Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff
Age Restriction: 10–12PG L V
Runtime: 2hrs 17min
Release date: 05 May 2017
In 2014, Marvel proved to the world that a superhero film set in space can become a critically acclaimed crowd-pleaser.
Not only did Guardians of the Galaxy go on to make well over $700 million globally; but it is also regarded as one of Marvel's signature staples. Not bad for a film based on a comic book property with a modest following.
It's three years later and the highly-anticipated sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, has finally reached the cosmos; with box office records set to be broken.
Director James Gunn returns to the helm; and with a bigger budget at his disposal, the filmmaker takes full advantage.
The action and visuals are bigger more dazzling this time round, and Gunn takes it to a whole new level. The director ensures innovation, delivering action sequences unlike anything you've ever seen in a space film before. From a giant intergalactic octopus, to a space chase through a belt of asteroids; Gunn's energetic sequel offers ground-breaking action and eye-popping colour – a special effects triumph for Marvel, and their best to date.
The dialogue adds more humour and sass – and Gunn gets extra creative here – delivering a funnier, quirkier (and sometimes) cheeky comedy that will have audiences on the floor in stitches.
In the sequel, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) – more commonly known as the Guardians of the Galaxy – hit a roadblock when they meet Peter's long-lost father, Ego (Kurt Russell), – a living planet who can take many forms, including that of a human.
As Peter tries to reconnect with his old-man, other forces are hard at work in trying to destroy the Guardians.
Gunn adds many new characters to the roster giving Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Yondu (Michael Rooker) larger roles; while introducing Ego, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and the Sovereign people.
Including the Guardians, the director has loads of characters to juggle with – and he miraculously gets the job done right. Gunn manages to flesh out every single character in the film, with solid developments and excellent characterisation.
Like the first film, the actors bring these charismatic characters to life flawlessly; while the new additions fit in well – particularly Klementieff and Elizabeth Debicki.
The lengthy runtime means Gunn is able to expand upon the mythology, introducing audiences to more planets, locations, creatures, characters, space – and Vol. 2 offers plenty of that and more.
While Vol. 2 unseats the original in terms of action, comedy, character and aesthetic; it can't in any way top its predecessor's story and originality.
There is so much going on in the film – sub-plots, action, character work etc. – that the main storyline takes a backseat and feels relatively thin. However; the film's highlights are compelling enough to make this a notable follow-up, despite not being able to surpass the original.
Had Gunn succeeded in balancing the plot with the rest of the elements, we might've been looking at a superior sequel. Why? Because the story is quite good – it just needed more screen time.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 embodies a modern-day sequel – it's a bigger, more action-packed follow-up that, while entertaining, cannot top the original.