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Star Lord is back with a whole new mixtape

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" features a stellar cast and an even better soundtrack.

Grant Wetmore, Opinion Editor

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a thrill ride of emotions. Your sides will hurt from laughter and maybe a tear or two will come out of your eye. It may be flashy and in some aspects may not have much substance to back it up. But at the end of the movie, if you had a good laugh and a good time, then it’s two hours well spent.

“Guardians” picks up where the last installment left off. The motley crew of heroes starts off fighting an interdimensional beast on behalf of the Sovereign, a “perfect” alien species. After defeating it, the Guardians manage to double-cross the Sovereign. As the Guardians flee, they crash land on a planet. Here, they meet a strange and rather charming man. This man, named Ego (Kurt Russell), turns out to be Star-lord’s (Chris Pratt) father. What follows is an adventure which includes a few short and sweet battles and a betrayal or two. This a great movie to see with your father or father-figure as it has a rather strong “daddy issues” theme to it. Star-lord has to deal with meeting his father for the first time. At the same time, his allegiance is called into question.

The movie ranks somewhere between a B+ and an A-. The final rating depends on your personal opinion on which Guardians of the Galaxy movie you like better. Though the movie is good looking, when you take away all the bells and whistles you’re not left with much. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a good movie. It just means it isn’t a great one.  

What “Guardians” has going for it is definitely its special effects. Specifically, character design. Take Yondu (Michael Rooker) for example. By all appearances, he looks like a member of the Blue Man Group. But on closer inspection, you notice slight differences such as the shape of his teeth. What you get is an alien who look like a human, yet still retains an element of otherworldliness. The same goes for the Sovereign, who all look like the golden version of Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Most of the aliens are real actors and actresses with heavy makeup and prosthetics. This gives us creatures and beings that don’t just exist on a green screen and some animator’s computer, but in 3D. This adds a much appreciated level of realism to the characters. Rocket and Baby Groot, though completely CGI, stand out because they have that same level of realism to them, albeit to a lesser extent. This is due to the level of detail that went into their animation. Rocket has hundreds of individual hairs that move the way real hair would move. Baby Groot has tiny twigs and leaves that shake when he moves. Both have expressive faces that show emotion the way a real person would. Plus, Baby Groot is simply adorable.

Like the previous movie, “Guardians” continues the tradition of having an old-school soundtrack from the 60s and 70s. Two songs in particular stick out. The first is in the opening credits. “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra, plays from speakers as Baby Groot happily dances in the foreground. Meanwhile, in the background, the rest of the Guardians battle a tentacle monster. There is a lot of action happening in this scene, but don’t worry about following everything. Just focus on Baby Groot. The rest is just there for giggles.

The next song is Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer.” It plays after Yondu, Rocket, and Baby Groot escape imprisonment. Yondu, who is arguably the most OP and bad-ass of the Guardian’s characters, uses his signature arrow and whistle to dispose of his captors. In case you haven’t seen the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Yondu has an arrow he can control by whistling and using a red fin on his head. The arrow whisks around the ship, leaving behind a red trail of light and piercing through metal and flesh in a brutal display.

All in all, the movie is light and funny. Towards the end, it gets somewhat heavy but still has a few well placed jokes to lighten the mood.

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Star Lord is back with a whole new mixtape