Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Laura Haddock.
All the fun of the original but with added family angst, if you are going to describe Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Two in any way that resembles a nutshell then you can only go by that, a great family film that has kept Marvel Studios firmly in the top racoon place when it comes to portraying superheroes on film and that D.C. has a long way to go.
The sequel though has a lot more than a simple tag line going for it, much more than a simple thumbs up from any lover of the genre or officiando pleased with the responsibility poured on the writers and cast of the film to create something visually entertaining and worthy of a second or even a third watch. For underneath the clothes of fooling around, the sarcasm and the digital effects, there lays a really decent tale of what family actually means, what harm sometimes those who brought you into the world can do and the family that stands by you can make you whole.
Family is not a matter of creation, of the spark between two people at the centre point of their universe, it is the commitment to stand by someone else’s side when they are having a crisis of faith in those that biologically made them, it is the bond deeper than a friendship but which is unspoken in a world still suffering from a post Victorian hangover of showing one’s emotions and one displayed with great affection between the various characters as they take on the entity known as Ego.
It is a quite wonderful metaphor that comes into play as the Marvel created team of dysfunctional but heroic members grapple with their own insecurities between the banter and the snipes; the affection they hold for one another, not letting one of them fall less they all go down together, this is the real shedding of ego, the destruction of the self in favour of the many.
In a large ensemble piece there is always going to be an issue of just who might be the one to look out for as giving the sterling performance, the moment that carries the whole film and yet in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Two, each actor, whether by their dominating presence or by their voice, fully deserves to share the victory of the film with another; the web of personal relationships is drawn too close to single out any particular member and for that the film as a whole deserves the fullest of praise, cameos galore, high octane action and a generous memory to hold onto. Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume Two may be the start of a superhero infested summer but it is one with absolute love attached to it. A thrill ride of fun from start to finish.
Ian D. Hall