GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review — Brandy, You're a Fine Film

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review by James Mandell 

“The root of the groot is the newt who’s too cute. Baby Groot steals the show”

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review by James Mandell So if the Galaxy needs saving, best get Sylvester Stallone to pitch in – go Rocky! Well, not really, but the dude makes an appearance, which reflects the throw-nine-figures-in-a-bowl-and-press-SPIN mentality that powers this second chapter of the lovable Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, which with its likely blockbuster success, will be with us throughout the sci-fi continuum.

You’d expect the whole thing to get amped up and result in one insane chase after fight scene after another, and you’d be right. Clocking in at 2:17 it’s a wee bit cumbersome, but there’s so much fun here, doggone-it, I’m just Groot.

A family affair from scene one, our intrepid outsiders are soon introduced to an enigmatic Kurt Russell, playing Ego, a man whose simple plan is to live up to his name. But the root of the groot is the newt who’s too cute. Baby Groot steals the show, with a dance-powered streak of independence that’s delicious. That’s the key to all the charm in these fractured, super-charged characters.

You can’t help but laugh out loud as the jokes fly between the team’s fumbling social cluelessness, sorting out their feelings as they steal, smash, burn, loot, flee and bicker over everything from who gets the boot to who’s… (sigh) groot. Throughout, ethics, love, principle and loyalty are treated with maddeningly stubborn and old-fashioned endearment, outrage and glee.

It’s mystifyingly connected with an insipid 80’s soundtrack that’s as saccharine as it is appealingly effective. A whole new classic soft rock parade of faded soundtrack tunes plants a painful grin of eye-rolling recognition that will likely stay stuck on your face till it hurts. And once again, it’s “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” centering Chris Pratt’s inner turmoil, which is so weird, it just works.

What’s the chance of you’re humming it on the way out of the theater? Just try to relax and enjoy it.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 17 minutes

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 Review by James Mandell 


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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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