GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 – A Review by John Strange

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 – A Review by John Strange
How do you follow up a film like Guardians of the Galaxy?  You go big and you load the film with names in parts both small and large.  You take a look at the first story and say, what gags didn't we do?  Let's do them!
The new film takes a right turn with its plot.  What is Peter's biggest weakness?  His father, or rather the fact that he has no idea who the man/alien was.  Peter "Star-Lord" Quill was told from an early age that his dad was a star man who loved his mother and shared her love of music. 
When his father shows up, Peter has to process that his father, Ego (Kurt Russell), is a Celestial (maybe THE Celestial?).  Accompanying Ego is a strange you lady/alien named Mantis (Pom Klementieff).  If she touches you, she can read you.  She can tell if you are afraid, or… if you secretly love someone.
This story is not a simple plot with easy to discern heroes and villains.  The characters seem to bounce back and forth across the good/bad demarcation as the story unfolds in front of us.  Most notable of the changes is the one that takes place in Yondu (Michael Rooker).  His feelings for Peter are both his strength and his undoing.  This subplot was first touched  upon in the first film.
But this is a film with as many subplots as there are characters.  Pirate or hero, more than attitude (and there is a HUGE amount of that), they all seem to have the ability to give us one liners at the drop of a hat.  And there are a LOT of those figurative hats dropping! 
The story has a lot of nooks and crannies that are filled with cameos.  People like Sylvester Stallone as the head of the Ravagers, Stakar Ogord, are obvious.  Others like Seth Green (voicing Howard the Duck) are not so obvious.
These pieces of the puzzle make up the composite that we have fallen in love with. The characters in this saga are all a bit larger than life, and twice as funny.  Of the minor characters, watch out for the Ravager who calls himself Taserface (Chris Sullivan).  This boy is so dumb that If brains were leather, he wouldn't have enough to saddle a junebug.  Lucky for him, Ravagers (and pirates) don't always follow the smart ones!
Now, there is one bunch of folks out to kill the Guardians that I haven't talked about.  The Sovereigns.  This bunch is not the same as the rest of the yahoos in this film.  They are so stuck on themselves that the bulk of their entertainment value is watching them bloody their noses when they come up against our team.  And Rocket's larcenous bent will one day get dead by these folks if they get a chance.
Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as good as the first one?  Good question.  This one isn't as fresh as the first one but the humor and action are just as strong.  If you love watching for Easter eggs and surprise cameos, you are going to love this one.  If you would love to watch Kurt Russell's age CGI regressed back to show him as a 20 year-old man (dimples and all), this is the film for you!
Directed by: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content)
Selig Rating: A-
Runtime: 137 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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