Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (James Gunn, 2017)

What's it about? It's about the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and the voices of Vin Diesel & Bradley Cooper) as they save.....nay, make that guard...the galaxy once more. There's a plot of sorts, involving new character Ego (Kurt Russell), a living planet, but don't worry about that. The film-makers didn't.


Is it any good? It's good fun, if a bit messy and lacking the freshness of the first instalment. It's all about full-on action this time, pausing now and then for some rudimentary plot exposition, before exploding off again in a new direction. It's all visually impressive and the appealing performances help it through a slightly baggy mid-section as it juggles various story strands. Baby Groot takes care of the cute factor, Bautista gets the best laughs and the others bicker agreeably as the colourful action swirls around them. Some of the 80s pop culture references feel a bit forced this time round and there's a few too many sub-plots as each character's backstory is developed, which results in a rather overlong affair. That said, after two hours of frantic action, it actually does solid job of injecting some emotion into the climax and has a cracking Mary Poppins joke. Forget Groot; I am Michael Rooker.

Anything else I should know? The Vol.2 soundtrack is of course a best-seller as a whole new generation becomes familiar with the crap / brilliant (delete as appropriate) sounds of the 80s. But the film's most impressive achievement actually comes in the first few minutes as Kurt Russell appears for the first time as a young man, looking exactly as he did in his early 80s. And as it transpires, there was less CGI employed than you might think, as you can find out here.

What does the Fonz think? Groot enough.

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