BY RYAN MACKETT
IN A time when movie versions of Superman and Batman snap villains’ necks and mow down criminals with machine guns, a director like James Gunn comes along and puts some colourful fun back on the screen.
Gunn returns to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the sequel to 2014’s breakout smash hit. With the full backing of Marvel Studios, Gunn has crafted another exemplary comic book film that defies the current trend of making everything dark and gritty and sombre and depressing.
Gunn’s visual style is frenetic and colourful and a joy to look at. The creativity oozes off the screen in dazzling three-dimensional, 8K ultra high-definition neons. Everything from the creature design, costumes, practical makeup and effects and even the upgraded CGI just pop.
Along with the amazing visuals, Gunn’s script is just bang on. Great one-liners, a fantastic balance of humour and sincerity and an ability to truly make these misfit space pirates-turned guardians relatable and deep. There were only a few times where I felt that Gunn was “trying too hard” to get a laugh. But so much of this film works, that a minor gripe like that is lost in the positivity.
The cast is just terrific here.
Chris Pratt returns as Starlord, a human with mysterious parentage (upon which some light is shed in this film). Zoe Saldana returns as Gamora, a green warrior. Vin Diesel stars as the voice of Baby Groot, and Bradley Cooper returns as the voice of Rocket Racoon.
The show is absolutely stolen by Dave Bautista’s Drax. The former WWE wrestler is just so incredibly charismatic and his comedic timing is perfect. Newcomers to the cast include Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone and a few other surprises.
The film begins with one of the greatest opening dance numbers I’ve ever seen. That’s followed by the characters taking Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan) prisoner. They end up discovering who Starlord’s father is along with catching up with some old “friends” - all while saving the galaxy yet again.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 not only serves as a perfect example of just how fun and awesome and enjoyable comic book movies can be, it also works as one of the best sci-fi action/adventure films in recent memory.
If you are someone that scoffs at comic book movies or refuses to watch Hollywood popcorn flicks, do yourself a favour and give this film a try. At the very least, the film’s brilliant soundtrack will surely suck you in. Once again, Marvel shows everyone how it’s done, and delivers a stellar flick.
Tons of fun and highly recommended.
Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.