This film took me by surprise.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is one crazy ride, and for the most part, I didn’t want to get off.

The film opens in 1980 on Earth with a very youthful looking Kurt Russell cruising the countryside with a stunning blonde at his side, joyously warbling the Looking Glass hit ‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’ – the soundtrack has already won me over.  Russell’s character then takes his companion deep into the woods to reveal a rather extra-terrestrial-looking project that has been planted there.

GOTG2 portraitFast forward a number of decades, and to a completely different planet, and we meet the Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt).  This film is set roughly two to three months after where the first instalment left off.  Vol 2 centres around Quill’s desire to learn more about his true parentage.  When the Guardians are caught in one of their many ‘pickles’, a mysterious man by the name of Ego (a more 2017-looking Russell) saves the day, only to reveal key information about Quill’s biological past.

There’s a lot to love about this film.  The colourful, engaging side characters with their witty one-liners; the lovable twig Groot (surprisingly played by Vin Diesel) was my favourite of the bunch.  The spectacular visuals and special effects, enhanced further by the 3D experience, are mesmerising, as we are transported into the different realms of the galaxy.  The soundtrack, ‘Awesome Mixtape #2’, is its own star of the show, with hits from the 70s perfectly complementing the rollercoaster ride that is the Guardians’ journey.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is funny, clever and over two hours of pure escapism.  Being the reluctant watcher of superhero movies that I am, some of the battle scenes dragged on a little too long for my liking, but fans of the Marvel comic series and the first film will completely lap this up.  There’s something here for everybody.

4 stars

Reviewed by Rachel Gould