Our heroes are busy treading water in not-so-deep space in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 2, while in RAW you are what she eats
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (M)
Director: James Gunn ( Guardians of the Galaxy) Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. Rating: *** The sci-fi adventure blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an odd duck as far as sequels go. Where the first one left audiences wanting more, the follow-up leaves everyone feeling rather exhausted.
Sure, you can’t knock the filmmakers for happily delivering too much of a good thing. Nevertheless, a little streamlining in the right places — particularly in the script department, which is overstuffed with padding — would have gone a long way here.
Of course, it goes without saying that the original Guardians of the Galaxy is a very tough act to follow.
Arriving as an unknown quantity from the backblocks of the Marvel Comics universe back in 2014, the first Guardians instalment was a billion-dollar sensation at the worldwide boxoffice.
While Vol. 2 is certain to do the same level of business, the element of surprise is no longer a weapon it can wield at will.
In its best moments, the movie is irresistible escapism of the highest order, a scrappy, wisecracking cousin to Star Wars circa 1977.
However, Vol. 2 can cruise on autopilot for a touch too long at times, especially when reiterating what everyone loved about the original.
This time around, the story is centred on unmasking the true parentage of Guardians spearhead Peter Quill (Christopher Pratt).
While he was still living on Earth, Quill lost his mother tragically to a brain tumour. Once he came into his own as an intergalactic thief, the self-styled ‘Star Lord’ kept her memory alive by soundtracking his exploits with his Awesome Mixtape cassette compilations.
However, there has always been a hole in Quill’s life that no classic pop hit from the 1970s can fill. By chance — during a spectacular fighting sequence which opens Vol. 2 with a bang — Peter suddenly comes face-to-face with the father he never knew,
The movie actually spills the beans on the identity of Quill Senior quite early. However, it doesn’t really matter once the Guardians get busy with the old-school banter and deep-space scrapes for which they are renowned.
Established series regulars such as the alien Gamora (Zoe Saldana), multicoloured strongman Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket the raccoon (the voice of Bradley Cooper) remain appealing characters purely on the strength of how they embody the reckless rapport of the Guardians.
If you loved the legendary talking tree Groot in the first movie, you will be pleased to learn the true star of Vol. 2 is Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), a hyper-adorable little trunklet who is more than just a mascot for the Guardians team.
New recruits to the saga will take longer for viewers to warm to, whether they be villains (Australia’s Elizabeth Debicki as a gold-covered alien queen), heroes (Michael Rooker’s Yondu, no longer a bad guy), or a possible combo of both (Kurt Russell as Ego, the human embodiment of a dangerous planet from which the Guardians are seeking escape).
Left, Karen Gillan. Centre, Chris Pratt, followed by Dave Bautista and Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper