Complete A-Z list

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D)


Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel (voice), Bradley Cooper (voice), Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, Sylvester Stallone, Ving Rhames, Michelle Yeoh, Jeff Goldblum, David Hasselhoff

Director: James Gunn

The sequel strikes back and, for once, writer and director Gunn delivers the same zany action-packed special effects-garlanded goods that rightly made the first film a hit.

Even the inevitable cameo by ever-modest characters creator Stan Lee fails to dilute the sheer pleasure of seeing Our Odd Heroes (described by a critical officer as “What a bunch of a-holes”: would the whining noise on the soundtrack be Walt Disney whirring in his grave at the use of such language?) boldly going into space and beyond.

Pratt’s character Quill however has a somewhat different description of the Guardians.

“So here we are: a thief, two thugs, an assassin and a maniac“ he states, neatly summing up Gunn’s basic storyline which finds the Guardians annoying a high priestess, bravely battling a massive multi-tentacled monster that drops in from outer space (one Guardian dives down into the creature’s gullet, another sensibly stays outside and slits its throat) before the major plotline kicks in on a far planet where Pratt meets Ego – bearded Russell – and unexpectedly discovers the truth about his father…

The plot is solid enough but, fortunately Gunn shoots to entertain, using the storyline as a rousing vehicle for Oscar-worthy displays of special effects that create a lively bestiary of strange creatures, large and small and female (one with a couple of sentient tentacles sprouting from her forehead), weird and even weirder planets for his wild heroes and heroine, and a walking, talking tree stump to sort out in a blaze of hugely entertaining action and save billions in the universe from perishing…

There is enough plot and rousing action to satisfy the most demanding comic book and science fiction fans and, to the credit of all concerned, even moviegoers who have no real interest in either genre should enjoy themselves – palpable zest and dedication on both sides of the camera sees to that.

Henry Braham's 3D cinematography is first rate, as are the special effects: happily the sheer pace and enthusiasm on both sides of the camera should ensure that even seen 'flat', the Guardians deliver everything you could ask for in terms of exciting entertainment,

Performances, too, match the mood.

Perfectly-cast performers (including, somewhat surprisingly, Stallone) perfectly put over the comic book dialogue and do all that’s required to make the Guardians credible (which, considering one is a snide-speaking raccoon and another the aforementioned tree stump - mind you, you would have thought they could have found a far more wooden actor than Diesel to dub him - is quite an achievement), providing hugely entertaining, high level sci-fi hokum and leaving you looking forward to the next outburst of wild action and entertainment in the series.

Alan Frank

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
135 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 27 Apr 2017