighting space aliens, while this time around, there are lots of inner as well as outer conflicts that come into play.

To begin with, in the aftermath of the opening, action packed, battle sequence, in which the Guardians were hired by a race of golden skinned aliens known as the Sovereigns led by High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) to fight off and destroy a menacing multi tentacled creature in exchange for Gamora's captured sinister sister, Nebula(Karen Gillan), mischievous Rocket winds up stealing some of the mysterious race's valuable batteries.  Since that wasn't part of the reward, the enraged High Priestess sends a drone fleet of armed spaceships to go after Rocket and his buds, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a celestial “all mighty” being who calls himself Ego (Kurt Russell) shows up to save the day.

The question arises, who is Ego and what are his motives? In the first movie, it was established that as a youngster, Quill was abducted by Yondu (Michael Rooker) who became his surrogate father and forced into him into a life of crime with the threat of being eaten if he refused. Quill always wanted to find out who his real father is, and soon  is surprised to hear Ego announce that he is his biological father that abandoned Quill and his dying mother on Earth when Quill was a child, but has been searching the galaxy to find the son he never knew. Well, well well, isn't that special!  However, there is more than meets the eye and Ego's associate, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), a sweet tempered female being with large black pupils, insect-like antennae, an is an empath who can read minds and put people to sleep, knows more than she is ready to reveal, at least for the time being. Expect to see her as a welcome new addition to the team in future episodes.

Meanwhile, the story revolves around what appears to be a dysfunctional family, in which several characters have their own personal issues. Besides Quill and his daddy issues, there is Gamora and her vengeful sister Nebula whose hatred and sibling rivalry towards Gamora stems from their childhood when they fought over daddy's attention, and Gamora and Quill's unspoken “thing” between each other which is slowly and surely steadily brewing and getting hotter.

While writer/director Michael Gunn's vision was to pump up the action with over the top space battles, explosions, impalings and people being blown up, that doesn't necessarily equate to bigger and better in my book. What does register on the plus side are the visually stunning set designs and costumes, fantastic makeup, and very funny back and forth banter between the characters, hysterical one liners, numerous pop culture references (such as Pac Man, Howard the Duck, TV's Cheers and Knight Rider) and a great 80's music soundtrack.  Sylvester Stallone has a small role as the leader of a band of space rangers and David Hasselhoff shows up in a brief, but memorably funny cameo appearance.

The entire cast is awesome, but a standout is scene stealer, Baby Groot.  You can't help but love him. He is so cute and endearing that even the villainous character known as Taser Face (a totally unrecognizable Chris Sullivan of TV's This Is Us) says he can't kill Groot because he is too adorable.

Volume 2 is not as great as the first film, yet when it comes to entertainment value, there are enough fun, enjoyable moments to warrant my recommendation.  Word to the wise...stick around after the closing credits to see a teaser clip from the next chapter of the franchise.


 

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