Verdict: Rocking Music + Awesome Space Fights + Baby Groot = Perfect Package.
In an age when pop culture has become "The" thing, it is wise to give the power of movie narratives to the people who have devoted their former years to the comics. James Gunn who is a self-confessed fan made his directorial debut with Guardians of the Galaxy, a space flick we couldn't help but love. For the fans of Marvel Cinematic Universe, Asgard was the only non-earth realm which was familiar. Frankly, it was a little imposing with the talks of Gods and monsters. Guardians of the Galaxy is perhaps one of the few movies, which showed us that traveling in space can be fun and all you need is a trusted ship and a team.
In the years since the events of the last movie, the Guardians are now protectors-for-hire. They would protect your planet against an imminent threat for a price. Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) self-appointed title Star-Lord has finally taken hold. The team consisting of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) are preparing for battle. And we know it wouldn't be complete without a song. Electric Light Orchestra's Mr. Blue Sky blazes in the background as Guardians leap into action against Abilisk who was there to steal some batteries from the Sovereign. And mirroring the opening credits of the first movie, there is a dance. While in the first movie we saw Peter Quill shaking his hips as went thieving, here we see Baby Groot dancing with wild abandon as a battle around him wages on. At this time you should be warned that Baby Groot is going to get much more than his fair share of screen time (But, who's complaining).
Old habits die hard and it's proven when the Guardians, after saving the day, also steal the very thing they were to protect. The Sovereign waste no time in sending a fleet of their army after the Guardians. The Guardians barely escape and they are saved by a man who introduces himself as Peter's father Ego (Kurt Russell). Somewhere else, the Sovereign has approached Yondu (Michael Rooker) to capture the Guardians.
There is a saying about the movies how if the father of a central character is introduced in the sequel, the movie turns out to be epic. While the movie is set in 2014 – Earth time, the characters still belong in the 80s. This can be due to the fact that the only human connection Peter Quill has no connection with earth since then. While the first movie focused on brief introductions of the characters and their team-up against a common foe, this movie focused more on developing their characters, making them multi-dimensional as they interact differently with each member. There is a sibling-like rivalry between Rocket and Peter while Drax continues finding all these emotions funny. Gamora is the sensible one of the group and you can see the soft side of her personality as she deals with Baby Groot. Also, the unspoken "will they, won't they" dynamic is still on between her and Peter. As we get to know more about the Guardians, they acquire some new members along the way. Yondu, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) make some welcome additions to the team. The witty banter between the members is sure to meet with more than a chuckle.
The eighties are reborn with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. With references to David Hasselhoff's Knight Rider, Pac-man, and even the sitcom Cheers, there is no stone left unturned. As its predecessor, there are also a lot of 80s hits you might listen to along the way. There is a scene in which Ego and Peter also have a long discussion about the Looking Glass song Brandy. But the eighties are not the only references to look out for. Characters like Starhawk (Sylvester Stallone), the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) and Howard the Duck make some appearances and you have to keep your eyes glued to the screen so that you don't miss them.
Something that will help you keep you glued to the screen is the visuals. We see more planets here than we did in the previous movie and each of them has a distinct style when it comes to the terrain and the weather. Each scene has its own share of color and glitter that might seem churlish but it does hold your attention. Each scene is superbly crafted. There is a planet with four moons while there is one which is the size of a moon but full of flora and fauna which will make you want to catch the next space shuttle out. As the team jumps from one zone to another, the differences are stark and yet seems believable.
The actors look more comfortable in their respective roles and they do a commendable job but there is one teeny-tiny character who steals the show. We are talking about Baby Groot. Since this might be the only movie where Baby Groot will make an appearance (adult Groot will be required for the Infinity War). The director has decided to whet everyone's appetite by giving us a lot of Baby Groot scenes. With his big eyes that pack mischief yet tear up from time to time, he will melt and steal your heart. There won't be one person who wouldn't want to take Baby Groot home. He dances, he fights and watch to find out if he presses the right button.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If Baby Groot isn't enough to drag you and the whole town to the theater, watch it for the visual effects. Watch it as a lot of questions are answered and to feel your curiosity spike as you imagine what is coming next. Watch it for two Stan Lee cameos (not one) and that is not the only thing in abundance here. We know you will wait till the credits end for the scene but remember there are going to be five of them. Watch as the Guardians save the day again with some insanely laughable moments along the way and lay the groundwork for the greatest war yet.
P.S. While you are waiting through the credits, be on alert for some "I am Groots" hiding in the credits and some characters making an appearance. Don't even think of blinking. Blink and you might miss them.