- Director – James Gunn
- Writer – James Gunn
- Cast – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Sylvester Stallone, and others
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a roaring space adventure filled with humor and heart. It doesn’t quite reach the greatness of the original, but comes close enough to be a smashing success.
James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is a stunning film full of brilliant creative energy and spirit, but there is one specific reason it continues to stand out in audiences’ minds after three years: the characters. The movie kicks off with one of the best opening sequences, finding the team still working out the kinks in their newfound roles as galaxy savers. Unfortunately, one of their employers – The Sovereign, led by the gold alien Ayesha, winds up not having patience for their learning curve, and when Rocket steps out of line, the Guardians find themselves once again on the run. The Guardians are on the verge of being destroyed by the Sovereigns’ drone fleet when, out of nowhere, they are rescued by a mysterious being who calls himself Ego, who claims to be Peter’s long-lost father. With his companion empath Mantis in tow, Ego wants to re-establish family ties with Peter, and Peter is eager to let that happen. Meanwhile, Yondu has pulled Peter’s skin out of the fire one too many times, and his Ravager crew is ready for new leadership. When Yondu learns that Peter’s father has found him, he is determined to reach Peter, no matter the cost. Soon, audiences figure out where the story is headed.
Gunn seems to know that the weakest element of the film is the predictability of the plot. Hence, he fills it with laughs and character moments. There is sympathy to be found in every character, even those that were once enemies.
The best thing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Michael Rooker. He has always been an extraordinary actor who can seemingly do anything – he can be funny, foreboding, dramatic, terrifying, and deeply compassionate, and Gunn gives Yondu all of that this time around. Considering that much of his screentime is shared with Rocket and Groot, two CGI creations, it is all the more remarkable that Rooker’s performance is as good as it is.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is visually splendid, laugh out loud funny, brimming with Easter eggs that will make geeks giddy, and a welcome return for some beloved big-screen heroes. If you like superhero flirting, bonding, and not-too-graphic dick jokes, it’s a hoot. There might even be a tearjerker or two. But if you’re hoping for something radically different from the first film, you might be disappointed.