Captivating new characters, another awesome mix tape, and a generous helping of heart are just some of the things waiting for you in the bundle of fun that is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Yippee-ki-yay, movie lovers, it's Jan here! Just before I kick off my review proper. As the insect-like alien, Mantis, Pom Klementieff is a simply perfect addition to this universe, and gives a charmingly subtle performance that really highlights her character's innocence, good nature, and humour, and her scenes with Drax, in particular, are an utter joy. 

Elizabeth Debicki, who you'll have seen in The Man From UNCLE and alongside Tom Hiddleston in the TV series The Night Manager, gives a superbly stately and condescending turn which fits her character wonderfully as she plays Ayesha, the High Priestess of the ever-so-arrogant alien race, the Sovereign. And Kurt Russell is just fantastic as Ego in all his forms, managing to make this crazy character believable, and also establishing a great on-screen rapport with Chris Pratt's Star-Lord. Just like the first film, there's plenty of irreverent humour in Vol. 2, a lot of which lands very well, and there's a good chunk of fun and thrilling action too, however this time, there's also more emotional weight given to the Guardians' story, with an emphasis placed on family, whether that's the family you were born into or the people you meet along the way. 

And having got to know his main cast and their characters well over the course of filming the first movie, it feels like writer-director James Gunn has honed this script so it pretty much plays to each actor's particular strengths. The fact that Drax has a love of the literal as well as about as much tact as a ton of bricks means that Dave Bautista gets a mass of marvellously funny lines, which he nails thanks to his great comic timing and delightfully deadpan delivery. And then there's that hilariously hearty laugh Bautista does as Drax which never fails to put a smile on my face and you'll hear plenty of throughout the film. As Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, Chris Pratt showcases a range of humour, action, and more heartfelt, dramatic moments. While Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan get some cool action and the chance to peel back the layers of Gamora and Nebula's backstory. 

And Michael Rooker certainly makes the most of the increased screen time Yondu gets this time around, adding extra depth to his character. As for Baby Groot, he's a mix of ultra-cute adorableness and a seething stack of rage, and the VFX guys have done superb job injecting this tiny tree creature with a real sense of soul and personality. I also really like Bradley Cooper's Rocket, who gets a nice emotional arc this time too. Yes, there were odd moments of his humour that didn't work for me, but he does still get lots of great moments and I love Rocket in all his fast-talking, sass-mouthed glory. As was the case with the first movie, the soundtrack for Vol. 2 is a gorgeous mix that I'm looking forward to listening to again and again. 

And as far as the movie's concerned, each track gels beautifully with the scene it's in, taking the on-screen visuals to another level. Speaking of visuals taken to new heights, the production design for this movie is out of this world! From the Sovereign's planet, which is all Art Deco-style lavishness to Ego's home, which perfectly reflects who his character is, the work of the movie's art, design, and VFX teams really shines. And, as you'd expect from a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are post-credits scenes, five to be precise, so it's definitely worth sticking around until the very end of the film. Plus, there are also plenty of easter eggs and references in the movie too. 

And I'll be making videos about those various post-credits scenes and their significance in the MCU as well as the movie's easter eggs very shortly. To sum up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is entertainment of cosmic proportions, or to put it another way, it was a pleasure to watch. Writer-director James Gunn blends plentiful laughs with an emotional kick in the gut and a galaxy of scene-stealing performances from cast old and new. And I cannot wait to see what Gunn has up his sleeve for Vol. 3! But in the meantime, I'm looking forward to watching Vol. 2 again! Now, what are you looking forward to about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2? And who are your favourite characters in the Guardians movies? Don't forget to comment and subscribe for a chance to win one of several Guardians prizes. 

I've got two awesome hardback books from DK, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws, which takes an in-depth look at iconic characters, issues and storylines from the comics. And I've also got a selection of three very cool Guardians Funko Pop vinyl figures. The giveaway will run for two to three weeks on all my Guardians Vol. 2 videos and I'll announce the winners on a new video after that.


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