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Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell, Dave Bautista,
Michael Roker, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Chris Sullivan, Elizabeth Dibicki
Voices of: Van Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Seth Green
Cameos: Sylvester Stallone and Stan Lee
Directed by: James Gunn
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 136 Minutes
Release Date: May 5, 2017

Just as a monster attacks the Guardians, Baby Groot (Often called Twig) turns on some music and starts dancing.  The battle rages around him and he is happily in his own world. Of course the Guardians defeat the monster.  All is well until Rocket steals some valuables and they all take off with an army in pursuit.  Looks like a typical day in the life of The Guardians of the Galaxy.

So Part Two lives up to and even surpasses the original. It’s a lot of fun. Incidentally, if you haven’t seen the original, you may be totally lost.  I found I had forgotten a lot of details.  For example, when Gamera’s sister, Nebula shows up, I was surprised to remember she even had an evil sister.

My first paragraph was deliberately misleading.  What I described could have been the plot but it’s only the beginning. What this movie does is develop the backstories and the relationships.  The sisters battle constantly and reveal enough of their tangled history that your sympathy shifts from Gamera to Nebula and back to Gamera. And this is a minor plot point.

Baby Groot could have been left at cute but he’s much more than that. We watch him grow.  He twice is in a position where he has to take action to save the Guardians and each time, he is so young he doesn’t understand what he’s supposed to do.

The main focus is on Star Lord and his father. A man claiming to be his father (Kurt Russell) shows up.  He is sensibly suspicious at first. Is this stranger a good guy or a bad guy. This also leads to much more development of his past with Yandu who had kidnapped and raised him.  While the plot line of being pursued by an angry army continues, the story turns into one of fathers and sons and their complicated relationships.

This is a very rich movie.  I’ve left out a lot of subplots and characters along with plot twists and turns. There simply are too many. There’s also incredible scenery on an alien planet. And there’s the big battle that will decide the fate of the universe.  This seems to be a requirement of these movies and frankly, this one would have been successful without it. Near the end, there’s a shocking and moving twist.

I haven’t even mentioned that not only is Stan Lee in it twice, but Sylvester Stallone shows up and in a way that leads one to suspect we’ll see him again.

This is a movie you can easily watch more than once and find details you missed the first time.  Incidentally, when the credits roll, watch them all the way through.  There are five Easter eggs.

Reviewed by Marian Powell



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