Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Release Date: August 22, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the film’s storyline continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians (Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, and Bradley Cooper as Rocket) must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ rejoins our favorite unlikely team of heroes mid mission as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (Pratt) along with Gamora (Saldana), Drax (Bautista), Rocket (Cooper) and Baby Groot (Diesel) quickly find themselves in a bit of trouble with a world populated by “golden morons”. After only barely escaping thanks to some assistance from a peculiar stranger in mid-space, the team soon discovers that their savior may in fact be Peter’s true father (Russell), not to mention a surprisingly powerful being. Unable to resist an invitation to his father’s home planet in order to at least attempt to further understand this shocking revelation, Peter and the rest of his new family temporarily split up and soon find themselves tackling dangers on multiple fronts, proving there’s never any real rest when you’re the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Written and directed by talented filmmaker James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super) who once again takes the helm for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ and does a wonderful job guiding his own script along its humorous, gorgeous and just downright enjoyable course without ever missing a beat. The film also owes some of the credit to the perfectly selected cast which is comprised of numerous new and returning individuals to the franchise and includes Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Beyond), Dave Bautista (Riddick), Michael Rooker (Super), Karen Gillan (Oculus), Pom Klementieff (Ingrid Goes West), Kurt Russell (Escape From New York), Sylvester Stallone (Rocky), along with the voices of Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) and Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious), plus more, nearly all delivering highly capable and perfectly fitting performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is an absolute pleasure to behold and delivers a thrilling, visually stunning and emotionally rich adventure with plenty of heart and humor to spare, along with no shortage of laugh out loud moments that nary fail to land. Beautifully crafted and executed, it’s one of those rare sequels to an outstanding film that embraces the elements that made its predecessor so spectacular while still daring to take chances and build something that’s truly exceptional and impressive in its own right. Simultaneously beautiful, moving and grin inducing around each spectacular turn, this is one sequel that should have zero trouble thrilling fans and will likely only get better with subsequent viewings considering the plethora of imagery on display that can’t possibly be fully absorbed with a single viewing. Director James Gunn returns to the helm guiding his own fantastic script along and once again has no trouble proving why he’s been on my list of favorite directors for some time and his unique and highly capable guidance is only complimented all the more by a perfectly selected cast comprised of new and returning faces and featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell and many more. I would strongly urge fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general and everyone who enjoyed the first film in the series to make a point of checking out ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ as soon as you have the opportunity to do so. It’s a truly magnificent sequel to a fantastic film that should have you consistently laughing and smiling throughout its insanely fun course; it’s certainly not to be missed, and those who haven’t yet caught the first film will definitely want to bump that up their priority list and try to promptly follow it with this fantastic sequel that never disappoints.
Overall, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is a phenomenal follow-up to what is already one of the best entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far, upping the ante when it comes to the action and visually spectacular scenery around every turn, while also daring to do something different at the same time which forms into yet another truly marvelous film that’s beautifully guided by writer/director James Gunn and further boosted by an amazing cast that never fails to impress. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ easily earns my highest recommendation, particularly for fans of the Marvel films in general, along with fellow diehard fans of talented filmmaker James Gunn or any other element or individual within. Chances are that most folks will have a ridiculous amount of fun with this one and any excuse to check it out should be embraced. It should effortlessly prove itself well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the very least and diehard fans of the first film who haven’t yet had the pleasure can probably feel quite confident dropping the funds on a blind purchase of this remarkable sequel.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and delivers a sharp, detailed and richly colored presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous fast moving and darkly lit sequences and never allows anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should have no trouble whatsoever thrilling the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack makes the perfect complement to the film and provides a consistently crisp, clean and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the wonderful music selections, in addition to plenty of action, spacecraft activity and other various auditory effects regularly whipping throughout the various speakers, while always making certain that any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that offers plenty of additional fun in itself and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ includes a few worthwhile extras that fans should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Gunn’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted/Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 5 minutes in length altogether) and a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 4 minutes). We are also treated to a multi-part behind the scenes Featurette ‘Bonus Round: The Making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ (running approximately 38 minutes) which takes you deeper into different aspects of bringing the sequel to life and includes behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. A goofy and 70’s themed ‘”Guardians Inferno” Music Video’ (approximately 4 minutes) featuring David Hasselhoff is also included.