We loved Guardians Of The Galaxy when it came out in 2014 so I was a bit worried that the sequel would be a disappointment. And indeed, some of the best jokes are given away in the trailer (Drax’s interactions with Mantis the empath in particular). The second film is a bit grumpier, less of the neon-coloured joy of its predecessor. There’s reference to Rocket Raccoon being misanthropic without much evidence; it feels like somebody hacked out a good few minutes of subplot somewhere. And the pace grinds glacially slow sometimes, when we want Kurt Russell to be chewing on the scenery.
There’s still a lot of fun packed into two hours. There are some funny special effects as spaceships warp through the universe. (The space battles themselves, a bit of a let down aside from the comedy 1980s sound effects.) The horrible balloon-faced CGI Kurt Russell at the start is unintentionally revolting, but we can let that pass. But there are some gaps in the mood compared with before:
There’s the wholesale massacre of Yondu’s crew that probably shouldn’t be played for laughs. There’s a death at the end where you keep waiting for salvation to swoop in and rescue someone, and it doesn’t, which is unexpected, and there’s quite a bit more swearing than I remember in Volume 1. Did they feel things needed to be all grimdark to attract the mopey teenage audience? It now makes me worry that Volume 3 will be a 90-minute slow pan across the faces of dead people. With a laugh track, maybe.
Perhaps I’m negative because I had a dinner of Pringles and ice cream tonight, and so I feel a bit sick. Nebula looks a bit odd, but then they’re all space aliens, so of course they do. Or I’m worried because I have a weekend home alone with the kids.
I could take the kids to see Guardians Of The Galaxy. That might work.