Sunday, May 7, 2017

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The Guardians returns for another out-of-this-world, laugh-out-loud, adventure. We're thrown back into the galactic tale when the crew of Starlord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax, (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) take on a giant monster. The open credits see Groot dancing while the rest fight. Drax establishes himself as the funniest but the whole film is full of great humor and levity to balance out the space action and emotion. They were taking on the beast for a job from the Sovereign, a golden humanoid species led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) in order to collect Nebula (Karen Gillan). when Rocket steals their special batteries, this species turns into an enemy.

The Guardians escape with the help of Ego (Kurt Russell), but their ship is damaged. When Ego reveals that he is Quill's long lost father, he invites them to his planet. Drax, Gamora, and Quill go with ego leaving Rocket, Groot, and Nebula behind. Ayesha hires Yondu (Michael Rooker) to find the Guardians and bring them to their death. Ego takes the three Guardians to his home world and show them how he is the planet and only made this human form to travel the galaxy. He explains how he met Quill's mother and why he left. Meanwhile, Yondu tracks down and captures Rocket but is betrayed by his crew of Ravagers and shot in the head by Nebula.

Ego has a helper named Mantis (Pom Klementieff) whose empathic ability helps put Ego to sleep. She has a secret that she wants to reveal as she connects with Drax but her reticence of Gamora prevents her from speaking up. Rocket and Yondu have to orchestrate an escape with the help of Baby Groot. Nebula uses a ship she receives from the Ravagers and heads to Ego where she tries to kill Gamora out of revenge. As they fight, they discover a bone graveyard on Ego's planet. Mantis reveals that Ego has been killing all his children as he realizes they don't have the power. Ego also tells Quill that he gave Quill's mother a tumor.

As a final act dying from the explosion caused by Yondu, a Ravager named Taserface gives the Guardians' location to the Sovereign. The final battle consist of the Guardians trying to stop Ego from destroying the world and also fighting off the Sovereign as Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis join them. Quill discovers his own power to control matter and fights Ego as Rocket tries to explain to Groot how to operate the bomb. The film packs an emotional punch when Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill as he has taken on the role of father for Peter.

I might not have more fun this summer at the theaters than I did in this film as it so seamlessly bounces from humor to sci-fi action-adventure and back. The screen is filled with color and special effects that make for a true visual feast. I loved the first film and the second one lives up to it. The only flaws were a slow middle and an episodic feel though this film gives a closer look at how the Guardians operate as a team while adding some new members. I look forward to the Guardians teaming up with the Avengers and then completing the trilogy.

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