By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic

Las Vegas Informer

The best sequel years. Though I didn’t understand the plot or the dialogue.

Writer-director James Gunn returns as well as star Chris Pratt as Peter Quill. Peter has an Earth mother and an unknown celestial father from another galaxy.

He was raised by a gang of thieves and now he is the leader of a group of mercenaries: sword-carrying assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), bad boy raccoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), muscular and shirtless Drax (Dave Bautista) and, because there is too much action for a tree, Groot is replaced by the new star of GUARDIANS, a twig called Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel).

We know who is Quill’s father before he does. GALAXY OF THE GUARDIANS. VOL. 2 starts off in 1980 with Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) romancing Quill’s future mother Meredith (Laura Haddock).

Ego tells Meredith he’s got a plant he’s been seeding galaxies with. Or something like that. Meredith sings along with “Brandy You’re a Fine Girl”, which holds meaning for Ego and Quill. Whatever Ego’s plant gizmo is, you wouldn’t listen to what he says, rather you will be dazzled by a 35-year-old Kurt Russell. Who cares what he’s saying, how did the filmmakers make him look so young? Whose body were they using? That sure wasn’t Kurt’s.

Electric Light Orchestra’s “Blue Sky” starts off the battle in space. Did you see ELO’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last week on HBO?  Lead singer Jeff Lynne is 70 years old and he can sing like he did at 22!

Quill’s new set of tunes, “Awesome Mixtape #2” has none of my favorites but there will be an “Awesome Mixtape #3.”

Maybe “Awesome Mixtape #6” will have some Barry White, Madonna, and Hall & Oates.

There’s no need for exposition. The Guardians are fighting a big jello-looking monster that someone at a SF company keeps putting in films. Enough already. I’ve seen it. I know it’s vulnerabilities.

But the un-named SF company has not perfected the flying in space shooting at globs of space monster flesh yet. Too much of it occupied the film. Of course, if it cost a lot of the budget, we have to sit through it.

I’m not sure why the Guardians fought the monster.  But they were ready for it.

The Guardians bring the booty they were commissioned to retrieve to a gold-skin aristocratic race called the Sovereign led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki).

In exchange for securing some batteries that the Sovereign needs, they are given hostage Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora’s mean sister. No matter how old she is, Nebula must stop blaming all the lousy men and degrading jobs on her sister leaving home. Get over it.

Mr. Raccoon is true to his real self – and will not arc – and keeps a few of the batteries for himself. Not that he needs them for anything, but “just because he can.”

So, on other galaxies, trite romances still happen. Quill is still putting moves on Gamora but she still does not believe in mixed dating or romances in the work field. But Drax does and he gets to anti-flirt doing the “neg” thing with Ego’s sidekick Mantis (Pom Klementieff).

Unfortunately for Ego, who does not care about other people’s feelings, Mantis is an empath. She can sense someone’s feelings by touching them.

Ego wants Quill to join him creating planets and worlds. Like a father and son haberdashery. Ego offers him immortality and rights to be his heir. But are Ego’s worlds worth owning?

Coming to ruin the reunion is Quill’s criminal big daddy Yondu (Michael Rooker). Like Gamora, he’s blue. Are they the same race? He leads the Ravagers, who do stuff and have a secret dogma. Sylvester Stallone appears as the  Ravagers overlord Stakar.

Pratt seems to have this character down cold and he needs it after the highly touted, but under-performing  PASSENGERS.

I love the nasty raccoon Rocket and Drax who really had great lines, especially his last to Mantis: “You’re really beautiful…inside”. The little Groot is captivating and will be Marvel’s Mickey Mouse moneymaker.

Again, stay until you see the thousands of people who made GUARDIANS OF THE GALAZY VOL. 2 for seconds  quick scenes. Stan Lee’s cameos are getting bigger. He has two in VOL. 2.

PLEASE: Give Stan a part – in any Marvel movie – as a crime lord in a mask with a death scene, for God’s sake and my sanity!

 Victoria Alexander

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society:

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at

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