‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

 

James’s Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opens with a franchise-defining credit sequence. As an incredibly expensive CGI battle unfolds in the background, the camera stays on an adorable Baby Groot, dancing to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky.” This is a series more about whimsy, excitement and family than it is “things that go boom,” and that’s what really separates in the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. And the clever opening credits, in which the other characters have the nerve to interrupt Baby Groot’s dance number as they fight for their lives, sets the tone perfectly for what’s to come: a thoroughly enjoyable summer blockbuster. This is the rare Hollywood CGI orgy that doesn’t take itself deadly seriously—like the current plague of superhero movies—and wants to be as purely entertaining as possible. To that end, a wave of heartfelt speeches and apocalyptic sequences hinder the final act and hold the film back from pure greatness, but you’ll have had enough fun by then that you won’t really care. To be blunt, “Vol. 2” avoids many of the flaws of the first movie, and does several things notably better. It’s fun, clever and a great kick-off to the summer movie season.

 

Brian Tallerico  / http://www.rogerebert.com/

 

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