Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

In this sequel, the Guardians of the Galaxy team (Chris Pratt's Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana's Gamora, Dave Bautista's Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel's Baby Groot and Bradley Cooper's Rocket) gets into a deep trouble when Rocket steals some of the precious batteries from the Sovereign, a race of gold-skinned humanoids led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). Following a space battle, they manage to escape and crash-landed on a remote planet where Quill finally meet his biological father, Ego (Kurt Russell).


REVIEW: Three years ago, who would have thought an obscure comic-book property like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY went on becoming a worldwide box-office hit? Thanks to Marvel Studios along with director James Gunn and the colourful ensemble cast, they have successfully made the first movie such a witty and fun comic-book adventure for the ages.

Flash forward to 2017, the motley crew of space cowboys are back in the highly-anticipated sequel of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2. The movie starts well enough with a 1980s-set prologue featuring a de-aging look of Kurt Russell, then followed by the opening credits, in which Baby Groot is seen swaying and dancing to the sunny tunes of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" while the rest of his Guardians of the Galaxy team members are battling against a giant space octopus on the background.

But it doesn't take long before James Gunn, who handles the sole screenwriting duty this time around without his first movie's co-writer Nicole Perlman, starts to show his sloppy side of storytelling approach. Although he does retain most of the fun and playful charm of the first movie, Gunn's script lacks focus and surprisingly patchy. This is especially true when he spends too much time diverting the sequel's major plot with plenty of side stories. Frankly, there's nothing wrong with that if Gunn knows how to balance them efficiently. But too bad the side stories tend to suffer lots of exposition for its own good. Here, we see Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord having a daddy issue with Ego. Then, there is the ongoing sisterly feud between Gamora and Nebula (Karen Gillan), as well as a side story about Yondu (Michael Rooker) being cast aside following a mutiny from his own gang members.

Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

Another problem here is Gunn's attempt to make his sequel more emotionally-driven than the first time around. This is where he reveals his weakest spot. Apparently, he doesn't have what it takes to create an emotional moment that is either thoughtful or heartfelt enough.

Still, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 isn't entirely bad. As mentioned earlier, the sequel still knows how to have fun. The recurring characters remain as likeable as ever, with the scene-stealing performances this time go to Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer and Vin Diesel as the voice of Baby Groot. As for the newcomer to the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY franchise, Pom Klementieff impresses me the most as Mantis while her chemistry with Bautista's Drax the Destroyer is downright appealing. Although I'm happy with the casting of Kurt Russell as Ego, his performance is surprisingly flat while Stallone's much-publicised cameo appearance as Stakar doesn't really add much in this sequel.

Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017)

The action is both vibrant and energetic, particularly during the opening scene where the Guardians of the Galaxy team battling against a giant space octopus. Finally, apart from the opening credits, the elaborate scene where Baby Groot struggles from a case of misunderstanding while attempting to steal back Yondu's fin, is one of the movie's most hilarious set-pieces.

Although GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 suffers from an inconsistent plot, the sequel still retains most of the fun and playful charm of the first movie.

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