It was quite a surprise when the little-known Guardians of the Galaxy became one of the most highly rated Marvel films since the Superhero movie boom in 2008. Since then Guardians of the Galaxy has been my favourite superhero movie thus far so the second was highly anticipated. In the sequel, the Guardians of the Galaxy are still working together and their latest mission sees them handing over a series of super powerful batteries in exchange for Gamora’s (Zoe Salanda) sister, Nebula (Karen Gillian) who is held captive by the Sovereign race.
The mission doesn’t go flawlessly as Rocket (Bradley Cooper) steals some of these batteries and offends the Sovereign race who attack as the Guardians of the Galaxy make their escape. They are, however, saved by a mysterious figure who turns out to by Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) father (played by Kurt Russell) who is this god like being. Peter is invited to his father’s home planet; it is perfect and Peter is happy to meet his father but this peaceful tranquillity doesn’t last for long.
One of the biggest draws of the Guardians of the Galaxy series is its soundtrack, it’s even arguably as hotly anticipated as the movie itself. The songs on the soundtrack are classic 80s songs that director James Gunn is drawn to. I am too young to get the nostalgic element, but they are undeniable catchy songs and the soundtrack mirrors the overall light tone of the film, perfectly capturing the type of film that the Guardians sequel intends to be.
The film works best when all the Guardians are working (and bickering) with each other. The actors have such a cracking chemistry that the snappy dialogue effortlessly bounces from one character to another. The way the characters and their different personalities seem to click seamlessly together is vital in making the film work. The film does a good job at making the viewer care about the central characters and their relationships with one another (Peter’s relationship with his father is quite touching).
On the more negative side the film is a little baggy and plodding in the middle and the action sequences are limited by the fact there’s no real threat to them. They all look spectacular with the top of the range special effects, but they all feel a little empty despite the fact that we care greatly about the characters. There’s too much in the way of familiarity for them to be truly involving.
There’s a marked improvement in the villains, and I am expecting some good things from Elizabeth Debicki but the sequel doesn’t quite hit the same heights as the 2014 film.