GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL 2

Cert 12A 135mins Stars 4

Brace yourself for cinematic hyper-speed as Marvel’s bickering band of galactic outlaws return in another loony tunes outer-space adventure.

Once again the inadvertent heroes have to save the universe, this time from a celestial being who wants to recreate  all life in his own image. 

The Guardian’s first adventure in 2014 was a £600 million box office supernova, and this one is bigger, brighter and funnier.

Although it is set in the same universe as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk and the rest of Marvel’s team, there are only fleeting references to it. This gives it a stronger identity than most of their comic book adaptations.

Chris Pratt is the nominal star but is comprehensively outshone by pretty much all of the crowded cast.

He plays the super cocky half human halfwit Star-Lord, the leader of the pack. Sharing considerable screen time with the charismatic Kurt Russell, Pratt wilts in the heat of the veteran’s screen presence.

But even the scene stealing Russell can’t compete with the Baby Groot, an adorably cute animated stick creature, voiced by Vin Diesel. 

The laid back freewheeling groove disguises a remarkably smooth and accomplished ride, of dazzling sophisticated design, and an eye bending sense of scale.

Space battles riff on 1970’s Atari video games and are set to another soundtrack of 1970’s pop hits. It’s a trippy experience in 3D.

With a multi-coloured cast engaged in cartoon action and a laboured emphasis on friendship and family, The Guardians are clearly racing with the Fast and Furious franchise juggernaut to be box office champ. 

Fully clothed, covered in paint and half robotic, Karen Gillan and Zoe Saldana prove to its competitor, films don’t have to rely on upskirt shots to be sexy. 

Almost needy in it’s desire to entertain, this is a rocket-fuelled psychedelic roller coaster of cosmic fun.

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