Tag Archives: Chris Pratt

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – Movie Review

The Guardians of the Galaxy return to the big screen to prove they are more than just misfits prepared to save the galaxy. In Volume 2, the Guardians prove that they need to be a family to save the galaxy.

Release Date: May 5, 2017
Writer: James Gunn
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Debicki

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 starts a few months after the events of the first film. Our brood of heroes, Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) are hired as the Guardians to protect a power set of batteries from an inter-dimensional monster. The batteries power the race of conceited aliens known as the Sovereign.

As payment, the Guardians take custody of Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), but as their leaving Rocket steals the very batteries that they were hired to protect. Here starts a series of plots and sub-plots, the main one being the meeting of Peter Quill’s father played by Kurt Russell, who brings Peter, Gamora and Drax to his home planet. For comic book fans, this planet is Ego, the living planet. They also meet Mantis (Elizabeth Debicki), who serves Ego. She has empathic powers.

The other subplots include Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his gang of Ravagers. Yondu has been kicked out of the Ravagers because he betrayed the other clans in the first film. Yondu is then hired by the Sovereign to hunt down the Guardians and return the batteries, but Yondu also had a mutiny on his hands when one of his officers Tazer Face (Pom Klementieff) no longer believes Yondu can effectively act as leader.

While in custody, Nebula plots to get the upper hand on Gamora and ultimately kill her and then her father, Thanos. Rocket continues his own brand of self-destructive and self-loathing behavior and then there’s Baby Groot, who wants to grow up and become a warrior, but he’s only a baby.

There is a lot going on in Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2. You can already see there is literally a shipload of old and new characters. There are about four storylines going on at the same time. Writer/Director James Gunn masterfully manages to keep the storylines interesting and followable which could have easily unraveled at any point.

The main story between Quill and Ego is not the strongest of stories and unfortunately, it is the main spine of the movie. Their relationship feels more like a morality episode of Star Trek. It feels very over-and-done by the end of the movie.

As much as this is a large galactic action movie, the best moments in Guardians are the moments the main characters spend together. Clearly, there is a Sam-and-Diane relationship brewing between Quill and Gamora. So-much-so that Quill calls it out as a Cheers-inspired romance. Drax and Mantis have an opposite relationship, which will make your head spin. Maybe, the sisterly conflict between Gamora and Nebula feels a little forced.

The tone of Guardians of the Galaxy is light, a little gruesome and stands outside the seriousness of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Earth. But this movie is funny and the rollercoaster of action you expect it to be. For a long movie, the pacing is fast and because it is packed with so much plot, characters and action, you leave wanting more. Finally, please stay to the end of the credits.

 

 

The Lego Movie – Movie Review

This original computer animated story follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO mini-figure, who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Release Date: February 14, 2014
Rated PG – 1hr 40min
Director: Chris McCay
Cast: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman

When growing up, I remember walking down the aisle of the toy store, seeing a Lego model of a boat or plane and taking it home. Immediately I would rip into the box, lay out the pieces and then go through that instruction sheet step by step. Invariably over time, I would lose one piece, thus rendering this box of LEGOs ruined and into the general pile it would go.

The LEGO Movie explores this battle between people who insist that instructions be followed perfectly and those who are inspired to create the weird and wild from the piece bucket.

The LEGO Movie is about the evil Lord Business (Will Farrell), who turns the Lego world into a land of order and perfection. He steals a deadly weapon called the Kragle that will ensure everything remains perfect. This forces a group of creative Master Builders into hiding, only to wait for the one true savior to come in the form of a simple construction worker, Emmet (Chris Pratt).

The LEGO Movie is a movie that snuck up on me. I heard all the good reviews and thought that I would take my daughter to see it on a holiday weekend. By the end of the movie, I was blown away with the story and this makes the LEGO Movie one of the best movies so far this year. When the movie finished, my daughter exclaimed, “We’re buying this movie!”

First, The LEGO Movie is what you expect from a Lego movie. The style of animation is similar to the direct-to-Video Lego movies on the store shelves now. Two things make this movie truly great and it’s the characters and the story.

There are a lot of characters in this movie. Chris Pratt is the perfect lead as Emmet. His cheery disposition reminds you of his character, Andy, from Park and Recreation. He plays likable and naive perfectly. Elizabeth Banks brings the right amount of sassiness to Wildstyle. Will Arnett is the perfect choice for Batman. Morgan Freeman plays a “god”-like character to perfections and Liam Neeson as Bad Cop brings a level of silliness that you haven’t seen in a long time. Let’s not forget Will Farrell as Lord Business. His role gets bigger and bigger by the end of the movie.

Just having great characters is not enough. With good writing and good characters, you have a fun movie, but the LEGO Movie has an incredibly smart story behind it, which makes it a great movie. Getting into the details of the third act would spoil the movie, but it is the third act, that propels the movie into greatness. Robocop tried to be a smart and thoughtful film and that left us with a bland movie. The LEGO Movie, on the other hand, builds on the theme of the battle between structure and creativity and throws it on its head. In doing so, launches the movie into greatness.