Cast - 85%
Story - 83%
Music Score - 87%
Effects/Quality - 85%
Originality - 85%
I am Groot!
Movie blockbuster season is almost upon us, so what better way to start things off early than with the latest entry into Marvel Studios’ ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Guardians are back, having previously saved the universe, and looking to make it a repeat performance as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians fight to keep their newfound family together while unravelling the mystery of Peter Quill’s, aka Star-Lord’s, true parentage while old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic Marvel comics will come tour heroes’ aid. Sounds great right? And it largely is.
Viewers of the original ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ film in 2014 will feel right at home from the opening moments of the film as seeds are planted (literally) and we find the Guardians in the midst of a mission, featuring a crazy battle during the titles set to catchy music (more on that later), framing and visuals that will immediately set the tone for the rest of the picture and hearken back to the title sequence of the first film that kicked things off on the right foot. Director James Gunn doesn’t miss a beat in his second outing with this universe and injects this film with just as much energy as its predecessor, which aside from the setting, helps this movie stand apart from the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The action is fast and furious, and despite the frenetic nature of the action scenes, it never seems hard to keep up with what’s happening as these scenes are set to different and sometimes colourful backdrops, with plenty of humour to keep things entertaining and brisk. In 3D, the visuals and action will pop even more and provide you with more bang for your hard earned Rands.
As mentioned, there is no shortage of humour in this film, which was a staple of the previous ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. Not limited to a few select characters, nearly every character in this film gets the opportunity to quip, pun or put a smile on our faces. Whether hero or villain, this film doesn’t discriminate when there’s a good joke comedic line or moment to be had. There were times when not every joke quite hit the mark and other times when it felt like there were just too many jokes and gags, perhaps some undercutting opportunities for a few more serious moments, to the point where doubt was creeping in my mind as to whether this might be one of the few major missteps for a Marvel Studios movie, but for the most part the humour does its job and the films comes together. If you’re in the mood for a serious, brooding and complex superhero movie, you’re fresh out of luck. This film never takes itself too seriously or gets bogged down in angst for too long, even in its most serious moments.
The returning cast are in top form and despite the ensemble nature of these films, everybody gets moments to shine, even minor characters. Chris Pratt brings his charm and wit, along with a chiselled physique, to the forefront in leading man style as Peter Quill/Star-Lord. Zoe Saldana brings the stoicism and reason as Gamora and Dave Batista (aka WWE’s Batista) reprises his role as Drax, getting further opportunity to flex much more of his comedic muscle in addition to his sizeable physical ones and receives more screen time, once again being one of the standout characters amongst an accomplished cast. Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel once do not disappoint as the voices of Rocket and Baby Groot respectively, ensuring that Rocket Raccoon will remain most viewer’s favourite Marvel movie characters and the adorable Baby Groot will be a meme sensation once against and likely children’s most requested toy or merchandise item, so brace yourselves parents. Karen Gillan returns as the emotionally damaged and dangerous Nebula and Pom Klementieff does a great job bringing Mantis to the big screen. Kurt Russell impresses (is that a surprise?) as Ego and for those unfamiliar with this character’s comic origins or from appearances in other media, I won’t spoil it here, but suffice to say that this marks another successful adaptation of a classic, albeit sometimes obscure, Marvel character. Michael Rooker gets more time to shine this film as the blue-skinned buccaneer Yondu Udonta, with a slightly more comic accurate look, and might be the stand-out character of this movie when it’s all said and done. Keep an eye out for quick cameos too.
Undoubtedly one of the major highlights of this film; more so than the story, cast or effects; has to be the use of music throughout. Just as in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ beautifully incorporates classic 70’s and 80’s tunes in amongst the action and quieter character moments in the form of ‘Awesome Mix Volume 2’. This makes the film as much a audio sensory treat as it is a visual one, so much so that it would be hard to imagine what either of these films would be like without this music playing big of a role as it does. The score by Tyler Bates is good too gets the job done but will likely be forgotten by the time the film ends due to being overshadowed by songs like ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, ‘Fox on the Run’, ‘My Sweet Lord’, ‘Brandy’ and others.
Despite some minor fears early on, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is ultimately another successful entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and will surely please nearly all who see it when the films opens nationwide on Friday 5 May 2017. Beyond just seeing spacemen, aliens, talking racoons or major action; at its core this is a film about family, on multiple levels and that sense of family drives each major character throughout the story, and adds the right emotional resonance that help brings things full circle and complement the abundant humour and heavy action by the time the credits roll. For families or fans of Marvel and superhero movies, you will need no convincing to go see this, and for casual film goers looking for a good weekend movie, you will no doubt be entertained too. Highly recommended viewing in 3D! Parents, be mindful of language if going with younger children and as always, stay until the final frame to catch all the mid and post-credit scenes, of which there are many.
In these times of hardship, just remember…We…Are…Groot!
Reviewed on: 4DX
Available on: Cinema 2D, Cinema 3D, IMAX 3D, 4DX
Genre: Superhero, Action, Adventure
Age Rating: 10 – 12 PG L V
Estimated RRP: R50 – 175
Release Date: 5 May 2017
- Humour and light tone, never takes itself too seriously
- Returning and new cast
- Frantic Action
- BABY GROOT!
- Emotional Heart
- AWESOME MIX VOLUME 2!!!!
- Too much constant humour at times?
- Skimpy on references to larger Marvel Cinematic Universe