“GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2” — 3½ stars — Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel; PG-13 (sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive content); in general release
2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” got the band together, and now “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is ready to send them out on tour. The summer 2017 movie season has officially arrived.
After a quick flashback prologue, we find the group in an off-the-wall opening credits scene, battling a massive multi-tentacled space monster while Baby Groot — a scene-stealing infant version of 2014’s towering Ent creature, still voiced by Vin Diesel — dances to Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky.”
The whole band is back — the alien muscle-bound literalist Drax (Dave Bautista); green-skinned super assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana); Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), the raccoon-shaped science experiment with anger issues; and Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the scavenger-turned-noble leader who has been traveling the universe ever since getting abducted from Earth as a young boy.
Before the dust can settle from their opening battle, the Guardians are on the run from an elitist race of gold-colored aliens called the Sovereign who are angry that Rocket stole some of their batteries. But just as the Sovereign are closing in, the Guardians are saved by a mysterious man in an egg-shaped spaceship.
The mystery man is Ego (a silver-haired Kurt Russell), a powerful demigod who also happens to be Star-Lord’s long-lost father. Ego…