Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 review by Paul Heath.

Returning for a new adventure in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 are our unlikely band of intergalactic brothers and sisters led by Chris Pratt’s half-Earthling, half-alien Peter Quill/ aka Star Lord.

We pick up the story just a short amount of time after the last movie ended, our heroes faced with fierce opposition in the form of an inter-dimensional monster called the Abilisk. ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky accompanies a gyrating baby Groot as he re-introduces us to the gang over a very ambitious title sequence, a very early stand-out in a film that is littered with witty one-liners, wonderful action set-pieces and outstanding scripting and direction from a returning James Gunn.

‘Guardians 2’ follows our heroes as they fend off the Abilisk after they are employed by Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, to guard their cache of valuable batteries. When the naughty Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) knowingly pockets a bunch of said batteries as they leave the planet, the Guardians find that themselves almost immediately pursued by the Sovereigns, an event which leads them on an all-new adventure where new worlds are explored, new friends (and foes), found and even new family members taken in, notably Peter’s long-lost father, Ego (Kurt Russell).

Prior to 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, I, and indeed most cinema-goers had very little knowledge of this little-known Marvel property, but following the release of that film, and the repeated viewing that James Gunn’s movie stands up to, anticipation for the follow-up is currently at an all-time high, and we’re all ready for the sequel. Well, the great news is that this new movie does not disappoint. In fact, with the same creative team and the addition of some new characters, Gunn and co. may have even surpassed the first movie with the pure entertainment factor.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is funnier than the first, has a bigger, more kick-ass soundtrack to the original, and an awesome villain too – one that isn’t immediately obvious from the off. The stand-outs are clearly the two CGI characters Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket Raccoon, as well as Dave Bautista’s Drax, who delivers a lot of the film’s laugh-out-loud moments. It seems that Chris Pratt’s Quill doesn;t have quite so much to do, particularly early-on in this, but the film’s leading man still delights in the role that helped make him the A-lister that he is today. Add in to that Zoe Saldana’s Gamora and Karen Gillan’s Nebula, who bring a lot more to this new film, and Michael Rooker’s Yondu who brings tons of heart, and you’re on to another winner. New additions to cast include Russell’s Ego, perfectly cast as the father of Quill, and French-Canadian actress Pom Klementieff who is massively impressive as Mantis.

While some stuffy reviews have honed in on the lack of freshness and originality with this compared to its predecessor, the film does show that its creative team, and particularly its director have listened to their audience and made exactly what they want – a fun, thrilling, totally hilarious escapist cinema that really does deliver the goods.

One of the best Marvel movies yet.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 review, April 2017.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 is released in UK cinemas on April 12th, 2017.