Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a 2017 sequel to the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film. This latest film, like the original, is written by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty) and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Star Trek – Into Darkness & Avatar). The movie is rated PG-13. Click here for a detailed examination of the film’s rating.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are based on the Marvel comics that date back to 1969. While I’m not a big fan of movies based on comic books I enjoyed the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie mainly because of the humanity of the characters and overall humor of the movie. This humanity and humor has continued into the second movie and, in volume two, we learn much more about Chris Pratt’s character, Peter Quill, other members of the team, and related characters.

The second movie begins not long after the first one. Groot is still a twig. As the movie begins we learn that the guardian team is on a mission for a race called the Sovereign. While the mission is successful there is a complication and the Sovereign seek vengeance against the guardian team. That’s not a spoiler, it’s all laid out in the opening minutes of the movie. Speaking of the opening minutes, don’t be late for this movie, the fight that takes place during the job for the Sovereign is mixed with the opening credits and is one of the most original and amusing sequences I’ve ever seen.

The issue with the Sovereign provides the action scenes, while Peter’s father, Ego, played by Kurt Russell, provides the tension within Peter and additional tension for the team as a whole.  

Like the first iteration of Guardians, this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Spacedog both make cameo appearances and Stan Lee is shown a couple of times sharing stories with the Watchers.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, continues the storyline, great characters and humor started with the first movie. Recommendation: Buy the ticket and see it in the theater.


Passengers is a PG-13 hard science fiction movie directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), and starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.

Five thousand passengers and crew are asleep in hibernation pods aboard the starship Avalon on a 120 year voyage to planet Homestead II. However, just thirty years into the trip, a malfunction awakens passenger Jim Preston (Chris Pratt). Later Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) awakens. Unable to return to hibernation, the two face living the rest of their lives together on the ship as it travels in deep space. However, the problem that awakened Preston remains and is a growing danger to the ship. They will need to risk their lives or everyone may die.

In addition to Pratt and Lawrence both Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne, have roles in Passengers, but the film still has one of the smallest casts I’ve ever seen for a big budget production. That being said, I think the bartender, played by Sheen, steals some of the show.

As often happens, during the second act the plot takes a twist. This one involves Preston in an act of desperation. How you feel about that twist will determine how you view the remainder of the movie.

Passengers offers little that is new to the science fiction genre, but the plot is good, it’s well acted and the CGI is first rate. Despite my issue with Preston, I found myself dwelling on the many issues raised by the movie for several days. Even now, when I think about the last scene of the film, it evokes emotion. If you’re a science fiction fan I think you’ll enjoy the movie.

Recommendation: Buy the ticket and see it in the theater.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 film directed and co-written by James Gunn, and starring Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty) and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Star Trek – Into Darkness & Avatar). The movie is rated PG-13. Click here for a detailed examination of the film’s rating.

Guardians of the Galaxy is based on the Marvel comics dating back to 1969. Generally, I’m not a fan of comic book movies. The stars of these films tend to be nearly indestructible superheroes and this leads to implausible plots about how they might be hurt, as seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Often villains are the most interesting characters (Suicide Squad) and watching interesting bad guys is not why I go to the movies.

However, with Guardians of the Galaxy, we have a cast of relatively average people. Peter Quill, Chris Pratt, was kidnapped from Earth as a child. Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, is a green alien orphan raised as a warrior and trained as an assassin. Drax, Dave Bautista, is a distraught man seeking revenge for the murder of his family. Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, is a genetically altered raccoon with issues about his heritage and height. Last, there is Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, a tree-like humanoid, with a three-word vocabulary. Okay, maybe they’re not average, but this is a motley crew that I can get involved with and enjoy watching.

In some ways, Guardians of the Galaxy is a Star Wars style hero’s journey movie with Chris Pratt playing a Han Solo-like character and Zoe Saldana as the princess love interest. In other ways, the film is a space western movie like Serenity and the original television show Firefly. Star Wars, Serenity or Firefly, It really doesn’t matter to me, I liked all of them.  

This is a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, or perhaps just seriously enough. It opens with a dying mother but quickly moves on to Chris Pratt dancing and lip-synching to Come and Get Your Love. In the closing credits, the audience is assured that “No raccoons or tree creatures were harmed during the making of this film.”

If you’re looking for a fun movie that doesn’t require much thought about plot or characters Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that you’ll enjoy. Recommendation: Buy the ticket and see it in the theater.