Is the bar going to prove too high for the stellar, gag’tastic Guardians with a jukebox ?
First off, you do really need to watch the initial instalment that seriously over delivered on expectations. Not because of a complex storyline, it’s more about getting to know the loveable and roguish characters, and their individual brands of humour. Then there’s how they use the songs on that mixtape…
Guardians 1 wasn’t trying too hard at anything, it just found a groove that although not perfect, felt like good old cinematic entertainment on a number of levels.
With number 2, the opening sequence with Baby Groot hits this groove straight away. This time the film has a bigger budget, and has gone for bigger everything.
Bigger does not mean better in this case. The film could have been shorter, with less CGI and set pieces, less new characters, less characters being developed further and backstory. This although trying to justify a sequel expands the film at least over a third of what it needs to be. This issue lies with the writers and the director James Gunn who have tried to turn the amp up to 11 to impress us. It just needs to relax back into that simple groove.
The cast are terrific, and could do no more. All of the Guardians deliver here and although our increasingly A-list lead man Chris Pratt gets the most screen time, it is Dave Bautista’s Drax and Baby Groot who get the most laughs. The new mixtape is great again, and how they fuse this with story or action at times is a real strength of this film again. Tarantino, although going for very different types of films, is a master of this too.
Still great fun, but trips itself up in trying too hard to be the new and improved sequel – 7/10.