Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

If you pick apart the story in isolation, Guardians 2 is the weaker of the two films. The deviousness of the first Guardiansgets delegated to Rocket, whose attempts at crude humor quickly turn irritating; it's as though, nervous that the presence of a talking raccoon would keep adults away, Gunn needed to make sure the cuddly critter got the filthiest lines.

Back in 2014, artist Matt Ferguson created a stunning poster for Guardians of the Galaxy inspired by the original poster art for the release of Star Wars in 1977 (it was one of Germain Lussier's favorite pieces that year).

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is also genuinely emotional throughout, hitting buttons that only exist because of groundwork from the first film but which also seem to come out of nowhere, especially involving family relationships - some of which we learned about in the first film, others of which are new to this chapter.

It's probably all under wraps until Avengers 4 is out in 2019 - but Gunn has teased that it will start some kind of seismic shift in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For this is the identity Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy series has chosen for itself: It begins as an "Awesome Mix" of rock music from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and then grafts a space adventure onto them.

At the Guardians 2 premiere, Zoe Saldana said: "I don't even know if I'm in it", gesturing to Gunn and adding: "Ask him when you interview him". With Vol. 3 arriving after the two Avengers movies, expect to see a very different-looking troop of Guardians in the trilogy finale.

When will Guardians of the Galaxy 3 be released? As an extra promotion through RealD, 558 theaters will offer a 3D double feature starting with the first "Guardians" film and leading into a 7 p.m. screening of the sequel.

Who will be the "big bad"?

And fans think it's going to be Warlock because Marvel boss Kevin Feige has already spoken about the character in relation to this film. "Adam is not a part of Infinity War, which of course he is in the comics, but James [Gunn] did always really like Adam Warlock, and our version of Infinity War is the culmination of all the stories we told up to this point".

The movie dares to think small enough that it's able to hold all its thoughts in its brain, and the result is imaginative, emotional storytelling that has surprises, patience and so many delights. See a full explainer below.

  • Marlene Weaver