Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

For big budget Marvel and sci-fi monster films, I doubt you will see a better one than the Guardians sequel.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2Not all great movies combine entertainment with outrageous good humor, but when they do you have something special. That is exactly the case with Director James Dunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

It is a fitting tribute to this film to say that it exceeds the pleasures of the original. Avoiding the ridiculous undertones found in the Fast and Furious films, it has a somber back story as recently seen in Logan that will likely bring a tear to the eye of the most cynical member of the audience.

Once again, Chris Pratt brings Peter Quill/Star-Lord front and center as he leads his wonderful collection of misfits on an adventure to save the universe. However, they quickly run afoul of the Sovereign, an alien race they are trying to protect, when the untrustworthy Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) steals some sacred batteries they were hired to secure.

Thereafter, they barely saved their lives when they crash land on another planet. It was at this moment that the film captures something special as you watch the enjoyable interaction of multiple characters that will repeatedly charm you regardless of their intentions.

Let’s begin with the convincing performance by Kurt Russell, here playing Ego, Star-Lord’s father. While I don’t dare give anything away, let me just say that the interaction of father and son will make it quite easy for you to miss any future family reunions.

In addition,  Star-Lord and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) do their best to hide their mutual attraction for each other. Drax (a very funny Dave Bautista) discovers to his distress that his dedication to flaming insults are received as compliments from Mantis (a memorable Pom Klementieff), the right hand woman for Ego.

Karen Gillan gives an unforgettable performance as Nebula, the twin sister of Gamora who harbors an angry intent to kill her. Vin Diesel provides the voice for Baby Groot, a lovable and frequently confused little creature who is trying to emerge into the adult figure seen in the original film. Watch the film’s closing credits for a glimpse of his future.

Interestingly, Michael Rooker repeatedly commands your attention as he plays Yondu, the alien with very bad teeth. Though he was Star-Lord’s antagonist in the earlier movie, he now comes to our crew’s rescue at a moment you will never forget.

I saw this film at my favorite theater, the IMAX at the Indiana Museum here in Indianapolis. You knew from the opening scene that you were watching an enchanting film.

On top of that, the movie has a great soundtrack flowing from the disks that Star-Lord maintains which contained old rock and roll songs from his time on Earth as a kid. More to the point, try to tell me you won’t have an emotional response when you listen to Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son” during the film’s crushing conclusion.