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Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. doesn’t really break any new ground.  And that is fantastic news.   While this movie isn’t as snarky as the first film, it doesn’t have to be.   In the first film, the characters traded comments and witty jabs at one another as they got to know one another.  This time the film is more an emotional roller coaster for Peter and how that affects the whole crew.

The film opens up with a terrific sequence showing the Guardians getting ready to attempt to exterminate an inter dimensional creature that is threatening to take special batteries from the host world.  This allows for Baby Groot to hook up some music and dance while the rest of the Guardians are taking on the beast.   And it is as charming and cute as you would hope that it is.  However, the beings that hired the Guardians consider themselves perfect and are completely off the scale narcissistic leading Rocket to verbally abuse them and steal the batteries that were paid to protect.

This leads to a chase scene and battle where Kurt Russell’s character Ego is introduced.   Ego wipes out the hundreds of ships in pursuit of the Guardians.  Ego lands near the Guardians and tells them all he is Peter’s long-lost father.   He tells him he has been searching for him for a long time and that he is really glad he found him.  He invites them back to his planet and to reconnect with Peter   However, during the battle, the Guardian’s ship is badly damaged and Rocket stays behind to fix it, with their “payment”, a captured Nebula.

Ego’s planet is mesmerizing.  It is wonderful.  It is so unbelievably awesome that Gamora is very suspicious.  Cautioning Peter to take care with Ego.   When Ego explains that he is a sentient planet, and somewhat of a God, the plan is fully explained.  You see Ego is considered a Celestial, a very high level being.   And, because Peter was able to hold an Infinity Stone in the first Guardians, he is partially Celestial as well.   Not to give too much more away, the Guardians have more than a disagreement over what Ego wants Peter to do with him and the galaxy.

In between the space battles, heartwarming narrative scenes, and hilariously fun jokes “Trash Panda”, the two scene stealers and MVPs of the movie are Yondu and Drax.  Michael Rooker and Dave Bautista play each of the character’s wonderfully well.  Rooker’s Yondu cuts a tragic figure and surprisingly provide some of the most emotional scenes in the movie.  Bautista’s Drax is still the comedic genius of the movie with his deadpan honest and “literal” statement about just about everything.

The film looks and has almost an ethereal feel to it.  Writer / Director James Gunn has outdone himself in the last two movies.  I am really glad they are going to be a three movie set as Gunn now is very close to having the most well-rounded of all the Marvel movie sets in the Universe.

3.5 stars – A Hitting a Mark recommendation.