That ragtag group of Guardians are back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a sequel that works. The space trucking heroes – Earthing Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the green-but-oh-so-hot Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the hulking muscle-head Drax (Dave Bautista), the genetically enhanced Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) and the reborn walking tree, Baby Groot (Voice of Vin Diesel) – are on the run after stealing special batteries. They are rescued by Ego (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Quill's father. Meanwhile, the bounty hunter alien who raised Quill, Yondu (Michael Rooker), is hired to catch the Guardians. Also, Gamora has to confront her bratty and evil sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan). So, it's dysfunctional family affairs all around.
All the elements that made the original Marvel Comics movie adaptation work – that offbeat sensibility backed by a soundtrack of classic rock tunes – are still here. But like a good sequel, story and characters are expanded upon, like Quill's new relationship with his long lost dad and his troubled relationship with his substitute dad. This father-son dynamic is great and has an emotional payoff. Yes, Baby Groot is cute and all, but it's Rooker that steals the movie.
I really like the first Guardians movie but it did have a weak villain. That is rectified here with a formidable and interesting bad guy. To say more would give away plot points.
Vol. 2 is loaded with laugh-out-loud moments, like a discussion about the size of Drax's bowel movements, or how Rocket teases a villainous alien who calls himself Taserface (Chris Sullivan). It's also funny how Drax is physically repulsed by the adorable butterfly of an alien Mantis (Pom Klementieff).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is everything a summer movie should be. It's funny as hell, touches on theology, has strong character dynamics, displays eye-popping visuals and, of course, kick-ass action set pieces.