Marvel’s cosmic comrades are back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. With the universe at stake once again, does this sequel meet the high bar set by its predecessor or does it join the ranks of the inferior sequel? So is it any good?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the return of our favourite galactic misfits as they once again seemingly have the whole galaxy after them again. After crossing the wrong employers, Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) are one again on the run to save their behinds. Soon enough they are saved by Ego (Kurt Russell) who reveals himself to be Peter’s father. As Peter learns more about his celestial living planet father, the team learns there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Writer/Director James Gunn returns behind the camera to bring his beloved Guardians back to the big screen. The film wastes no time getting to the action, and with not having to go about setting up the characters again, is able to get straight to topping the wonderful music fueled opening of the original. Each of the films characters is wonderfully written and thankfully each gets their moment to shine – a true credit to Gunn in a movie with a large cast of key characters. Whilst all the characters get laughs, Drax had the audience in stitches and Baby Groot being equally as adorable as he was hilarious.

Joining the Guardians in this film are returning anti heroes Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), along with newcomer Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who plays well against Drax’s literal understanding of the world. Through the course of the film each of them earns their role in the expanded line up of the Guardians. Russell’s Ego is charismatic and mysterious, but it’s Rooker’s Yondu who surprisingly brings an extraordinary amount of weight to his expanded role, in a what was a surprisingly emotional film about family, or more specifically, the families we choose.

Of course the film’s soundtrack is kicking (as we’ve come to expect) and the visual palette of Marvels cosmic universe on display here is beautifully weird. Oddly enough (for a Marvel film), this truly stands alone, with very little in the way of Infinity stone or Thanos references. This is a welcome change, giving the core plot and characters room to breathe rather than setting up the next few films. Is it as good as it’s predecessor? It’s definitely on par, but is a much deeper and richer film – a film with heart and a message that you could easily revisit again and again.

It’s really hard to fault this film. Brilliant and funny action, 80’s references, and a small, adorable, baby tree person. It ticks all the boxes in what you could possibly want from a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, and I can’t wait to see these characters return again. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soars through the stars on a wave of intergalactic colour, old school tunes and laugh out loud humor to be one of the best films so far of 2017. I loved it and I’m sure you will too.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 hits Australian cinema’s April 25.

 

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