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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review: ‘An energetic but uneven intergalactic ride’

By Will Stroude

Jet-packing onto our screens this week is the follow-up to Disney’s hugely successfully entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Picking up from where they left off, whilst fulfilling their daily duty of protecting the universe, the five heroes work towards unravelling the mystery behind Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)’s true parentage.

As with the first instalment, Vol. 2 is peppered throughout with bursts of satirical, tongue-in-cheek, humour as well as inventive and exciting action sequences. In terms of plot, there isn’t the usual precision and focus that we’ve come to expect from Marvel: the pacing feels a bit disjointed and off balance, suffering, much like the Avengers sequel, from an overly ambitious narrative.

Lead by the ever charismatic Pratt (who to our pleasure makes sure he’s shirtless within the first 10 minutes), the ensemble cast’s brilliant dynamic is what makes this worth the cinema trip. A lot of the laugh-out-loud moments come courtesy of socially-inept Drax (David Bautista)’s habit of oversharing. The devilish Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradly Cooper) is the rebellious guardian, getting them into a lot of the trouble they find themselves in, by stealing energy sources from frosty golden Empresses (Elizabeth Debicki). And there’s new blood from Pom Klementieff as the adorably naive Mantis, who uses her antenna to channel empath abilities. But the show is mostly stolen by Baby Groot, who for the most part is inescapably cute up until the point of being useless.

As with the first instalment, the cinematography is striking, colourful and vibrant, making good use of the 3D element, whilst soundtracked by the very on-brand Awesome Mixtape #2, which consists, mostly of ’70s pop rock.  A burst of ABBA wouldn’t have gone a miss, but you can’t go wrong with a bit of Fleetwood Mac.

Though this is a relentlessly action-packed voyage, it suffers from the feeling that it’s only halfway towards a much bigger climax, with the galaxy never feeling as though it needs that much guarding: But the guardians are indeed gearing up to something much bigger – they’re set to join the Avengers in next Year’s Avengers: Infinity War. 

Rating: 3/5

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits UK cinemas this Friday April 28.

Words: Joe Passmore

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