Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2017. Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures. Screenplay by James Gunn, based on Marvel comics created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and characters created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Jim Starlin, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen. Cinematography by Henry Braham. Produced by Kevin Feige. Music by Tyler Bates. Production Design by Scott Chambliss. Costume Design by Judianna Makovsky. Film Editing by Fred Raskin, Craig Wood. Academy Awards 2017. Washington Film Critics Awards 2017.
The gang is back and still travelling the galaxy in aid of whatever mess they come across or, more often, create, beginning with a visit to a planet of golden-hued superhumans who don’t take too kindly to Rocket stealing their superpowered batteries. Taking Gamora’s sister Nebula into custody and running from their angered hosts, our heroes are in big trouble until they are saved by a mysterious figure who turns out to hold secrets to Peter Quill aka Star-lord’s past. Residing on his new host’s paradise planet and finding out more about the missing elements of his life that have made him so unhappy for so long, Quill is, like his friends, at first delighted by his good luck until his companions have reason to be suspicious of just how perfect this place is. Mythical elements of Hercules and Oedipus Rex are jaggedly inserted into a weakly plotted but beautifully shot adventure that has plenty of big laughs, beautiful effects and continues to benefit from the chemistry between its performers. It’s a good-natured and pleasant adventure, but even if it gets points for never taking itself too seriously, there’s no denying that it’s at least fifteen minutes too long and draws far too small a plot over too long a film. Bradley Cooper is remarkably effective at providing the voice of the insecure raccoon, while Pom Klementieff steals all her scenes as the delightful Mantis.