Let’s just say this, it wasn’t easy to make a film that could capture you like the first Guardians film. But James Gunn has indeed delivered a worthy sequel which is both very funny, action packed and will make you cry more than the ending of Marley & Me!
Starting just a few months on from the first film and with Awesome Mix Vol. 2 in hand, the Guardians are hired by the Sovereign Race leader Ayesha to defeat the creature the Abilisk. After things go wrong when Rocket tries to rip them off, the Guardians then have to fight to survive the Sovereign when they attack in waves of remote-controlled ships. It’s after this epic sequence that the true storyline begins.
We know that Ego is the father of Peter Quill, and these two coming together does indeed pack an emotional punch to the gut. But it is the revelations that come later in the film which really brings you crashing down to earth. Kurt Russell does give it a great go as Ego, and he stays more within his origins than I would have believed. In fact, Ego actually does serve a greater purpose for the film than many may think.
I spoke about the emotion and action, but the comedy cannot be denied. Dave Bautista’s Drax is certainly the funniest of the Guardians in the film. Whether it is him trying to define Mantis’s beauty, speaking of how Ego could mate with Quill’s mum or even a discussion on penises (yes, penis jokes and sex with a planet comment is in this movie!). Also, there is plenty of humour from Baby Groot, a lot of which comes from him being the focus of the opening titles.
This film is not all colours, action, jokes and quips. This film is definitely the most emotional of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you didn’t cry over the death of Peter’s mum in the 2014 film then you are: A. The most heartless person in the world, B. You mustn’t have paid attention at the beginning and C. you will have a tear in your eye when you hit the big revelation about Meredith Quill.
Expanding the Guardians roster is similar to that of The Avengers, and the characters are as unique as they come. Yondu (Michael Rooker on the top of his game) comes to join the Guardians and is effortlessly cool. Nebula (Karen Gillan) reluctantly becomes a member, and you can see she would rather be anywhere else in the universe. The best of the new Guardians for me though is Mantis, Pom Klementieff is fantastic as the character and you almost want to adopt her for how adorable she is throughout. Innocence is rare in this franchise, and it is only her and Groot who are probably the only real innocent characters in the film series.
Speaking of Groot, it was a stroke of genius to keep him in his smaller form. This does work for many occasions, and it also brings some more comical moments that could not happen with the full-grown Groot. He seems bent on causing a lot of havoc for Rocket, but he does show he cares. Groot does at times seem a bit helpless, but you can’t deny he makes you laugh a lot. Let’s be honest, everyone does bring some laughs.
Chris Pratt still brings his best as Peter Quill and Zoe Saldana likes to play with her chemistry with Quill as the straight-faced warrior Gamora. I really liked Pom Klementieff in this film and I can’t wait to see her part in Avengers: Infinity War. Dave Bautista’s Drax is indeed the scene-stealer each time, he does get the best lines and even all the penis talk is seen as really funny just because it comes from Drax.
While I may think there are a couple of little issues (number of characters, changes of pace), these are nothing much of concern. I didn’t see this film wanting a clone of the first, I wanted a natural progression. The film flows nicely, all the little easter eggs and nods to the grander Marvel world is very welcome. Also, possibly the greatest Stan Lee cameo ever? It is definitely up there! Then there is the soundtrack! I didn’t think it could happen twice, but it certainly is a highlight again. Songs from Fleetwood Mac, Looking Glass, ELO and more (I think the soundtrack will be a review on its own!).
A movie with lots of humour, so much action and more heart than a Gallifrey full of Time Lords. James Gunn creates another masterpiece which will only build excitement for Avengers 3 and Guardians Vol. 3! Maybe not the best that the MCU has made, but certainly the best blockbuster of 2017 so far!
Final Rating: 9/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove