Baby Driver

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Satisfying. Fun. And oh, so cool.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a young but experienced getaway driver, counting down the days until he’s out of the business, and can escape Atlanta with potential girlfriend Debora (Lily James). But one final job sees him in over his head as all hell breaks loose with experienced heisters Buddy and Darling (Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez) and loose cannon Bats (Jamie Foxx).

As Baby suffers from tinnitus, he always listens to music to drown out the ringing – thus, we hear Baby’s music, a fun mix of retro pop and modern rock, constantly in the background, and if not there’s a slight ringing noise. Technically outstanding films like this rarely combine such skill with balls to the wall fun like Wright has here; Baby Driver is a directing and editing masterpiece, combining sound and music with visuals in ways that aren’t just impressive, but unique and oh, so satisfying. Characters often move in time to the music; shots almost always cut away in 4/4 time, and gun reports are in time with the beat, creating an incomparably cool, rock and roll alternative universe which is modern, retro and classic all at once.

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This is all in theme with its timeless story: a romance interspersed with frenetic action and violence, and Baby and Debora (a picture perfect couple, with electric chemistry between Elgort and James) are just a couple’a kids who want to run away together. Standing in the way, of course, is the film’s double act as a stylised, hyper-violent chase movie. Crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), to whom Baby is obliged, and his host of unpredictable criminals are always throwing a thrilling spanner into the works of our fairy-tale, allowing the film to continue to surprise, even to its final moments. And though the plot may seem simple on the surface, its uncomplicated nature allows the film to fully embrace every part of itself and wear its heart on its sleeve.

Because Baby Driver is unapologetically earnest, enjoying every genre it encompasses. Baby and Debora’s relationship is romantic and realistic, but unafraid to be cheesy. The action is tense, and gory, pushing the film’s stylistic beats all the way to its truly rock and roll climax. And the many enormous car chases never waste a second, impressing us with slick action, the sweet soundtrack and character development all at once, usually in the form of the quiet but enigmatic Baby. Though his supporting cast is fantastic, Elgort carries the film on his shoulders, and in amongst the craziness and power of his criminal world, his sincerity and devotion to his family (in every form it takes) is what compels us to his fast, loud story.

 

bd3From Carla Thomas’ B-A-B-Y to T. Rex’s Debora, the blood pumping Neat Neat Neat (The Damned) and the sublime Easy (like Sunday morning… you know the one), Baby Driver reels you in soul first, pulling you headfirst into a magical reality full of romance, blood, cars and guns. With its impeccable soundtrack and pitch-perfect performances, Baby Driver is a masterclass in filmmaking, as well as the most fun you’ll have in cinemas this year.

9/10.

With this cool ensemble cast, here’s my top five favourite films and TV shows starring the cast of Baby Driver:

  1. The Fault In Our Stars (no shame) – Ansel Elgort
  2. Cinderella – Lily James
  3. Elvis & Nixon – Kevin Spacey
  4. Daredevil – Jon Bernthal
  5. Parks and Recreation – Jon Hamm (he’s in an episode!)

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3890160/mediaviewer/rm3651742208
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3890160/mediaviewer/rm608583168
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The Beguiled


Some directors move fast and stylish; others are more meditative and lingering, and Sofia Coppola is definitely the latter. Many of her films, such as 2003’s Lost in Translation, will hit a point where they either have you, or they won’t, and just like Lost In Translation, her new film, The Beguiled, certainly had me. Set during the Civil War in Virginia, an injured Northern soldier is taken in at a girls’ school, where his presence threatens to break apart the close, yet strained, relationships of the women who live there. 


The Beguiled is a slow-burning Civil War snapshot that, at only 90 minutes, spends it first half or so diving deep into the lives of the very different women who live there, and the upset of Corporal McBurney’s arrival. Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman) loves her work and her girls, but seems lonely for new company; Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) is desperate to leave and fall in love, as she had before she came to the school, and McBurney’s arrival offers to her the possibility of a new life. And while the younger girls develop friendships and small crushes on their wounded soldier, the older, teenage Alicia (Elle Fanning) is exploring her sexuality and sees McBurney as her opportunity to escape the repression of the restrictive southern girls’ school. 

Sofia Coppola’s masterful direction highlights the complexities of their relationships: her lingering shots of the beautiful estate and its grounds allow the story to breathe, followed by closely framed, tight shots that trap your breath in your chest, inspiring in you the claustrophobia that these women experience. Coppola captures the intricacies of female relationships, the natural jealousy and competition that arises in such cramped living spaces, supplying the film with its almost inappropriately dark humour, but also its incredible closeness and the family dynamic it creates, as these women are a family. 


Kidman’s Miss Martha is the caring but stern matriarch, leading the ensemble with brilliantly cold poise and watching over her four younger women – Amy (Oona Lawrence), Jane (Angourie Rice), Maria (Addison Riecke) and Emily (Emma Howard); Kirsten Dunst’s more emotionally impulsive Edwina is regrettably relatable and tragic, especially with Dunst’s intricately expressive face; and Elle Fanning’s overtly sexual Alicia may not even be the petty and selfish middle child she first appears as, as Fanning gives her such mystery. Yet despite their differences, they band together and look after each other when things get intense, which they do. 

Because Corporal McBurney is not to be trusted: spinning lies to each of the women, he worms his way into their hearts and creates bitter divisions within the school, seemingly becoming the most powerful person in the estate. Coppola’s slow burn here turns into an all-out fire, pushing her characters to breaking point, but she never breaks them, for power is never what it seems in The Beguiled. Despite being a period piece with an undercurrent of female jealousy, the women’s bond is never completely broken, and they stay strong together when the tables eventually turn. This is the ultimately feminist message of the Beguiled: when worst comes to worst, women will do what it takes to look after each other. 9/10. 

Here’s my list of my five favourite films starring the cast of The Beguiled:

  1. Moulin Rouge! – Nicole Kidman
  2. Spider-Man 2 – Kirsten Dunst
  3. The Nice Guys – Angourie Rice
  4.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Colin Farrell
  5. Lost in Translation – Sofia Coppola

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDB.com:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592248/mediaviewer/rm2299078656

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592248/mediaviewer/rm2466850816

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592248/mediaviewer/rm1939879680

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield or Tom Holland? If you’d asked me that question a few years ago, the answer was 100% Tobey: the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy was the essential viewing of my childhood, the story of a kid – just like me – who was suddenly a superhero. Cut to May 2016 and ask me again: even with only his small role in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s younger, more inexperienced Peter Parker showed enough promise to be put up the top. This made Spider-Man: Homecoming one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and now that it’s out, it’s everything that a Spider-man fan could want.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming drops us in two months after the events of Civil War, where Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back to normal life… and hating it. Knowing he can do so much more and desperate to prove himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter takes on a group of thugs with more power than he realises, all while trying to survive his biggest challenge: high school. And high school is this film’s biggest asset: reading much more like a John Hughes teen movie than the superhero scale that we’re used to, Homecoming does for Peter Parker what Logan does for the Wolverine – take the character back to its roots and tell an organic story that stays true to comic and character. Through this we get our new iteration of Peter, younger and more immature and carefree, trying to grow up too quickly and come to terms with these new powers that are turning his life upside down. A high school movie also allows the film to dive more into Spidey’s rich history at Midtown High, so we get to see more of characters like Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), Michelle (Zendaya), Liz (Laura Harrier) and Flash (Tony Revolori), an ensemble whose chemistry and comedy make Homecoming a very authentic teen movie. This creates a film that’s not only full of coming of age heart, but so much humour – it might even be the funniest Marvel film to date, staying true to the character’s wise-cracking comic book roots.

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Though the film functions first and foremost as a teen movie, there’s still plenty of superheroism to go around. As Peter becomes more determined to impress Tony and become an Avenger, the more dangerous his situation becomes, getting tangled up with Adrian Toomes’ Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his high-tech gang, resulting in tense action and surprising twists that keep the film refreshing for its entire runtime. Fun winks Cap and the Avengers remind us that we’re still in a Marvel movie, but ultimately, Homecoming doesn’t rely on its franchise to produce thrilling stunts and heartfelt moments.

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And at the forefront of the film, Tom Holland easily mixes the two: he is far and away the best actor we’ve seen in the role so far, combining the nervous, shy Peter with his more outspoken, witty alter-ego in a way we’ve never seen before. Holland takes his youth and makes it integral to the story, since Peter’s just a kid learning to play in an adult world, and together with Tony Stark’s attempt at mentoring his webbed prodigy (played by a surprisingly heartfelt, austere Robert Downey Jr.), we see the importance of Peter learning his strengths and his limits as someone so you with so much power. And challenging him as the Vulture is Michael Keaton, giving a truly menacing performance; he may be a villain with good reason, as a man put out of business by Tony and the Avengers, but you can still feel Peter’s terror whenever the Vulture descends.

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The Spider-Man comics have always asked the question, “What would happen if you gave a 15 year old kid superpowers?” While the other two Spider-Man franchises have produced decent superhero films, they’ve never answered this question as well as Spider-Man: Homecoming does. A combination of Marvel and Sony’s production teams and a witty, fun script; a fantastic cast, and the discovery of one of Marvel’s powerhouses in Tom Holland, have delivered a Spider-Man film we can all be proud of.

8/10.

Now, here’s my top five favourite films starring the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming;

  1. Captain America: Civil War – Tom Holland, Robert Downey, Jr., Marisa Tomei and Chris Evans
  2. The Impossible – Tom Holland
  3. The Nice Guys – Angourie Rice
  4. Spotlight – Michael Keaton
  5. Community – Donald Glover

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDB.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2250912/mediaviewer/rm3938925312
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2250912/mediaviewer/rm1554655744
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Wonder Woman

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For me, superhero movies are about more than just epic fight scenes and awesome villains. They’re about characters that we care deeply about, fighting battles that make us think about our own world, in films that makes us laugh, cry, and hopefully make us feel a little bit better about life when the credits roll. There are lots of great superheroes out there, and some fantastic superhero movies too, but none have ever quite had the effect on me that Wonder Woman did. After 75 years of being one of DC’s most popular superheroes, Wonder Woman has finally got her own film in the DCEU, and thank the gods, it’s not just good – it’s everything a superhero film should be.

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In the film, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is working as a curator in modern-day Paris when she is given a photo that sends her back to 1918, when she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons. Having lived and trained on the island of Themyscira her whole life, she anticipates a war she hopes will never come, but when human man and soldier Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) washes ashore and warns the Amazons of the war to end all wars, Diana must brave the world of man and step up to her destiny: to kill Ares, the God of War, and end World War I.

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Wonder Woman is the most emotionally affecting and moving superhero film I have ever seen. As we watch Diana grow from a child to a warrior in the opening scenes on Themyscira, with the muscled, scarred and skilful Amazon women training and kicking ass, it is so uplifting and new to see powerful women dominating the screen; and from there it only gets better, as we follow the curious, idealistic Diana out into the world of man, Steve alongside her. Europe is dreary compared to stunning Themyscira, and Diana’s naivety about the human world makes for some fun fish-out-of-water humour, but her horror at the suffering around her is what is most compelling, throwing us hearts first into the emotionally overwhelming scenes to come.

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Because this is a war film, and whilst that provides for some incredible action sequences and powerful imagery, including the best scene in the film, the No Man’s Land scene, the emotional impact it has on Diana as she comes to understand the complexities of man at war, and is heartbroken by it, is so raw that you feel your heart breaking, too. Her wholehearted belief that Ares is the only man responsible for the war is idealistic yet impossible, and Steve knows it to be, but watching their rag-tag gang of soldiers scheme against German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), you almost believe her. Despite these villains being very underdeveloped, their threat is still enormous, as their potential to destroy humanity beyond repair is certainly a villain worthy of Wonder Woman.

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Gal Gadot is extraordinary as she leads us through this film, commanding every scene, doe-eyed and full of life; her honour as a warrior, her optimism and faith in humanity, and her compassion and ability to love are infectious. Though her journey does create cynicism within her, and incite anger and pain, she never gives up hope on mankind, never stops loving and remains optimistic, proving that strong female characters’ strength does not have to come from just their masculinity, and that compassion and love make you strong, too. But she’s not just emotionally strong – she’s also an absolute badass, tactical and honourable, and her Amazonian fighting style and use of the Lasso of Truth (or Hestia, as it is known in this film) is mesmerising.

As is her chemistry with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor – their romance is tender and sweet, but he is so much more than just a love interest to her. He’s her friend, a symbol of her hope for humanity, and she believes that if he can do good things, then so can the rest of the world. He leads a cast of humans that is so much fun, with Said Taghmaoui as Sameer, Ewen Bremner as Charlie, Eugene Brave Rock as the Chief, and Lucy Davis as the delightful Etta Candy providing the perfect amount of laughs and serious moments as needed. Conversely, the Amazons are a huge standout and one of the highlights of the film; Antiope could become one of Robin Wright’s defining characters, and her scarred, fierce, beautiful general is just as inspiring as Connie Nielsen’s Queen Hippolyta. Diana’s bond with both of these women is hopefully something that will be revisited in future films.

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Despite this being quite a long film, with some pacing issues and a one-note villain, I never wanted it to end, and Wonder Woman’s ability to key in on issues about war, hate and love that have never been more relevant cannot be denied. Patty Jenkins has crafted a gorgeously bright, but emotionally moving film about optimism in the face of cynicism and belief in the power of love, which is exactly what the world needs right now, and Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince is the compassionate, fierce warrior that women need right now too.

9/10.

Wonder Woman has a really great cast that all work so well together, so here’s my top five favourite films starring the cast of Wonder Woman:

  1. Fast Five – Gal Gadot
  2. Star Trek – Chris Pine
  3. The Princess Bride – Robin Wright
  4. David Thewlis – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  5. Into the Woods – Chris Pine

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDB.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/mediaviewer/rm3772330752
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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It’s the series that launched a thousand ships: Keira Knightley’s career, Johnny Depp’s Oscar nomination, the imitation of cockney accents across schoolyards everywhere and a gold mine of a franchise for Disney, whose last film grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. The Pirates of the Caribbean films have a long and storied history, famously inspired by the beloved Disneyland boat ride, but can such a franchise keep its sea-legs five entries in?

(I’m really enjoying the sea-puns, you guys.)

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In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, brilliant astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and the son of Will and Elizabeth Turner, Henry (Brenton Thwaites) must team up with notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as they scour the seas on the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon, whilst on the run from the British authorities (not the East India Trading Company this time) and yet another band of undead pirates, and their Spanish Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem).

For an iconic noughties franchise with some pretty memorable scenes, Dead Men Tell No Tales is a highly forgettable entry to the series, a generic-at-best attempt to recapture the magic of the original trilogy that had me rolling my eyes, several times, at just how hard they’re trying. The search for Poseidon’s trident is merely a device to throw a bunch of Pirates tropes at the screen and see how they land: as Henry fights to save his father, reunite his parents and bring to life the only hope of this film (a Bloom-Knightley reunion), he is lost in the confusion of Captain Jack’s now-boring schtick and the film’s disconnected fight scenes, spread out by long bouts of exposition attempting to make interesting the cut-copy story that no-one asked for. Combine this with the terrible CGI of Salazar’s crew and the awful chemistry between Thwaites and Scodelario, all mixed up with yet another terrible family reveal, Dead Men Tell No Tales fights so hard to prove that this franchise still has some surprises left in it, but surprise! It doesn’t.

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One surprise strength of the film, however, is Kaya Scodelario as Carina, whose passion for science and love for the father who left her is infectious. Her ‘bitch, please’ attitude to the ignorant men around her who accuse her of witchcraft and her self-confidence in always being the smartest person in the room was a step above the strong female heroine role that Knightley paved the way for in the previous films, without taking away from Elizabeth’s importance, of course, and was a pleasant inclusion in a film that usually focuses on its male heroes.

Speaking of male heroes, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is getting dumber and dumber the longer this franchise drags on. In the first few films, he was a lazy, backstabbing coward, but always the smartest person in the room; nowadays he has been relegated to the comic relief buffoon, a side character, and that’s the problem with this film! It doesn’t even focus on the main reason why people like, and Disney keeps making, these films, cheapening the films as they go on. Returning as Captain Barbossa, Geoffrey Rush genuinely seems to be having fun throughout the entire film, but Brenton Thwaites and Javier Bardem are replaceable in their roles, and everyone’s off in their own corner, doing their thing, with none of it gelling or worthwhile. Thank God for modern woman Carina.

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Pirates of the Caribbean is not Indiana Jones – you can’t just keep inserting mythical objects of history into the same story and expect people to love it. What drew us to the original films were the swashbuckling fights, the double crosses, and the complex relationships between the main characters, none of which are even present in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Yet the worst part of this film is not even the film; it’s the post-credits sequel bait, which dares to assume that we’ll want another one of these things (and even worse, that Bloom and Knightley will sign on for it). If anything, Dead Men Tell No Tales is a reminder that audiences are smarter than this, and deserve better than this, and hopefully will serve as a warning to Disney that lazy sequels won’t cut it anymore. Dead franchises deserve no sequels.

4/10.

With the amount of cameos in this film (even Paul McCartney shows up!), there’s a really great cast here, so here’s my top five favourite films starring the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales:

  1. Begin Again – Keira Knightley
  2. The Maze Runner – Kaya Scodelario
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Johnny Depp
  4. Bran Nue Day – Geoffrey Rush
  5. Shakespeare In Love – Geoffrey Rush

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809/mediaviewer/rm1806445056
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809/mediaviewer/rm279718400
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809/mediaviewer/rm346827264
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Get Out

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Full disclaimer, before you read my review of a horror movie: this is the first and only horror film I’ve ever seen. Call me crazy, but being scared is not something I enjoy choosing to do, and to me, films that get inside your head are even worse than jump scares. I tend to stew on movies, like to think about them for days after, and I definitely lost some sleep the night after I saw this. So I may not know my genre, but I know a good movie when I see one, and Get Out certainly was a good movie.

Get Out follows Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man visiting his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time, but things take a turn for the creepy when their annual family party seems to be a cover up for something much more sinister. To say anything more than that would be doing disservice to Jordan Peele’s masterful storytelling; he so cleverly layers small reveals and clues throughout the entire film, so much so that the end reveal is enormous, the perfect mixture of surprising and satisfying, and definitely horrifying, building slowly from discomfort to gore. Maintaining a palpable level of tension and unease the entire way through, with even the opening scenes making you uncomfortable in anticipation, Peele laces the perfect amount of comedy through his racially charged thriller, serving both as relief in the moments where it’s desperately needed, and to heighten the tension it so effectively foils against.

Not that you would expect anything less than brilliant humour from the latter half of Key and Peele, but Get Out is by no means a comedy. In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele shows incredible skill and control in his subtle storytelling, paying homage to the genre with his classic, Psycho-esque score, but making Get Out stand out through not just its gripping mystery, but also its racial commentary. The film explores the modern African-American experience in what feels like a period setting, mashing tradition and modernity together through horror and filmmaking tropes to suggest that racism hasn’t really changed over the last 50 years, or even longer.

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From Get Out’s relatively indie cast comes Daniel Kaluuya as an absolute breakout as Chris Washington, driving the tension and discomfort as well as being an incredibly memorable horror main character. Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford and Caleb Landry Jones are incredibly intense as the super creepy Armitages, taking Meet the Parents to an entirely new level, and Lil Rel Howery is a scene stealer as Rod, Chris’ TSA-working best friend. But the film’s strongest voice is its director, and with Key and Peele (sadly) no longer doing their comedy show, we can only hope for more films from Jordan Peele.

Thought Get Out doesn’t make me want to go out and watch every single horror movie that’s released in theatres, it does interest me in finding some of cinema’s greater horror films and finally giving them a try. But this was because it was so good, and successful at scaring me, that I wonder if any others will either be a disappointment or make me that uncomfortable again. Its gripping story, brilliant cast and twisted visuals made for an enthralling experience, and if all horror films were as good as this, maybe I’d watch a few more.

9/10.

After seeing Get Out, I have decided to try out the horror genre! So here is five classic/seminal horror films I’m going to try my hand out:

  1. Alien
  2. Psycho
  3. The Blair Witch Project
  4. Scream
  5. Lights Out

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5052448/mediaviewer/rm1994996736
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5052448/mediaviewer/rm3762699264

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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The Marvel sequel machine is always a gamble: some, like Winter Soldier and Civil War, are even better than their predecessor, and widely regarded some of Marvel’s best films. Others, like Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World, are stuck at the very bottom of the rank, merely pieces in the larger Avengers’ puzzle. And now comes their latest sequel, to their most beloved film – Guardians of the Galaxy. It has the jokes, it has the soundtrack, but does Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have what it takes to sit up the top with the best of the best?

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In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, our Guardians, now working as heroes for hire, are trying to figure out how to work as a team and function as a family when they run into trouble with the Sovereign Race – but not before Peter’s (Chris Pratt) real family starts causing trouble as well, with the sudden reappearance of his long-lost father, Ego the Living Planet (a perfectly cast Kurt Russell). Vol. 2 is an unabashed family drama, allowing the film to pack in a huge amount of emotional drama by really fleshing out the relationships of characters both new and old. Peter is reconnecting with his biological father Ego and learning about his family history both on Earth and in space, and here director James Gunn is really exploring very moving ideas about what it means to be a father by bringing back into the fold Yondu (Michael Rooker), the Ravager who took Peter in when he was a kid. As the emotional core of the story, Peter’s arc takes you on a heartbreaking and compelling journey that, whilst being so satisfying and devastating, doesn’t leave much room elsewhere for the rest of the film’s arcs.

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Because Vol. 2 also attempts to introduce a second layer to the strained sisterly relationship between Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), daughters of Thanos (and presumably the Guardians’ tie to Infinity War); but surprisingly this story took a backseat, instead rehashing much of what was already explored in Vol. 1. Similarly, the overarching plotline of the Guardians themselves becoming a makeshift family was also underdeveloped: the beginning of the film sees the Guardians starting to take on roles in their little family (Peter as father, Gamora as mother, Baby Groot as a child, Drax and Rocket the drunk uncle and older brother), but once the team splits in two early on in the film, this entire dynamic all but disappears, sidelining what seemed to be the film’s most promising idea and making the smaller Rocket and Groot storyline with the Ravagers pale in comparison to Peter’s relationship with Ego. Combine this with the inclusions of both Ravager politics AND the Sovereign as a secondary antagonist, and Vol. 2 is just trying to do too much, with few sections really making an impact.

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But despite its crowded plot, Vol. 2 succeeds because of its irreverent, fun tone, its gorgeous visuals and its commitment to its characters, having so much fun itself that you can’t help but have fun too. From the gold-clad Sovereign ships to the stunning colours of Planet Ego, James Gunn has made Vol. 2 a must-see on the biggest screen you can find, an epic, colourful spectacular that really must be commended for its beauty. Flying fast and furious, the film’s jokes and banter were hilarious and utterly quotable, though some were a bit repetitive, and allowed the film’s newer characters such as Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Yondu to become standouts.

In every frame of this film you can feel Gunn’s love for the Guardians and their source material, with each character making an emotional impact that really endears them to your heart, both old and new, allowing the actors’ performances to really shine. Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell had such charisma and chemistry together, as did Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan, who have always been able to perfectly translate the ups and downs of sisterhood to the screen. Of course, Rocket and Baby Groot were brilliant and adorable, but the film’s standouts were definitely Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista as Mantis and Drax, whose sweet and funny friendship was wonderful to watch unfold. And, as I said earlier, Michael Rooker’s heartfelt performance was a highlight of the movie, adding a surprising but perfect layer to the film’s family drama.

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So, where does this film sit in terms of sequels? Certainly better than Thor: The Dark World, that’s for sure. Whilst it doesn’t reach the heights of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, which was such a compact, intimate story, Vol. 2 is a completely different film to the first, in terms of scale and in story, and, since it’s a completely different viewing experience, should be treated as such. Its epic nature, deep family drama and total sincerity makes it such a heartfelt and heart-wrenching film that you can’t help but enjoy.

7/10.

I love the Guardians cast so much, and here are my top five favourite films starring the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:

  1. Parks and Recreation – Chris Pratt
  2. Doctor Who – Karen Gillan
  3. Gilmore Girls – Sean Gunn
  4. Man from U.N.C.L.E – Elizabeth Debicki
  5. This Is Us – Chris Sullivan

Talk soon,

Jessica x

Photos taken from IMDb.com:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3896198/mediaviewer/rm652555520
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