Archive for May 7th, 2017

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

At last we have crossed the vast desert of the post Oscar/pre Blockbuster season to come to Marvel’s first offering of the summer.  We can thank DVD’s, Netflix and other streaming services for our survival of this terrible trial.  It was a harrowing journey.

When the first Guardians came out three years ago, I wondered how people would respond to the strangeness of this premise.  The property was one of Marvel’s more far out ideas.  I needn’t have worried.  It was exciting and funny and it all worked brilliantly, becoming one of Marvel’s most popular and most acclaimed films.

Now the same crew is back again but the questions are different: Will they feel the need to top the spectacle of the first one?  Will they begin to take themselves too seriously?  Will they ever take another chance?

The answer to that last one is sadly “no.”  And that’s a shame because the first film was all about taking chances, introducing a new tone and setting to the Marvel universe.  Now their main concern is not messing things up.  Normally I would chalk that up to the natural course of things but when you consider the whole catalog of Marvel films, it’s a troubling development.  They’ve never been adverse to risk-taking before.

All that being said, go see this movie.  It’s a used formula sure, but it works.

The Guardians have grown into a tight knit team under the leadership of Peter Quill, played by Chris Pratt.  Acting as mercenaries they travel the galaxy, taking jobs and getting by.  Like any tight-knit group they have their conflicts.  Quill has growing affection for Zamora, played by Zoe Saldana, which sometimes she seems to return and sometimes not.  Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, is uncomfortable with how close everyone is getting and is intent on stirring up trouble.   Drax, played by Dave Bautista, remains a loose cannon who when he takes initiative can make things either better or worse.  And Baby Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, is just adorable, stealing every scene he’s in.

Having double-crossed their latest clients, a race called the Sovereigns, the group goes on the run and encounters Peter’s long lost father, a being named Ego, played by Kurt Russell.  The Sovereigns leader, Ayesha, played by Elizabeth Debicki, hires Yondu, played by Michael Rooker to capture the Guardians and bring them to the Sovereigns.

This is a tremendous cast.  When it comes to casting Chris Pratt father, Kurt Russell is really the only way to go and their scenes together are great.  Pratt, himself, has Quill down cold and the rest of the regular crew picks up where they left off.

So while it isn’t quite the bold stroke that the first one was, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is well worth your time.

And a great start to the summer.

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