CapeTalk host Africa Melane reviews the latest release of Guardians of the Galaxy:
I should start by confessing that I never watched the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but I understand that it was a charming and entertaining movie, which turned out to be more successful than anyone anticipated. So, it was inevitable that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his fellow Guardians would return for a second installment.
This time, they are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's parentage is revealed.
The opening galactic, be it a sinewy blob, fight scene really sets up the various characters adequately. As a newbie to the franchise, I got a very good sense of who was who in the zoo, their strengths, weaknesses, and most importantly, their contribution to the family. Those familiar with the franchise will appreciate the reminder and will pick up where they left off with the franchise.
Family seems to be the narrative that writer and director of the volume, James Gunn, pins the sequel on. Was it Percy Jackson in his book, The Sea of Monsters, who wrote: “Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related for better or for worse...and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.”
The most important thing in the world (and now in the universe) is family and love. When Ego (Kurt Russel) saves Quill and his troop from certain death and presents himself as his father, the movie holds a promise of a contest between the new found family of the Guardians on the one side and Quill’s true parentage on the other.
I am not convinced that making Quill’s arc the essence of the narrative does enough to hold the movie. More importantly, Gunn does not do enough to build his audience up to the final scene of maiming and killing as yet another apocalyptic action sequence plays out to conclude the movie. I did not care enough about saving the universe. I was annoyed that Rocket, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Yondu (Michael Rooker) and the rest of the team are relegated to supporting roles to prop up the rather thin narrative.
What did I enjoy about the movie? The salute to the 80’s pop culture. The music and the visual aspects of the movie took me right back to my childhood and conjured up warm and happy memories.
I was reminded that comics are about having fun at the end of the day. And you will have fun watching this movie. Even if it will not be as satisfying as the first one clearly was.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2
Director: James Gunn Writer: James Gunn Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russel Running time: 02h16m
This article first appeared on 702 : Africa Melane reviews: "Guardians of the Galaxy is a salute to 80's pop culture"