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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 30, 2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review: One Hell Of A Good Intergalactic Ride

WHEN MARVEL’S “Guardians of the Galaxy”, created in 1969 yet, was turned into a movie and shown three years ago, it became an unexpected blockbuster raking in a jackpot of $773 million worldwide, thanks to all the silly laughs and irreverent craziness that co-writer and director James Gunn put into it.

Now, Gunn is back in the sequel, “Vol. 2”, with Chris Pratt (who it turned into an A List star) as Star Lord or Peter Quill, who has a Vol. 2 of his Awesome Mixtape from his Mom containing his fave 70s and 80s songs in his Walkman. Gunn uses the same formula he had utilized in the first movie, a combination of screwball comic scenes with tongue-in-cheek lines and cartoonish action scenes mixed with eye-candy production design and spectacular special effects.

Aside from Peter, the old gang that you enjoyed hanging out with in the first movie is also back in a bigger adventure: Zoe Zaldana as the green-skinned Gamora, wrestler Dave Bautista as the hulking mighty Drax, plus the lovable CGI characters of the wisecracking raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and the tree bark Baby Groot (by Vin Diesel who must have earned a lot for just saying “I am Groot”.) Also back are the blue-skinned Yondu (Michael Rooker), who kidnapped Quill from Planet Earth when he was a boy and Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s evil cyborg sister who turns out to be not so evil after all.

The Guardians get into trouble when Rocket stole some batteries from a planet inhabited by golden people called the Sovereign who is headed by Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha. They are assisted by a new character, Ego (Kurt Russell, who’s also in “Fast & Furious 8”), who first appears in the opening scene as a rakish young man in love with a pretty girl who’ll turn out to be Peter’s mom.

Ego is actually a celestial with his own planet and is really so full of Me, Myself and I. He has an Asian-looking assistant with antennae, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who has the gift of feeling what other people feel when she puts her hands on them, but is totally ignorant when it comes to relating with other human beings.

Peter has big daddy issues growing up. He introduces David Hasselhoff of “Knight Rider” as his father. Imagine his surprise when his real dad turns out to be no one else but Ego, just like Luke Skywalker learning that Darth Vader was his father. Ego wants him to be an ally so, together, they can dominate the world, or rather, the entire universe. Will Peter be tempted? We won’t go into spoiler territory. Suffice it to say that, father and son ties are also tackled with Yondu, Peter’s surrogate dad who will make an act of supreme sacrifice for the child he kidnapped before.

All in all, it’s one hell of a good intergalactic ride and you can roll with all the fun and games from the first big fight scene, with the very cute Baby Groot doing his usual business while his colleagues are battling with a huge octopus-like monster, up to the climax where Baby Groot is again involved and might just press the wrong button in a bomb that might send them all to kingdom come.

Don’t leave the theater right away when the end credits are flashed because there are many short previews distributed throughout that indicate what to watch out for in “Vol. 3”, like Baby Groot becoming a teenager and Sylvester Stallone coming on board as a new character, Stakar Ogord.