Plot: Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.

Review: When I heard about the first Guardians movie coming out I thought it was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard of; a talking raccoon and tree? How could that possibly appeal to anyone over the age of 6? Then I saw the movie and it ended up being arguably my favourite Marvel movie to date. Not only were the characters memorable but what surprised me was how much heart it had; with most superhero movies they sometimes tend to be moving wallpaper where you enjoy what’s going on but generally feel nothing. With Guardians of the Galaxy the opening scene with Quill’s mother passing away was something everyone can identify with and makes you instantly empathize with his character. 

This sequel continues that story with Quill searching for his father and the main theme of the movie is (like the Fast & Furious movies) family. This ragtag bunch of weirdos from across the galaxy aren’t related by blood but have become a family that hurls abuse at each other with Rocket and Quill acting like two brothers. Quill and Gamora still have the will they/won’t they dynamic going on which keeps things interesting and Baby Groot keeps things cute for the kiddies. 

What I was most excited for with this movie were the additions of Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell to the cast and I was hoping for a Tango & Cash reunion of sorts. Sadly they have no screentime together and Sly is only really in 2 scenes. We do get a Cliffhanger reunion though with Michael Rooker sharing the screen with Stallone for one scene but there wasn’t even a subtle reference to it which is a shame considering there are pop culture references every two seconds throughout the movie. 

Kurt is the major addition to the cast and gives some insight into Quill’s lineage and some of the best scenes of the film are between these two characters. 

Despite the script not being quite as sharp as the first movie there is still plenty of heart and Quill’s story is the center of it; Chris Pratt gives one of his best performances as he isn’t quite as wise cracking this time around and is more vulnerable as he finds out the details of his past. What I liked is that every character’s story has an arc with their own moments to shine, so in terms of storytelling it mostly works pretty well.

Dave Bautista shines as Drax although a few lines just weren’t as funny as they maybe could have been but his developing friendship with newcomer Mantis provides a few laughs.

Michael Rooker has a larger role as Yondu who is arguably my favourite character of the series and he also has the best action scenes; when he uses the whistle-controlled arrow to devastating effect it’s difficult not to cheer. The same can be said for Rocket’s booby traps which he leaves outside the ship (to hilarious effect) as he attempts to repair it after it crashes.

The action is as you’d expect filled with CG galore but with a movie like this it’s to be expected and frankly the visuals are mostly stunning and incredibly imaginative. I saw it in IMAX 3D and despite not being a big fan of 3D there were a few cool moments with debris flying off the screen but you can probably see it in 2D just fine.

But what of the music? Well, the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 is nearly as impressive as the original with Fleetwood Mac used in the best way possible and Tyler Bates’ score is suitably epic with some big choral moments that add to the sense of scale.

Although not as funny as the first movie there are still plenty of humorous moments but the movie also is quite somber and moving so even when the CG gets a little overbearing it never loses its beating heart. 

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 isn’t quite as good as the original but it’s a visually stunning space opera with a cast that give their all and some cool music thrown in for good measure. It’s going to be massive no matter what any critic says so just go in and enjoy it; that’s what movies are for after all…

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.