Film

Movie review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'

Sequel to super hero hit is more centered on family

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In the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) tells a creature who captured him that he’s also known as “Star-Lord,” an obvious superhero name he just made up because it sounded cool. But, the way he says it makes his character somewhat endearing because it’s just like something a little kid would do.

Peter, as we learn, was kidnapped from Earth in the 1980s — along with his Sony Walkman loaded with one of the coolest mixtapes in the universe — and taken on a wild ride among the stars by a crazy blue pirate named Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his gang of thieves. Now an adult, Peter has had to reconcile his strange upbringing and the fact that he’s put together his own little family — er, gang — of thieves who are now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy because they saved it all in a big adventure. But, Peter still has questions about his real parentage.

In his travels, he discovers that the father on Earth who left his mother to eventually die of cancer before her son’s eyes was someone from the stars. So, that makes Peter only half-human, but the other half is unknown.

As this story takes off, Peter travels with his now-close companions – Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), the wacky genetically engineered raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and the sapling Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) – as they try to steal yet another valuable object for the gold-skinned royal race led by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki). During the massively epic action that results, Peter comes across a character who is truly surprising to him.

This is the mysterious Ego (Kurt Russell), who explains that he is (mild spoiler alert) — his dad.

While not exactly an “Empire Strikes Back” kind of moment, it is still a huge psychological blow to Peter, who is also dealing with Yondu trying to finagle his way back into his life. The strangest part of the reunion is not the fact that Peter brings up the whole abandonment issue and what he had to deal with back on Earth, but the fact that dear old Ego is, well … nah, I’ll leave it to you to find out if you see this movie.

The revelation, of course, has a huge effect on Peter and the relationships he has with his gang, especially Gamora, with whom he’s developing a thing, you know, and the others who look to him as their leader and de facto “dad.”

Although it might sound like this movie is about to become drowned in domestic issues, there is enough edge-of-your-seat action to keep the adrenaline flowing. It’s a fun movie and now has a bit more depth. That may just be the most surprising thing of all.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive content.

It is screening daily at Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.

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