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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Updated: May 5, 2023

A whole lot of fun but not quite as good as the original, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 is crammed with laughs and great visuals.

The film's best moments are in its first fifteen minutes, as we get a peek at Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) father, played by an impossibly young Kurt Russell.

Visual effects have reached a new level in which we can watch a 1980 Kurt Russell interact with Peter's mom in a long scene. It's flawless and ten times better than the same technology that just a few years ago rendered Jeff Bridges young again in "Tron Legacy" and Michael Douglas thirty years younger for the opening scenes in "Antman".

It's a wow.

Then we move directly into a space battle between our Guardians and a slithering nasty giant octopus-like creature over the main title sequence.

Writer/Director James Gunn is back and in perfect form for the titles, which follow Baby Groot as he dances around during the battle, which goes on violently and hilariously around him, while never quite touching him.

By winning the battle, the Guardians complete their mission but soon find themselves pursued by a golden race of very easily offended aliens.

While fleeing, they meet up with Peter's Dad, Ego, now played by the older Kurt Russell, who's one of the best things in the film. As Ego's story unravels, father and son are reunited with all sorts of cosmic implications.

Pratt is excellent from his opening line, 'It's Showtime, A-holes!" and manages to bring some nice depth to his comic character. Dave Bautista nearly steals the film as Drax, making every confession and opinion a laugh-out-loud punchline. Bradley Cooper is hilarious voicing Rocket the Racoon but poor Zoe Saldana seems overlooked here, with Gamora given very little to do except for one terrific scene with the biggest shoulder Gatling gun I've ever seen.

I am not a Vin Diesel fan, so this is my favorite role he's ever had, with only three words of dialogue. I love what the filmmakers do with Groot throughout. Talk about creative.

Michael Rooker is great as Yondu, bright blue and battling for his friends. His scene with the fastest most lethal arrow of all time taking out a legion of bad guys is one of the film's best sequences.

Fans of NBC's "This Is Us" should look for that show's Toby as "Taserface", an alien with a nasty temper and a decidedly maligned moniker.

Newcomer Pom Klementieff is great as Mantis, who can read your thoughts by touching you. She brings heart and laughs to the mix.

Speaking of mixes, the music mix for Volume 2 is every bit as present and enjoyable as it was in Volume 1, with ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" the perfect main title battle song, 'Brandy" by Looking Glass and"Surrender" by Cheap Trick playing key roles and Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" as our heroes theme.

The film starts perfectly and ends strong, with a muddled middle. The plot insists on separating our characters into a couple groups for a lot of the film, which gives time for character development but robs us of their group repartee.

It's at least 20 minutes too long, the curse of many Marvel films, but when the movies are this consistently good and enjoyable, its hard to complain.

There's boat loads of action, battles, great dialogue and sheer fun.

Volume 2 gets an appreciative & enjoyable B.

Make sure and stay through the credits for five (5!) additional scenes.

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