Opening April 27, 2017
Directed by: James Gunn
Writing credits: James Gunn, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning
Principal actors: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Nathan Fillion, Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Chris Sullivan, Michael Rooker
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fifteenth film, and a sequel to the 2014 film. Many of our antihero friends return, while introducing new quirky characters. A tip – reacquaint yourself with the original characters before seeing Vol. 2.
The film picks-up a few months after our band of thieves bond, forming a “family.” They have undertaken work for the Sovereigns because of its two-fold reward. However, continuing the search for their half-human leader’s parentage, with bounty (Debicki) onboard, poses challenges the ragtag, patchwork, kick-ass crew struggle to triumph over while navigating galaxies/planets. Unbeknownst to them, the Sovereign’s golden High Priestess Ayesha (Gillan) proceeds contemporaneously with Yondu (Rooker) and a Nova Corps member’s (Sylvester Stallone) encounter ahead of the Ravager strife and Ego (Russell) and Mantris’ (Klementieff) appearance.
The Guardians characters have expanded, evolved with the (too few) newcomers nicely intermingled. Director–co-writer James Gunn’s dialogue is three-part: wisecracks, puns, and earnestness reminding audiences of the (subsequently called) Vol. 1 film. Tyler Bates’ score takes backseat to Awesome Mix Vol. 2, more varied than the first film’s mix says Gunn. Fred Raskin and Craig Wood with Hughes Winborne edit Henry Braham’s comprehensive cinematography. Having met our intergalactic buddies previously this adventure’s length dissipates its energy, joie de vivre. Exploring the cosmos is nonetheless fun and the 3D works here. Watch for the man with the stories, since this is one of Stan Lee’s many. 136 minutes (Marinell H.)