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Film review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an uneven space romp

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel and the gang return to save the galaxy once more in director James Gunn’s CGI-heavy adventure sequel

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 April, 2017, 12:32pm

3/5 stars

When Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy arrived in 2014, this oddball gang of aliens caught everyone off guard. The sequel, again directed by James Gunn, lacks that delightful weirdo-freshness, replacing it with a whole heap of CGI, star turns and a more cluttered soundtrack ranging from ELO to Fleetwood Mac.

Still, from the obligatory Stan Lee cameo to the also-obligatory post-credits sequences, Marvel knows its audience. The next time we see the Guardians it’ll be alongside the Avengers in the now-shooting Infinity War; this adventure, by comparison, is a light-hearted space romp.

Reuniting the old gang – Earthling Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and CGI characters Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) – this Gunn-scripted outing is all about daddy issues.

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the film doesn’t end when credits roll, director James Gunn teases

Gamora and her troubled sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) clearly have theirs, while Quill gets to meet Ego (Kurt Russell), the father he never knew. Rather like the moment Rocket and Quill co-pilot a ship through an asteroid field, it’s an uneven ride: breathless, bonkers but frequently threatening to veer out of control.

On the plus side, the mini-tree Groot (still with that limited vocabulary) remains a fan favourite while Bautista is hilarious as Drax. Marvel fans will also appreciate Sylvester Stallone’s introduction as Stakar Ogord. But amid all the imploding planets, space battles and giant monsters, it’s an alien circus lacking a real ringmaster. Gunn only barely clings on.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on April 27

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