The other day my amigo Ben and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (not to be confused with Galaxy Raiders, currently available on Amazon for £7) at Cineworld. We debated beforehand whether we should go to see it at The Electric (the oldest working cinema in the UK) as we’ve always said we’ll one day see something there, but when we saw that Guardians was being showed at Cineworld in 4D we decided that was the place for us.
So how was the 4D experience? Well the first thing I noticed was how high the chairs were. I don’t mean stoned, I mean high off the ground. The reason for this became apparent later on when the chairs started rocking back and forth, rolling around in a circle, and shaking violently. Other than the chairs, there were smoke machines and bubbles by the screen, water and air occasionally spraying you, and strobe lights which flashed every now and then, which was fine but for a split second you couldn’t see the screen because the lights were so bright! Luckily they do warn you on the website not to go to the 4D showing if you have epilepsy or a heart condition… y’know, like the heart condition Ben has. The most annoying part of the experience was something in the back of the seat that poked you violently in the back every time someone got hit in the film. It was clever how they timed all this to the movie, but every time someone fell over it felt like I was getting kicked in the back. Either that or it actually WAS someone kicking me.
With the chairs tilting, rocking and shaking, it made eating snacks rather difficult. I always get popcorn because I like to think I’m helping cinemas stay in business – they only get a fraction of the ticket price, the rest goes to the production company and the distributer or wherever, and so cinemas only really make money from food and drink – but it was hard to hold onto said popcorn when the chairs were throwing you all over the place, but this is a minor complaint. On the whole the 4D element was a fun experience that did enhance the enjoyment of the film – if only because of giggling at poor Ben’s face as he was thrown around like a rag doll.
So what about the film? Okay calm down, I’m getting to that. There were tons of action and impressive visual effects, just like the first movie. The film opens with Baby Groot dancing to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky while the Guardians battle a huge monster in the background and the titles rolled over the screen. It was a clever and funny opening that really got you into the movie and reassured you that the humour was still going to be just as good. There are several plots going on, namely Starlord being found by his estranged father, Ego. The two bond but (gasp) Ego is the bad guy! There’s also the continuation of the Gamora/Nebula story from the first movie and later Rocket Raccoon teams up with Yondu to save Starlord and Gamora from a race of gold skinned Sovereign People after Rocket steals from them.
The characters were still just as great; I do love Chris Pratt and he’s perfect in this role. The same goes for Dave Bautista. I never thought he’d be this good of an actor, but I think he should stick with this and not wrestling or MMA. The only thing that did annoy Ben about his performance was how Drax was laughing manically all the time as opposed to misunderstanding idioms like he did in the previous film. I could go through the whole cast and talk about how good they all are but I won’t, instead I’ll just focus on the new characters, but I won’t give too much away in order to avoid spoilers.
First of all Kurt Russell plays Starlord’s dad and the film’s main antagnoist, Ego. He’s perfect in the role, plus it’s great to see Kurt Russell again; he’s a great actor and I’m happy to see anything he’s involved in. French actress Pom Klementieff plays Mantis, Ego’s assistant who has powers of empathy. She has no social skills and has never interacted with anyone other than Ego, and she plays her innocent loneliness really well. Austrailian actress Elizabeth Debicki (from The Great Gatsby) plays Ayesha, the leader of the Sovereign People, a race of golden skinned people who are after the Guardians after Rocket Raccoon stole some batteries from them.
Chris Sullivan (Stranger Things) plays Taserface, the leader of a mutiny against Michael Rooker’s character Yondu and whose name is often the butt of many a joke. Also, great to see Michael Rooker again too; he’s such an underrated actor. There’s also a cameo from David Hasselhoff, because no film is complete without him. Elsewhere Sylvester Stallone plays Stakar Ogord (aka Starhawk) one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy from the old 60’s comics, of which Yondu was also a member. Stallone is prominent in the trailer and listed in the opening credits, however he only has a few minutes of actual screen time, which is more than a bit annoying.
At the end of the film the original Guardians re-unite, including more cameos from Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) as Charlie-27, Michael Rosenbaum (Racing Stripes) as Martinex and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Aleta Ogord, as well as an uncredited voice role from Miley Cyrus as Mainframe. I was pretty damn happy to see Ving Rhames too, another underrated actor. It’s an awesome nod to the original comics – especially for comic book fans – and it was an emotional moment in the film too, but no spoilers, I promise. There was also, as always, a cameo from Stan Lee, with some dialogue that completely changes how we see his cameos in all the other Marvel films.
The humour was really good just like in the first film and so was the soundtrack. I really enjoyed the movie, great film, just as good as the first one in my opinion, and that’s not easy to do with a sequel, most of them suck (Ghostbuster 2 I’m looking at you). The 4D was pretty fun, people were laughing, having a good time, and so was I, but I do look forward to seeing the film in a chair that doesn’t want me out of it.