Year of Release: 2017
Director: James Gunn
Screenplay: James Gunn, based on the comic Guardians of the Galaxy created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klemetieff, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone
Running Time: 136 minutes
Genre: Science-fiction, action, comedy
The Guardians of the Galaxy are: Peter Quill a.k.a "Starlord" (Pratt) from Earth; ex-assassin Gamora (Saldana); warrior Drax (Bautista); wise-cracking thief Rocket (Cooper) a genetically modified raccoon; and Groot (Diesel), a plant-like humanoid who is still a sapling, after the events of the first film. After being hired by the arrogant and easily insulted Sovereign race to defeat a huge inter-dimensional monster, the Guardians find themselves being hunted by them due to Rocket stealing some valuable batteries and insulting their leader, Ayesha (Debicki). Ayesha hires intergalactic pirate Yondu (Rooker) to hunt them down. Meanwhile, Quill discovers the truth behind his mysterious origins.
When it was originally released in 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy proved to be a huge surprise. It was a risky film, even from the mighty Marvel Studios because it was so far removed from the rest of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Instead of being a real superhero film, this was an out and out space opera, featuring a talking raccoon, and a walking tree, and the general feeling before release was that it might be too bizarre for general audiences. However, people loved it. It was exciting, playful and funny. Director James Gunn does not tamper too much with a winning system in this sequel. There is all the humour, action, spectacle and '80s tunes that fans could want. Familiarity may mean that this is not as fresh and surprising as the original, but with the character being more familiar there is more depth to their relationships. If the first film was about getting the band together, here we see them grow and strengthen. The performances are good, and there are several welcome additions to the team. This is a hugely enjoyable film, the pace hardly ever flags despite running well over two hours and it provides solid entertainment.