Well well, the highly anticipated sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy has arrived. Whilst there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not it would hold up or at least rank ‘on par’ with it’s predecessor. I was personally really looking forward to it as myself and a friend booked in to see a double screening in Dublin’s The Lighthouse Cinema. Where we went in at 9pm to see the first, then had a half an hour break and then re-entered the cinema screen at midnight, any kind of marathon I’m always game for but being set up cinematically having just re-watched the heavenly first one was a pretty sweet Saturday. Whilst there were a few things I felt could have been done differently, (and these were few and far between) I can safely say that Toddler Groot more than made up for any misgivings you could possibly have. The humanoid tree that stole the hearts of everyone on the earth with his presence and ridiculously adorable self. The first movie in this franchise makes you fall irrevocably in love with him and you think there’s no possible way in which this character could get any damn cuter… low and behold.
The soundtrack again, was a pretty glorious collection that leaves you continuously tapping your feet and dancing in your head.
The cameos and additional characters were quite an intriguing bunch, seeing Sylvester Stallone in something that, although is comedy, actually has a bit of weight and legitimacy behind it was a new experience. On our left we have Pom Klementieff (of whom this was my first encounter) beside her is the legendary Kurt Russel whose on screen presence has spanned decades. Then onto Elizabeth Debiki, whom i would best know as portraying the elusive and mysterious Jedd in the on-screen collaboration of a 90s John Le Carre novel ‘The Night Manager’.
One thing that I was quite pleased with is that they delve a little further into Peter Quill’s mother and general parentage. The mystery of who, and what exactly, Peter’s father was and/or is was something that had been set up nicely for a potential development later on in the sequel. Examining what was already a pretty strong theme in Peter’s (Pratt’s characters) life. Along with getting a pre-preemptive glimpse of his potential long-lost father.
The action scenes leave nothing to be desired, satiate and are as fast-paced and well executed as in the first. The group dynamic get to be explored a bit further as we’re not just about introduced to our characters and still getting acquainted. The bickering within the group is quite reminiscent of an old married couple get huffy over mundane scenario’s but obviously our protagonists aren’t exactly in a plot that we’d be calling mundane in any universe.
The CGI is actually the only facet of the sequel that I think was actually improved upon since the last, I could make a slightly weaker case for the direction in that since it had set up its characters construction, identities, planets and worlds concept in which our protagonists exist, there were some liberties able to be taken and explore direction that leaves you smirking at its sleek and cunning quality. The Computer Generated Imagery has taken another few steps up, the animators should really take a bow on this one.
We’ve some new toys for Rocket to play with..
Along with some long awaited narrative and some interesting takes on cellular creation of mater.
Dive in, there’s a bit more heart in this sequel than you’d initially expect. Some loose ends from the first instalment are tied up quite nicely and other new themes and mysteries are introduced subtly. Not on the same par as it’s predecessor but definitely worth a watch, if only for little Groot! So get some munch, perhaps a little herb (or wine) and enjoy!