Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 – **1/2 OUT OF 4
“The first Guardians movie is about becoming a family, and this one is about being a family,” says writer/director James Gunn, who, in a calculated way, claims sole writing credit for this iteration. Gunn relates that “being a family’s a lot harder than becoming a family”. While missing some of the charm of its 2014 predecessor, that emerged as an event film with a $771 million dollar world gross, it forges into the new territories of character relationships and familial rivalry. You would think that $771 million would secure it a spot near the top of the Marvel’s Billionaires Club but it actually lands as number five among the highest world-wide Marvel grossers with the “Avengers”(2012) finishing first with $1,5 billion.
After righting the wrongs of a threatened universe in the first one, the Guardians are contracted by the bright gold-skinned Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki} a high priestess of a tony alien race named the Sovereign to destroy a perilous space monster.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) argue over their choice of military tools and talking Brooklynese raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) who is just not funny this time around. The most poignant performance comes by way of Michael Rooker as Yondu, a blue-skin who has turn coated to the good guys.
The film is awash with sub-plots thrown in to diversify the apparent lack of suspense. The visuals are elaborate but feel too contrived. The music is s mix of classic rock with ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” timed perfectly to coincide with their induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) dancing to ELO is as good as things get in this movie,
Let’s hope the next one breaks some new ground! This one entertains but does little else.