It's back to superheroes in space!  Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 continues the adventures of Marvel's baddest good guys, adding family issues, a universe-wide menace, and lots of comedy.

The movie opens with Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper), and the tiny Baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) protecting some valuable and powerful batteries that belong to the Sovereign, a gold-skinned and easily offended race.  The Guardians also have Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora's vengeful sister, as their prisoner.  The mission is a success, but when Rocket steals a bunch of the Sovereign's batteries, their leader Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) wants them dead.
The Guardians are almost killed by Sovereign ships, but the heroes are saved by the sudden appearance of Ego (Kurt Russell) -- who's Star-Lord's long-lost father.  Accompanied by the empathic and innocent Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Ego wants to reconnect with his son -- and to show him the powers they both possess -- on his planet.  While Peter, Gamora, and Drax travel with Ego, Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship.  Meanwhile, Ayesha has hired Yondu (Michael Rooker) to kill the Guardians, Nebula escapes, and things are hardly what they seem...

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 is pretty entertaining, albeit slightly flawed.  The cast once again does a great job as the heroes who are still out for a profit, and the characters of Ego and Mantis are nice additions to this outer-space part of the Marvel Universe.  There's plenty of humor here, plus plenty of action from speedy space battles to hand-to-hand combat.  The movie is a little long -- one story line could have been shortened or cut out -- and the use of music from the '70s and '80s feels a little more heavy-handed than in its predecessor.  Still, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 delivers plenty of laughs, thrills, and general fun.
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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