Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, baby Groot voice by Vin Diesel, Rocket voice by Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn
If any movie could showcase the unprecedented marvels of science & technology and take it to a whole new level, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is it. Like its prequel, this superhero extravaganza is par excellence in terms of technicalities and has successfully revived the essence of ‘war of planets’, focussing on intricate details; and its depiction of the new planet ‘Ego’ is a sight to behold. The introduction of new races, like The Sovereigns, and planets, is equally spiffing and an epic visual treat.
The film opens with a brawl between the Guardians- Peter Quill/ Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice by Bradley Cooper) and baby Groot (voice by Vin Diesel) - and a multi-dimensional monster trying to rob the Sovereign race off its valuable batteries, which, of course, the heroes take down in exchange for Gamora’s estranged, vengeful sister Nebula (Karen Gillan). Rocket, who continues with his mischievous streak in this part, however, decides to pull off a little prank on the Sovereigns, asking for mammoth trouble that somehow ends up involving Quill’s abductor Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker).
Unlike volume 1, where the antagonist, Ronan, is introduced right at the beginning of the marvellous visual effects show, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2’ builds up mystery in the first half. With multiple races and a planet engaged in an extensive search for the Star-Lord and his Guardian pals, one cannot really predict as to which direction the plot is headed towards or who’s the actual nemesis, which kind of works as they create a sense of intrigue in the minds of the spectators. Disappointment starts to creep in once Ego (Kurt Russell), a self-proclaimed celestial cosmic God with an impulsive obsession for expansion of the galaxy and also Quill’s biological father, makes an entry into the existing conflict between The Sovereigns and Guardians.
Marvel Studios may have shelled out big bucks for this larger-than-life magnum opus but writer-director James Gunn has ruined the chances of turning ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise into a cult, reaching the status of insurmountable greatness. Despite its sincere endeavour to surpass all expectations, dubiety of the script is its greatest foe. And the end has been stretched to a painful extent and one could hear the audience scream ‘Stop it!’ in unison. Drax and Rocket are here this moment, Groot is lost in an entirely different corner, Gamora and Quill are discussing their ‘unspoken stuff’ amid a zigzag of bullets. What is happening?
Chris Pratt, the improviser, a natural; is brilliant at his job. He is on his toe at all times; Chris’ tongue-in-cheek humour coupled with a constant battle with Rocket saves us from an abrupt migraine attack. Saldana and Gillan are angrier and ferocious than ever, which again, proves to be one of the highlights of the film. Dave Bautista, the widely popular former WWE star, has an actor in him and that is pretty evident. Bradley Cooper has definitely upped his game with the character of Rocket- notorious, annoyingly funny and an advocate of practical jokes. Kurt Russell as the creator of Galaxy is convincing, Michael Rooker as Yondu undergoes a major transformation that is quite refreshing to see and justifies his misdemeanours in the past. All in all, I will have to use the classic dialogue to articulate my feelings about the plot and its execution- It’s not them, it’s you, James Gunn.
Remember that one time Kenny Sebastian, Indian comedian, played the soundtrack of the Hindi version of the film and Chris Pratt cringed first and camouflaged it with a ‘Don’t you think it’s too late to replace it with the songs we already have?’ later? If you hear the songs, you will side with Chris. Thank Marvel Studios for trusting Tyler Bates for the second time, the ‘Awesome Tape’ is a fine blend of classics and pensive, sappy songs. ‘Lake Shore Drive’, ‘Bring It On Home to Me’, ‘Southern Nights’, ‘My Sweet Lord’ are our top picks. Not to forget, ‘Father and Son’ is a relevant inclusion.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ could have been ‘the’ superhero film to watch out for, but did they not tell Gunn that compromising with the script is criminal? This film could have been another ‘Avatar’, of a very different league of course, but it ended up being a constipated version of ‘Deadpool’. If only greatness could be achieved through VFX and charming actors....