Friday, 28 April 2017

Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 (first-pass)

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 (3D / first-pass / SPOILER-FREE)
Cert: 12A / 136 mins / Dir. James Gunn / Trailer

Expectation was always going to be the enemy of James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2. There are no audiences to surprise this time, it's a return-trip to the well. The ticket-buyers might not know exactly what to expect, but they have boxes they want ticking. So how does the movie fare against this?

Short version: satisfyingly well. The sequel is consistently funny, dynamic and engaging, upping the ante of the first film without coming off as fan-service. Sure, the run-time is probably a little too long at 136 minutes (a quarter-hour above the first movie), the eagerly-awaited soundtrack is a little more 'needle-drop' this time around, and Drax's foghorn-humour has been turned notably up, as has Groot's playfulness. But crucially the film is more than enough fun to cover the occasional raising of an eyebrow. Integral characters from the first installment return, and several new ones are introduced (with a couple of classic-Marvel cameos to boot). Things are left typically open-ended, but there's significant character development all round.

As usual with this sort of thing, the film's a sensory bombardment the first time you watch it. More words will be written after future viewings, but in the meanwhile rest assured that if you enjoyed the first Guardians Of The Galaxy, there is plenty in here for you…

Oh, and if you're a bit OCD when it comes to your playlists, this is the movie-used order of the soundtrack album:

Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) - Looking Glass
Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
Lake Shore Drive - Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Southern Nights - Glen Campbell
My Sweet Lord - George Harrison
Come A Little Bit Closer - Jay & The Americans
Bring It On Home To Me - Sam Cooke
Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang - Silver
Father And Son - Cat Stevens
Surrender - Cheap Trick
Flash Light - Parliament
Guardians Inferno - The Sneepers
(I didn't notice The Sweet's Fox On The Run playing anywhere in the film itself, so that could be a trailer-only track, as Spirit In The Sky was last time around.)

You're welcome.

And the business-end:
• Is there a Wilhelm Scream? Didn't hear one yet.
• Is there a Stan Lee cameo? Yes.
• Is there a mid-credits scene? Yes, several.
• Is there a post-credits scene? Yes.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Guardians Of The Galaxy.

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
It's close to their previously high-watermark, but maybe not quite up to it.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
That will depend on why we're disagreeing.

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Not that I heard, but there are many viewings for me to unearth it, should it be there.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Zoe Saldana's in this, and she was in those Star Trek movies with Simon 'Unkar Plutt' Pegg.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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