Picking up just a few months after their first adventure, the Guardians work as mercenaries, taking on odd jobs and picking up new enemies along the way.
One of the many tricks the first Guardians movie had was that it more or less came under the radar. Fun, catchy colourful, it made this reviewer here put it at the top of the best Marvel films list. So naturally, Vol. 2 will have a lot of weight to carry.
Nonetheless, James Gunn and co are sure not to repeat and past Marvel sequel mistakes here. With the element of surprise gone, the only natural way to go is to make everything bigger. Vol. 2 is just that, but one of the few sequels that does it right. First and foremost, the character arcs are up to scratch. Starlord (Pratt) still has daddy issues that have to be resolved as do Gamora (Zaldana) and vengeful sister Nebula (Gillan)
There was the consideration after all the trailers that this would fall into Amazing Spiderman 2 territory with an excess of villains/plot lines and so on. GOTG 2 has all that but manages it well, each character has a reason for being and not for setting up a sequel. That is where the movie’s strong point is, acting as its own standalone film.
The CGI is on point here too, watching it in IMAX 3D was a colourful experience, to say the least. In fact, this was probably the best film as of late to properly utilise the whole 3D experience, not once was there that nauseating motion blur or shaky cam.
Speaking of graphics the film opens up with a flashback between Starlord’s mother and his father Ego (Kurt Russell) As it’s becoming a trend of late, de-aging tech has been used but fear not, finally they perfected it which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing.
The story itself has so many threads once everyone gets separated. Starlord goes with his father, Rocket with Yondu (Michael Rooker) Drax in one place and there are more characters to add but better to be seen than read about.
All that matters is that the elements that made the first film great are still there and even enhanced. The group banter is better and stronger, pop culture references galore, a pumping nostalgic soundtrack and of course baby Groot.
While definitely not better, it sure is bigger brasher and even more emotional than the first. A must see in the best and biggest screen available.