With great acting and age defying CGI, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is out of this world
We begin in Missouri 1980, witnessing the romance that will ultimately bring us Starlord.
A young Kurt Russel is revealed as his father (the age defying CGI used here is quite something), but before we can register what’s happening – whoosh! – it’s 34 years later and our Guardians are up to their old tricks.
Whilst working for a rather regal bunch of people known as the Sovereign (all looking like a gold Rebecca Adlington), Rocket Raccoon pilfers their coveted precious batteries and they become heretics on the run.
Whilst legging it, the group get split up.
Some get banged up alongside the treacherous Yondu, others spend time exploring Starlord’s rather celestial heritage – which doesn’t appear to be as wonderful as originally thought.
At it’s heart this is a lesson in all the messed up, convoluted ways in which we find our own family – whether blood or otherwise.
It’s about wanting to be together as opposed to being stuck together.
It’s telling that GOTG2 is comfortable and brave enough to offer its opening set piece (traditionally a big blockbuster moment) entirely from the perspective of a toddler twig dancing to ELO. It really works, making you sit up and take a a closer look at what’s going on.
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With great acting and CGI, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is out of this world
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The Spinal Tap of the Marvel Universe (everything is ramped up to 11) has emotional threads which may well go over younger viewers heads (not least having to explain all the 80s references Starlord bases his entire life on – “Who’s Heather Locklear and why are you laughing dad?”) but they’ll probably be too busy laughing or gripping the seat to care.
A deserved hat tip is proffered to the supporting Guardians here, whose use as stooges and butts of jokes is done brilliantly, whether it’s Karen Gillan as Nebulaor, in particular, Pom Klementieff as the manga-like Mantis, the perfect foil to Drax’s blunt and stony reactions.
FYI the blue hulk is incredible. Bautista’s rude lump gets all the best lines and delivers them with perfectly timed deadpan – arguably the star of the show.
If truth be told, the Omnicidal Maniac trope is the weakest part of the film (destroy everything, BECAUSE!) and for a film bursting with originality, sticks out like a sore thumb – but that’s the only criticism. It’s such an entertaining 2 hours, you won’t care a jot.
There’s so much going on you won’t have time to breathe. The Guardians are all great – bouncing off each other brilliantly – and anyone with a beating heart will fall in love with Baby Groot – the cuteness is almost too much to bear.
Laden with Easter eggs, incredible music, cameos and teases for future Marvel films – as ever, don’t leave the cinema till the lights come up.