Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
The Guardians search for the truth about Peter's father while fighting a new enemy.
Rated PG-13, for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.
Viewer Appeal: Kids of all ages
Three years ago Marvel released a movie that starred a raccoon and a tree. Sounds like an animated movie you might have taken your youngest to see, but in reality it was one of the biggest hits that year, beating out Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and Big Hero 6. Guardians of the Galaxy was not only full of action, but full of humor, making it a movie to see over and over.
So now Marvel has released Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2, which takes place shortly after the Guardians become a family bent on defending the Galaxy. We find them employed by The Sovereigns, protecting their Analux Batteries against the Abilisk, a monstrous slug with multiple arms and a humongous mouth sporting rows and rows of teeth. As the Abilisk begins its attack, the Guardians begin the fight, all except Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) who enjoys dancing to “Mr. Blue Sky” by E.L.O. Yes, once again the movie is filled with great music from the 70's and 80's. More on that later.
Once the Abilisk has been destroyed and the batteries successfully protected, The Sovereigns hand over Nebula (Karen Gillan) to the Guardians, and they begin the return trip Xandar. Except that Rocket (voice by Bradley Cooper), in true form, stole some of the batteries. Now the people they were defending are now attacking. But just as the Guardians are about to lose the fight, a strange man flying on (yes, on) an egg-like ship destroys the Sovereign drones and then leaves as the Guardians crash land. While assessing the damage to the ship, this egg-ship reappears, bringing Ego (Kurt Russell), who identifies himself as Peter's (Chris Pratt) father. Stunned, Peter, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) leave with Ego to see his planet.
Meanwhile, on another planet, Yondu (Michael Rooker) is making plans with The Sovereigns to find the Guardians, in an effort to renew his standing with the other Ravagers, who have broken ties with him for his past dealings in child trafficking. A small hint into his past with Peter and Ego.
On Ego's planet, Peter has discovered his father is a god. Immortal. Which means Peter is immortal and far more powerful than he imagined. But while he's enjoying playing baseball with dad, Gamora's not quite so trusting, and questions Ego's purpose in bringing them to his home. Which all comes to light as Yondu finally finds Peter and the other Guardians.
What makes Guardians of the Galaxy such a hit? It contains all the same elements of other movies...great writers creating a captivating plot, action and more action with lots of explosions and such, and impressive special effects. What makes this series stand apart is really two things: the characters and the music.
Marvel has created characters that stand alone. Ofttimes movies about a gang will focus on several characters that viewers get to know well, but in Guardians each character has a unique personality. Drax is lighthearted and loves to laugh. Rocket is snarky and a prank-puller. Gamora is distrusting. Peter is a show-off and confident. Groot is innocence embodied. Each character adds emotional depth, as well as depth to the story.
The music is a character itself. The first movie was based off Peter's Awesome Mix tape his mother made for him, and included hits like “Ain't No Mountain High Enough,” “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Escape,” and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” Classics everyone knows and loves. If you remember, at the end of the first Guardians movie, Peter opens a present he's been holding from his mom, and it's another Mix tape (hence the “Vol. 2 in the title). This time we get to hear “My Sweet Lord,” “Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang,” “The Chain,” and other great music that was probably first released as 8 tracks.
Of course, I have to recommend this movie for all families and anyone who likes superhero movies. As with all Marvel movies, don't stop the Blu-ray until the very end of the credits. There are several placed throughout the credits that you won't want to miss.
Bonus features on the Blu-ray edition include:
The Making of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” – A four-part, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, done in the style of classic-rock album liner notes.
Visionary Intro – Director James Gunn provides context on how he continues and expands the storylines of these beloved characters in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
Guardians Inferno Music Video – Join David Hasselhoff and special guests for a galactic retro dance party.
Gag Reel – Laugh out loud at all the hilarious off-script shenanigans and bloopers that took place on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” featuring all your favorite Guardians.
Four Deleted Scenes – Check out four specific scenes that had to be cut from the film, including two extended scenes and two deleted scenes.
Audio Commentary – Check out a special narration of the film by director James Gunn, who guides fans through an inside look at the making of the movie.
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Who is someone you consider family, even though they aren't really related to you.
• Peter tells how he used to pretend David Hasselhoff was his father. Who did you admire when you were younger? Who did/do you wish was your parent?
• Family is a huge theme in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Peter, Gamora, and Nebula each emphasize how their families or the people who raised them, have influenced who they are as adults. How has your family impacted you?
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