Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillen, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell. Written by James Gunn. Directed by James Gunn.
If you liked the original Guardians of Galaxy, you will almost surely like this sequel, Guardians ot the Galaxy Vol. 2, especially if what you liked was the stuff you don’t normally see in comic book superhero movies. The over-reliance on songs, the silly in-the-action conversation, the offbeat characters, and the creative action sequences are all here, in pretty much the exact quantities. It really does feel like a continuation of the first movie, in plot, theme, and presentation.
I have one new good thing and one new bad thing to say about this sequel, but I think they kind of balance each other out, so I’m rating this film the same as I rated its predecessor. The good thing is that I can’t think of a comic book superhero movie where the team of superheroes works as well together, especially in action sequences, as it does in this film. There’s an interdependence born of well-conceived characters that makes this an especially enjoyable film, not to mention a sweetness in what seems like genuine affection.
The bad thing is that there seems to be less of Zoe Saldana’s character than in the first movie. That’s going to happen sometimes in serial films, but I hate to see her relegated to a second-tier element in the story.
Small complaint, though, as it’s a fun and funny movie. I laughed more the second time I saw it, too, which is nice.
In this one, Peter Quill encounters his real father and is reconnected with his surrogate father. There’s a problem with his real dad, though, and the fact that he’s played by Kurt Russell isn’t it. His dad has immortal, god-like qualities that only have meaning if they are used (wait for it!) to take over the whole galaxy.
There’s another new character I at first found irritating but then really liked. Pom Klementieff plays Mantis, an empath with snail-like antennae, who’s even more socially clueless than Dave Bautista’s Drax. They make a fun partnership, and I hope Mantis makes it into the next sequel. She’s a nice foil for Zaldana’s Gamora.
A mid-credits scene shows Sylvester Stallone with a bunch of other Ravagers, including one who is clearly played by Michelle Yeoh. Yes. Please.