Humorous spacefaring action

Guardians of the Galaxy, with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell. Directed by James Gunn.

5/5

ACTION-PACKED: The heroes are back, with new allies and foes in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’, now showing at Rosehill Cinema

WHAT a thoroughly enjoyable movie!

Even if you are not a fan of superhero comics you can enjoy the action, humour, music and eye-popping spectacle of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

The oddball team of spacefaring heroes is based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, although the characters have changed a bit over the years.

With so many cosmic characters populating the Marvel universe, it was good to bring a bit of humanity and humour to a character like Drax (Dave Bautista), who while still the strongman of the group, is nowhere near the power level of his original version in the comics.

Bautista gets more dialogue and a chance to shine in the sequel, with his offbeat and often wildly inappropriate sense of humour.

It plays well off the other characters – the perpetually acerbic Rocket (Bradley Cooper) – a technical genius who hates being called a racoon, the serious warrior woman Gamora (Zoe Saldana), team leader and the only Earthman in the bunch Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the baby tree-being Groot, who only ever says “I am Groot”, but with a variety of enunciations that mean different things – only understood by Rocket.

Named the Guardians of the Galaxy after saving the Nova Empire and possibly the universe in the first film, the latest story begins with the heroes fighting off an inter-dimensional monster which is trying to consume valuable batteries on the planet of the Sovereign race.

In exchange they ask only for Gamora’s estranged sister Nebula, who is the custody of the Sovereign after trying to steal the same batteries.

Of course, trouble follows the Guardians when Rocket helps himself to some of the batteries. Pursued by the Sovereign, the heroes crash-land on a planet. They get help from a stranger who reveals himself to be Quill’s long-absent father, Ego (Kurt Russell). On top of that, he’s a Celestial, with godlike powers.

While this is happening, the Guardians are being sought by an old enemy and former colleague of Peter, Yondu (Michael Rooker), who leads a group of Ravagers after being hired by the Sovereign.

While Rocket and Groot stay behind to fix their ship, and guard Nebula, the other heroes join Ego for a trip back to his world. After a bit of father-son catch-up, Ego tries to persuade Peter to join him in his quest to improve the cosmos.

You just know there’s a skeleton in a closet somewhere, and Gamora is ill at ease.

It all comes to a head with battles between the heroes and the Ravagers, and father vs son, with the fate of the universe in the balance.

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