Category Archives: film

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol.2 – review

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol.2, Marvel ***1/2

Guardians of the Galaxy is not just the best Marvel movie, but one of the best sci-fi films of all time. The original gambled on unknown Marvel comic characters, placed them front and centre, in what became a hilarious, action packed romp through deep space. 

The sequel, Vol. 2, had such impeccable standards to live up to that Marvel needed to pull a film of Empire Strikes Back proportions out of the hat to surpass it. Unfortunately, whilst GotGv2 remains at all times laugh-out-loud funny, and visually comic-book incredible, the lack of plot to drive the story forward hinders the enjoyment. 

The villain is flat out awful: there is, at no point, any threat that they might succeed in their plot. There is not even a lingering menace or inherent evil, the whole second half of the film coming straight out of the Marvel play book. 

In fact, the whole story seems to take place in roughly one day: literally, we are one day further ahead in the plot by the end credits. There are no crossovers (which aren’t essential, but would have driven the MCU plot), no Thanos, and no existentential threat to the Galaxy. 

The viewer learns nothing new about the characters, although the Guardians continue to do their party tricks in hilarious fashion. The action is still brilliantly fun, and the big fight scene is interspered with more great comedy.

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol.2 was an extremely enjoyable instalment, but had it been the first in the series, the whole project would have been dead in the water. What set the original apart from other Marvel films was the novelty: new characters, new settings, new adventures – complete departure from Earth bound superheroes that you were already familiar with. 

Fortunately, with the bar set so high by the original, and the charisma of Star-Lord, Drax and Rocket to fall back on, the lack of plot doesn’t compound what was another awesome space adventure. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy will return: here’s hoping it’s bigger and even better than volume 2.


We’ve gone from the Jedi returning to the last of their kind in the space of one film. Ominous…

The ever pedantic C3PO of our nerdatory notes that Jedi can be singular or plural, like ‘sheep’.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm *****

MEGA. The one word review my young apprentice used upon the credits blaring at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.rogue-one-teaser

This is the prequel that George Lucas should have made. And yet, this is a Star Wars film that George Lucas could never have made:

This is not a Star Wars film, this is a war movie.

There is no place for comic relief or cuddly toy sales in Rogue One. Quite frankly, but for the consistently clean kills that blasters create in deep space, there is no way this film should be a 12a.

That Rogue One conjures up so many memories of Saving Private Ryan demonstrates the unparalleled death toll. Where Star Wars has always defined a vision of good and evil, black and white, Rogue One operates in an infinitely greyer shade:

“we’ve all done terrible things in the name of the Rebellion” – Cassian Andor

In Rogue One, we see Rebels who have been ostracised by the Alliance for being extremists. The parallels with our current political and religious climates are deliberately overt. The band of rogues the story centres on are as diverse a group of actors as have ever been seen in a Star Wars movie. The acting talent is absolutely incredible.

Some reviews have suggested more time could be devoted to building their characters. I disagree. In war, where so many people suffer, so few soldiers survive, the detached nature makes the film seem like the very minuscule element of the overarching Star Wars saga that it is.

The beauty of this film is that it was created for the fans. No attempt is made to ease new viewers in to the story. Quite frankly, anyone who hasn’t grown up on the films might get lost in the complexity of it all. But for fans, Rogue One is phenomenal piece of story telling.