Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Review

Guardians of the Galaxy remains one of Marvel’s absolute best films; it’s hilarious, it’s exciting and the cast are perfect. So with all that going for it, it’s no wonder that the hype for this film was so big. With James Gunn back behind the camera, we had high hopes for this intergalactic sequel. Sadly, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t quite live up to it’s predecessor.

Following their previous adventure, the Guardians have been hired by the Sovereign race to protect some valuable batteries in exchange for Gamora’s sister, Nebula. But when Rocket decides to hang onto a few of them, the Sovereign race shoot them down, where they meet Ego (Kurt Russell), the estranged father of Peter Quill who isn’t quite what he seems.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is fun, but disappointing; it’s not too surprising when you consider the first one was essentially lightning in a bottle. It brings back all of our favourite things about the first one, but not quite as good. It’s funny, but it’s not quite as funny. It’s exciting, but not quite as exciting. It’s got a good soundtrack, but not quite as good a soundtrack. It’s all there but just to a lesser extent, which is fine for an enjoyable film, but underwhelming as a sequel. Many jokes fall flat, and the film reeks exposition, which is odd considering the first film introduced all these new characters who weren’t A-list characters and didn’t rely on exposition nearly as much. It takes away from the fluidity of the dialogue and slows the film down a little too much.

Despite the stakes being higher in this film on a personal level for many of the characters, there’s no real intensity or reason to be worried save for one moment that I won’t spoil that was admittedly very emotional. It offers a weak sub-villain in the Sovereign race, and perhaps worst of all, the film definitely feels sillier than before. There’s at least three unnecessary dick jokes that don’t hit, a poorly timed David Hassellhoff joke, some unnecessary references, a very odd travelling sequence that feels far too weird to actually fit into the film, and Baby Groot may be cute, but he’s offer absolutely nothing to this film, bar high toy sales. And whilst we love our Marvel after credit scenes, Guardians 2 offers five, none of which are funny or entertaining or even set up anything important (Except for maybe one, but as someone uneducated in comics, I couldn’t say for definite).

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Having said that, this is by no means a bad film; what we do get in terms of action is cool to watch, and the jokes that do hit are fairly funny, especially those from Drax. The more emotional story lines offered in this film, often an unresolved family issue, are well handled, and all the performances are on point. Kurt Russell makes for a charismatic and interesting addition to this film – even though his character makes the most unbelievably stupid decision towards the film’s climax – and Karen Gillan brings a lot more this time around than she did before, but the absolute stand out is Michael Rooker. Yondu’s storyline is easily the best in this film, as is Rocket’s character development that crosses streams with Yondu’s. Yondu really comes into his own, and Michael Rooker owns it in the most beautiful and entertaining way. Let’s face it, we’re never gonna get sick of “I’m Mary Poppins yall!” While the quality of the soundtrack isn’t as up to scratch this time around, the way music is used in this film is still really damn good. The tracks aren’t as recognisable, but they way they marry the scenes to create enticing moments is undeniable.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t quite match what it’s predecessor offered, but it’s a perfectly entertaining entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is still better than some of the other Marvel sequels.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now! 

The Party – UK Trailer

Kristen Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson, Cillian Murphy and Timothy Spall…Who could say no to that? I don’t think it’s physically possible. If you actually tried to say the word “No” while looking at the poster for this film, you’d just start gagging until you came to your senses.

The Party sees this wonderful cast as well a few others coming together for a quiet little evening together, turned upside down by a shocking revelation from Spall’s character – thankfully left unsaid in this trailer – that tears everyone apart and turns the night into absolute hell.

This is a fantastic trailer; very funny and unbearably intriguing. What the hell did he say? How did he cause this much carnage? There’ll be a desperate need to have these questions answered, and this film can’t come soon enough.

The Party is out 13th October.

You Were Never Really Here – Trailers & Clips

You Were Never Really Here, the latest from Lynne Ramsey (Director of the extraordinary We Need to Talk About Kevin), is a thriller that oozes themes of corruption, mystery and vengeance. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a dull, brooding man with a grey beard an ugly pony tail, so I can only assume that Casey Affleck wasn’t available.

In all seriousness, the film looks quite good; the trailer offers you little and presents what it does offer in a very intriguing manner. There’s one plot point that perhaps shouldn’t have been revealed, though having not read the book it’s based on, I have no idea if it’s actually important. It just feels a little off to include in a trailer. The style is great, and we already know Ramsey is a fantastic director. If it’s even half as good as her previous work, we have nothing to worry about.

You Were Never Really Here is out 14th October.

Mindhorn – Review

OK folks, it’s truth time. I’m going to lay some hard facts down, and you’re going to pick them up, so get ready.

If you don’t see Mindhorn then you are no better than a sea cucumber that has thrown up its guts to escape a predator, and is now hiding under a rock, waiting for them to grow back. Just like a coward.

Honestly. I really shouldn’t have to sell this film to anyone. It’s a small slice of perfection that will have you guffawing from the first frame to the final credit. The rest of this review will likely descend into something entirely different from time to time as a means of padding the word count. I would like to apologise in advance.

Written by the comedy writing duo of Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby, and set on the Isle of Man; Barratt plays Richard Thorncroft, a washed-up TV detective from the 1980’s who is asked by the police to bring his character out of retirement to help catch a mentally unstable killer who has trouble separating fiction from reality.

The jokes fly thick and fast, with only a scant few lines that don’t contain some form of pun, double entendre or witticism. Both Barratt and Farnaby have embedded part of their soul into the script and it shines through in a glorious, almost blinding light.

Of course, it’s not just Barratt who makes the film. He is backed up by a phenomenal supporting cast including Essie Davis, Andrea Riseborough and there are even cameos from Steve Coogan and Kenneth Branagh to help take the level of awesomeness that is this film to stratospheric heights!

To be quite honest, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here to give you more reasons to watch this absolutely stunning film. Instead I’m going to spend the rest of my time describing the sort of person who won’t go and see it.

The Neolithic buffoon who won’t see this film is the type of person who refuses to watch films older than ten years because they just aren’t “high enough quality” and they don’t have your favourite actor in. They’re the sort of person who considers Transformers and Fast and Furious to be the epitome of wit and style. Whilst they may think they are a man (or woman) of the world, they are really little more than a closed-minded, shadow of a human who will never understand the pure, unbridled joy of discovering a diamond at the bottom of their popcorn.

Such a person will never consider the way the camera has been set up just so, to create a shock when it reveals a previously hidden character, nor will they get that tingle in the pit of their stomach when you watch a film for the third time and slowly unravel all the little “tells” that give away a character’s true motivations.

What I’m trying to say is; don’t be that person. They are a terrible excuse for a human being.

More importantly, what I’m really saying is; GO SEE MINDHORN THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY YOU GET!

It will leave a smile on your face that carries through to the next day.

Mindhorn is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!