Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is playing in theaters now and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say it’s going to be a huge hit. First of all, it’s very true to the first movie – awesome soundtrack, funny characters and a ton of over-the-top action. There’s all of that AND the stroke of genius that was casting Kurt Russell as Ego, Peter Quill’s dad.
I forgot what a charismatic, good looking, all-around movie star he is. Ego, a good-old-boy with perfectly coifed gray hair and a twinkle in his eye, shows up after years of searching the galaxy for his son. He charms Peter with stories of how he fell in love with Peter’s mother during a trip to Earth. He takes Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) , Drax and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) to his utopian planet to show Peter what it means to Ego’s son. Peter had always wanted a dad to throw a baseball with and now there’s the perfect guy on the perfect planet.
The running theme through Vol. 2 is family. Gamora and her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) work their issues through hand to hand combat and with a good talk. Yondu (Michael Rooker) has his own Daddy issues he’s working through and Rocket figures out that he’s not alone. I thought all of this added to the story, but my 11 and 13 year old thought it dragged a bit during their talking scenes.
But we all enjoyed it. What I really liked was the introduction of two new female characters, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), an insect-like alien empath who can read and change people’s emotions, and Ayesha, a gold-painted queen who is out to get the Guardians. It’s rare to find a movie with almost equal number of male to female characters – especially ones that are complex, interesting and kick-ass.
Unless you recently watched the first Guardians, I would recommend seeing the first movie again before you go. There were some things I missed and didn’t catch until the second time I saw it. I’ve seen Guardians twice – once before attending a press conference with the cast and once after the conference with Ford for the Ford Ecosport, which makes an appearance in the movie.
If you’re planning to see it with kids younger than 13, keep in mind that there’s crude language and it’s as violent as the first one. There is an upsetting scene with baby Groot (Vin Diesel) and a couple of scenes where people are shot with arrows, blown up and electrocuted.
Like all Marvel movies, wait until the very end of the credits to leave. It’s worth it.