Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 – The DVDfever Cinema Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is kinda stuck in the past…. 2014, to be precise.

It’s a bit like Rogue One in that it hops from planet to planet at the start before settling down, but starting off with a pre-credits scene on Earth – Missouri to be precise – and in 1980 when Peter’s parents are getting together to make a family, with his mum affectionally calling his dad her ‘spaceman’. Hmm…

Then fast-forward 34 years to 2014 for one of the best opening credits sequences I’ve ever seen, so I won’t describe it here, but safe to say that it involves the Guardians battling a big space monster at the behest of the High Priestess, Ayesha (The Night Manager‘s Elizabeth Debicki), in return for turning over a captured Nebula (Karen Gillan) to them, who Gamora (Zoe Saldana) will take to Xandar for the bounty on her head, and for her bad sister to rot in jail for all eternity. Think that’ll really happen? Yeah, right…

After leaving, the gang inadvertently attract the wrath of Ayesha… well, not quite inadvertently because Rocket (Bradley Cooper) has stolen some of her special batteries, and this means instant death unless they can evade the onslaught.

Gamora, Nebula, Peter, Drax and Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 finds Peter listening to Awesome Mixtape Vol.2 on his Sony Walkman, and the film features Kurt Russell as Peter’s father, Ego, who’s built his own lush planet, there’s world domination, betrayal bubble wrap spacesuits, lots of potty talk about ‘turds’, ’80s videogame sounds when spaceships are shooting at the heroes, Peter tells how he always used to pretend to his friends back on Earth that his father was David Hasselhoff, and there’s another brief appearance from Howard the Duck, giving his view on the world: “You’re out of luck, until you’ve gone duck!”

In fact, with these two films, far more people will have seen Howard The Duck onscreen than they ever did from the original movie’s release in 1986!

On Ego’s planet, they also come across a young female alien called Mantis, with large eyes and two antennae on her forehead, who states she’s empathic, so whereas telepathic people can read your thoughts, she can read your feelings, and more besides…

For reasons best known to him for a while, Drax (Dave Bautista) tells her that she’s ugly?? She’s played by Pom Klementieff (below with Drax, and from the forthcoming Ingrid Goes West, and also in next January’s Avengers: Infinity War), born in Quebec, but half-Korean, and everyone knows what Asian women are the hottest in the land. It’s a scientific fact! There’s no actual evidence for it, but it IS a scientific fact!

Her nickname is the Pominator. My nickname at Uni was the Dominator! We’re made for each other! 😉

Drax and Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 has a lot of laughs and when the film is good, it’s really good, but then there are plenty of bits that sag like middle-age, especially in the second act. It’s also about 30 minutes too long and more like a series of set pieces rather than a coherent film. Don’t expect it to make any sense, although there was one genuinely shocking moment which I don’t even want to put in a spoiler segment because you need to see it when it happens.

Oh, and Stan Lee is back again, this time as Uatu the Watcher.

Tunes are abound as before, the two which stand out the most being ELO’s Mr Blue Sky and Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. While we had the whole of the former, I’d have loved the whole of the latter, although a lot of it was used in one of the trailers.

I watched it in 2.35:1 and in 2D, but the IMAX 3D version opens up to 1.90:1 periodically, like the first one, and director James Gunn told Techradar that that the 1.90:1 ratio helps with the storytelling when it happens (and I spotted a few moments where I expected it to be used), and that despite the 3D best another post-production conversion job, the film looks best in 3D, particular because it was shot with RED’s 8K cameras. Hmm… to be completely sure, I think he might have to loan one of those cameras to me for the next year or two 😉

I’m partially tempted to see it again at Manchester’s Odeon Printworks, which houses the second biggest IMAX screen in Europe, after the BFI London, although that only has a slight amount of extra height, and they’re the same width, so effectively, you’re still seeing as big as you possibly can AND the visuals are incredible (I agree with Mark Kermode when he said it’s like being inside a Yes album cover!) However, there were times when I was thinking “This isn’t half going on!” Hmm…. decisions, decisions….

Everybody jummmmmmmmp NOW!

Now, onto my end credit adventures with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. Following last time, when bright lights at 50% obliterated the screen as usual, and without any further reply from Customer Services, today, in screen 3, the lights remained at the same pre-film trailer/adverts level of 30%, which continued through the credits, although dipped into darkness every time a new scene appeared. Okay, so the 30% is good, but there are a couple of niggles.

Firstly, the change in lighting is still slightly out by a few seconds, so the scene has started by the time the lights zero out. They need to pad this five seconds either side with extra darkness. However, before I address that with them, let’s just get this 30%/50% business sorted out first.

Secondly, in screen 3, there are six lights either side of the auditorium. On the left-hand side, the third one from the back is broken so that’s on BRIGHT while the rest are on 30%. I wasn’t sure if that one was programmed wrongly, or if they have a cover that had fallen off. I presume the latter, but it’s the sort of thing you expect to be rectified before long.

Over the course of the end credits, I counted FIVE different scenes. Expect spoilers!!!!:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Book tickets for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 at Vue Cinemas.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is available to pre-order on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and DVD, and click on the poster for the full-size version. Also, you can buy the Soundtrack CD.

You can also pre-order the Double Bill on Blu-ray and DVD.

When Yondu’s sad, he’s really blue!

Detailed specs:

Running time: 137 minutes
Studio: Marvel Studios
Cinema: Vue, Lowry, Salford Quays
Year: 2017
Format: 2.35:1 / 1.90:1 (IMAX version: some scenes) (Redcode RAW (8K))
Released: April 28th 2017
Rating: 6/10

Director: James Gunn
Producer: Kevin Feige
Screenplay: James Gunn (based on the comic book by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning)
Music: Tyler Bates

Peter Quill/Star-Lord: Chris Pratt
Gamora: Zoe Saldana
Drax: Dave Bautista
Rocket: Bradley Cooper
Baby Groot: Vin Diesel
Mantis: Pom Klementieff
Ego: Kurt Russell
Ayesha: Elizabeth Debicki
Yondu Udonta: Michael Rooker
Nebula: Karen Gillan
On Set Groot: Krystian Godlewski
Howard The Duck: Seth Green
Stakar Ogord: Sylvester Stallone
Taserface: Chris Sullivan
Kraglin/On Set Rocket: Sean Gunn
Tullk: Tommy Flanagan
Meredith Quill: Laura Haddock
Unseen Ravager: Rob Zombie
Weird Old Man: Jim Gunn Sr
Weird Old Man’s Mistress: Leota Gunn
Easik Mother: Elizabeth Ludlow
Young Peter Quill: Wyatt Oleff
Grandpa Quill: Gregg Henry
Grandpa Quill’s Friend: Damita Jane Howard
Mainframe (voice): Miley Cyrus (uncredited)
Lovebot: Nea Dune (uncredited)
Grandmaster: Jeff Goldblum (uncredited)
Zardu Hasslefrau: David Hasselhoff (uncredited)
Ravager: Don Johnson (uncredited)
Uatu the Watcher: Stan Lee (uncredited)
Charlie-27: Ving Rhames (uncredited)
Daisy Kiu: Kelly Richardson (uncredited)
Martinex T’Naga: Michael Rosenbaum (uncredited)
Huge Guard of the Sovereign Nation: Jason Williams (uncredited)
Aleta Ogord: Michelle Yeoh (uncredited)