Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

★★★½

SPOILER-FREE

So I wasn’t ecstatic about the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, although in fairness by the time I saw it it had been overhyped by the fanboys.  As such, I was surprised to enjoy this sequel as much as I did. The coherent story that threads themes of family through the main plot and several subplots is a major plus.  The comedy for the most part is well done, the one-liners come fast and furious with only the odd miss.  Chris Pratt is as comely as ever.  I found the final battle scene a let down in a number of ways mostly related to the all-CGI environment being a confusing mess, but also some (unintentionally) laughable sequences.  Someone in the writer’s room hasn’t read Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling (it’s awesome) because they clearly fail number #19: “Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.”  Use of the 70’s music soundtrack is quite effective and contributes to the retro Red Dwarf meets Star Wars feel of this series.  Overall an enjoyable treat with some welcome character development if that sort of thing matters to you in these movies.

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