Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

OUR film re­viewer James Burgess is a 27-year-old per­for­mance, drama and theatre grad­u­ate.

The for­mer Fal­li­b­roome High School pupil has at­tended the BAFTA Film Awards in Lon­don ev­ery year since 2009, meet­ing stars in­clud­ing Dame He­len Mir­ren, Chris­tian Bale, Joseph Gor­donLe­vitt and Emma Thompson. James lives on St Ives Close in Mac­cles­field. You can visit his web­site at www. jab­film­re­views.blogspot. com. pop-art aes­thetic and zany cul­tural sel­f­ref­er­en­tial­ity made a pre­vi­ously widely ob­scure en­try into Mar­vel’s leviathan of a canon a dizzy­ing, left-field de­light.

Now the rag-tag bunch of mis­fits are back, in all their neon-lit, wise­crack­ing – though not quite as sub­ver­sive – block­bust­ing glory.

Direc­tor James Gunn, the writer of the fan­tas­tic big-screen adap­ta­tions of Scooby-Doo (crim­i­nally un­der­rated, per­sonal favourites of mine), returns to amp up the flu­o­res­cent, psy­che­delic phan­tas­mago­ria.

Peter Quill aka StarLord (Chris Pratt) teams up again with the lime green-skinned, short­tem­pered war­rior Gamora (Zoe Sal­dana), gi­gan­tic teal mus­cle-bound con­vict Drax (Dave Bautista), and Baby ‘I am’ Groot (voiced once again, although un­recog­nis­ably, by Vin Diesel). Best of all though, is the de­lib­er­ately face­tious rac­coon (don’t call him that – ‘tri­an­gu­lar­faced mon­key’ or ‘trash-panda’ are ap­par­ently bet­ter!) Yes, Bradley Cooper, (also en­tirely un­recog­nis­ably, chan­nelling Bruce Wil­lis again), lends his grouch­ily self-dep­re­cat­ing, sar­cas­tic barbs to Rocket, the minia­ture mer­ce­nary.

Rocket may have all the best jokes (his and Drax’s sar­casm, as well as to­tal lack of irony, make for some up­roar­i­ously crowd-pleas­ing mo­ments), but, as was the case last time, it’s the ter­rific Pratt who steals the ex­u­ber­ant show. His Star-Lord is a mag­nif­i­cent cre­ation – one of the best and iden­ti­fi­ably grounded su­per­hero fig­ures of re­cent years. Won­der­fully know­ing and retro, his char­ac­ter per­son­i­fies the en­tirely unique tone of the se­ries; en­er­getic, smart (sub­tle when needed) and sur­pris­ingly heart­felt. This time, Peter dis­cov­ers more about the ambiguity of his quasi-her­itage, lead­ing him to the aptly-named Ego (an­other resur­gence for Kurt Rus­sell)…

As with all fran­chise­films, to say any more would mean spoil­ers, but what en­sues is an ex­cel­lently en­ter­tain­ing romp with plenty of ex­cit­ing set-pieces, hugely am­bi­tious vis­ual-ef­fects, and a gal­axy of tunes and cameos. The di­a­logue is filled with 80s pas­tiche (Pac-Man, Cheers, and Has­sel­hoff are all un­apolo­get­i­cally usurped!).

But it lacks the nov­elty, sur­prise, edge and twists of the orig­i­nal. Glenn Close, ru­moured to be repris­ing her piv­otal role as the mar­vel­lous, ice-cream-cone haired Nova Prime, is also mys­te­ri­ously ab­sent.

Here’s hop­ing she’s back for num­ber three!

Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Guardians of the Gal­axy Vol: 2

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