Year Released: 2017
Directed By: Jame Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
(PG-13, 137 min.)
Genre: Action and Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction and Fantasy
Nebula: All you do is yell at each other. You’re not friends.
Drax: No. We are family.
It’s hard not to have fun when the cast seems to having such a great time, even if the rag tag crew of a “thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac” is quite a bit better at getting into trouble than out of it.
And yes, I will have to admit, given the abundance of bathroom humor, its key demographic audience appears to be 14-year-old boys, but there is still much to like in this sequel to the highly successful 2014 first edition.
One of the best draws is the film, like its predecessor, does not take itself the least bit seriously. And what a relief after all the preachy cinematic nihilism spewed at us just before the Oscars every year!
There is no hidden agenda here. Well, maybe there is not much of an agenda at all, but the scenes move so quickly, we gleefully go along for the ride, like the crew, not really knowing or caring where it takes us.
This rogue troop is a little like the same motley crew of 2005’s Serenity, a film version of the excellent Firefly television series starring Richard Castle, I mean Nathan Fillion, when he was looking his steely jawed best. His rebel warriors turned space pirates were verging on out of control, too, though they lacked the interspecies attractions of green-skinned warriors, furry gunslingers, and yes, a taciturn but very cute tree man, now reduced to a sapling, who steals our hearts as well a those of the whole crew.
And we have quite a bit of emphasis on the family; in fact, one might say Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is kind of a tween edition of the Fast and Furious franchise, complete with macho rivalry, undercurrents of romance, and undying loyalty.
The father/son relationship is the one explored most here. Self- proclaimed Star Lord, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finally meets the mysterious father he never knew. He is a godlike Celestial who calls himself Ego, and is played with macho charm by Kurt Russell. Of course, with a name like that, Quill is right to feel a bit uneasy, but Ego charms his now grown up son, telling him he has spent a lifetime looking for him. He gives a tour of his home planet, which Ego tells them he created over centuries as he learned to use his immortal consciousness to manipulate matter to whatever shape or form he liked. It turns out Quill has this same power. Together they make balls of energy and toss them back and forth like an old-fashioned father and son playing catch.
Sibling rivalry, like everything else in the film, is over the top as well. Gamora( Zoe Saldana) a recovering assassin has an undying hatred for her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), part human and part cyborg. Watching them try to annihilate each other is almost as thrilling as watching Ronda Rousey in the ring.
Drax, played by Dave Bautista, himself of WWE fame, is the source of lots of the humor in GG2, even if he is the one laughing the loudest at his own jokes. In fact, it is his great loud raucous pleasure with these juvenile and uncouth remarks that is the real source of humor, at least to the over 14 crowd.
The underlying romance between Quill and Gamora, however, is anything but vulgar. In fact, it is quite sweet, culminating in something as innocent as a few dance steps together. A nice refreshing innocence for us all to enjoy.
We also learn family is not defined by shared blood or DNA, that there are deeper bonds, however secret and profound, that define fatherhood and the self-sacrifice that goes along with it.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is not quite the dazzling space opera of Star Wars that it tries to emulate. It’s more of an 80s teenage garage band not quite ready for prime time, but filled with a determination to make music, even if a few chords are off key.
There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.
You are a good person. You have endured all the juvenile humor and slapstick that your child and his assorted 14-yer-old friends have relished with a weak smile and just a few nibbles at their all butter popcorn.
And, even if you won’t admit it, you haven’t had too bad a time of it, either.
Let’s reward you with this delicious Gamora Cocktail, tart and as green as her lovely skin. You will love it.
And you can find a terrific drink for each of the other Guardians of the Galaxy 2 stars at the link below.
0.5 oz Gin
1.5 oz Midori
2 oz Lime Soda
2 oz Prosecco
Add Ingredients into a Champagne glass top with Cherries.