Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are back for “Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2”, an adventure through the cosmos to try and track down Peter Quill’s mysterious father. If you've seen “Volume 1”, you're guaranteed to be interested in its sequel.
After Iron Man, The Hulk, etc… Marvel has continued its big-screen adaptation of comic books with the Guardians of The Galaxy franchise.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is based on the characters of the Marvel Comic first published in 1969. The first opus was an unexpectedly big hit and quickly became one of the big successes of 2014 with its talking raccoon, tree person and a killer 70s-rock soundtrack.
The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are not really ‘classic’ Marvel movies. These films swing between comedy and classic super-hero stories. The movies are packed with jokes and funny situations from beginning to end.
The first film proved that Marvel could do something really different from the other Marvel productions. Guardians haven’t yet been bonded with the larger Avengers narrative and they exist as a semi-independent side story.
So before they are swallowed up by the larger mythology, Guardians of the Galaxy can be enjoyed in their own right as funny and weird movies.
The Usual Suspects
The same team members are back on screen with Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper as Rocket and Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer covered in tattoos. (Bautista had to sit in a sauna at the end of filming each day to remove his make-up, which took four hours to apply!).
Michael Rooker also returns as Yondu the blue-skinned bandit with his lethal, single arrow that responds to his every command when he whistles. He’ll explain to Star-Lord why he kept him away from his father for so long.
This sequel also contains new characters with Kurt Russell, who plays Peter Quill’s long-lost father Ego and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar, a Ravager. (The Ravagers are an interstellar collective of pirates). French actress Pom Klementieff is joining the cast as Mantis – a psychic woman who can feel the emotions of others when she touches them.
And there is also the introduction of the golden-skinned Sovereign people that act as further antagonists to the Guardians. This powerful alien race asked The Guardians to defend a cache of valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster called the Abilisk. The Guardians accept the task in exchange for Nebula (Karen Gillan) Gamora’s sister, who is being held prisoner. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's father is revealed.
The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together. Old enemies become new allies and characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. The recurrent theme of Vol. 2 is family. The bond formed by the Guardians in the first film is tested by their blood relations: Peter with his father and Gamora with her sister.
It’s All in the Mix
The cassette tape that main character Peter Quill brings with him everywhere throughout his adventures in space is also an important part of the film.
The original film featured the Awesome Mix Vol. 1, composed of songs from Peter Quill’s time on Earth (from the Jackson 5 to David Bowie). As he explains it, the songs on Awesome Mix are a collection of his mother’s favourite tunes from growing up in the 70s. Then, at the very end of the movie, Quill opened a long-wrapped gift from his mother to find a second cassette: Awesome Mix Vol 2. In the second film, we finally see the second tape in action.
The original soundtrack, Awesome Mix Vol 1, was also released on vinyl and cassette, imitating the way that Peter Quill (and his mother) would have listened to the songs themselves. It made it to No. 1 on the 2014 U.S. Billboard 200, becoming the second chart-topping soundtrack of that year after Frozen.
Guardians of the Galaxy is an especially notable No. 1 album because it is the first No.1 soundtrack where the whole album is composed of previously released songs. All of its tunes were released between the late 1960s and late 1970s!
That’s another reason why this movie is so distinctive… Let’s dance now!
All images: ©Marvel Studios 2017