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article imageReview: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’ is awesome like your fave mixtape Special

By Sarah Gopaul     May 6, 2017 in Entertainment
'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is everything fans could have wanted in a sequel and more, overflowing with heart, action and humour.
Taking a chance on a lesser known Marvel property paid off in spades a few years ago when the studio introduced mass audiences to the Guardians of the Galaxy. A flawless cast endeared viewers to these previously unfamiliar characters and the old school soundtrack had them grooving in their seats, all while writer/director James Gunn’s script entertained, engaged and left everyone wanting more. With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, their calls have been answered with glorious humour, action and dancing.
Fame derived from saving the galaxy appears to have provided the Guardians — Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) — with a steady flow of paid jobs. But old habits die hard and they quickly find themselves on a bounty list, scouring the universe for a place to hide until things blow over. However, in the midst of their escape, they’re rescued by a man named Ego (Kurt Russell) who claims to be Peter’s father… and so much more. While one-half of the team keeps watch for Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) posse, the other half follow’s Ego to “his” planet to see if his assertions are real. Their journeys reveal several truths — and then it’s time to save the galaxy again.
Essentially an extension of the first film, the sequel retains everything fans loved about the previous picture. The second mixtape is filled with old school favourites, such as "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Fox on the Run” and "Bring it on Home to Me." The music is also skillfully built into the narrative since it’s as much a part of the movie as the characters. They dance, fight and reminisce to the selected songs, which both set the tone of the corresponding scene and represent Peter’s childhood, which is a key component of the story.
The characters remain unchanged, save for Groot who is now like a tiny 10” child cared for by the entire team. He rides on their shoulders, is protected during intergalactic battles and generally misses the gravity of most situations. But he is undoubtedly one of the cutest, most captivating characters — when he laughs the audience laughs, and when he cries the audience does too.
The “unspoken thing” between Peter and Gamora is still a topic of interest for everyone, while Drax’s literalism is somewhat played down in favour of unintentional insensitivity that results in many looks and conversations. Meanwhile, Rocket is still quietly reeling from the consequences of the last time the Guardians saved the galaxy. Yondu is dealing with his own problems as his crew questions his ability to lead and encounters with old friends are unpleasant reminders of things lost. Nebula (Karen Gillan) is still set on killing her sister. Ego is appropriately a larger-than-life character, played flawlessly by Russell who finds the right mix of charm, bravado and passion. He’s accompanied by Mantis (Pom Klementieff), whose timidity brings an entirely different dynamic to the relatively outspoken group.
One of the things that make these films so successful is Gunn’s ability to build spectacular action around a group of characters for whom audiences care. There are some mesmerizing and innovative space battles involving an army of hundreds, as well as humorous errors in judgement with catastrophic results. A significant portion of the final fight occurs off-screen, but viewers don’t feel they’re missing anything because what they are privy to is as or possibly more amusing. Moreover, there’s always been an effort to portray the action clearly rather than obscure it behind extreme close-ups and rapid editing.
Having taken care of the introductions in the previous film, Gunn is free to jump right in and entertain audiences — he even expands on a joke that started at the end of the first movie — and he never disappoints them.
Director: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Kurt Russell
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