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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Blu-ray Review)

18 Aug, 2017 By: John Latchem

Street 8/22/17
Sci-Fi Action Comedy
Box Office $388.98 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $42.99 UHD BD
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content
Stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell. Voices of Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the epitome of the “comic book movie” — sprawling adventure, splashy colors, eccentric characters and a lot of fun. Director James Gunn proves the success of the first Guardians was no fluke, delivering a sequel that’s just as entertaining as the original.

Paying off hints from the first movie, the crux of the story this time around is that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finally meets his father, a celestial being named Ego, expertly played by the perfectly cast Kurt Russell. As Quill begins to unlock the mysteries of his heritage, however, the Guardians are being hunted by several groups looking to avenge past misdeeds.

Whereas the first film dealt with a group of outcasts coming together for a common purpose, the follow-up builds on that to explore themes of family and friendship. Gunn’s screenplay stays true to the spirit of the characters while adding a few new surprises, resulting in a film that is often as funny at the first one but also much more emotionally resonant.

Alluding to his indie background, Gunn in his illuminating solo commentary amusingly likens the effort to making an independent film with a blockbuster budget. He also discusses the film's fantastic soundtrack of classic rock tunes.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the 15th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which of late has made more of an effort to let its films stand on their own without blatantly setting up future films or crossovers, instead allowing the connective tissue to emerge more organically. That’s not to say there aren’t a few references thrown in for the hardcore fans to enjoy, and the Blu-ray really allows for searching around the frames of the image for those details that otherwise might zip by in the theater.

The Blu-ray also includes a brief intro from Gunn, an in-depth four-part behind-the-scenes documentary running about 38 minutes, five minutes of deleted and extended scenes and a funny gag reel.

The highlight of the bonus features might be the quirky “Guardians Inferno” music video, a 1970s-style disco performance of Tyler Bates’ theme tune with lyrics performed by David Hasselhoff. This video (which is also floating around online) is everything you need to know about the spirit and tone of the “Guardians” franchise.

Extras exclusive to the digital version (redeemable via a code included with the Blu-ray) include three scene breakdowns and a profile of the new Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout! ride at the Disney California Adventure theme park.

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