MOVIE REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (James Gunn, 2017) proves that its predecessor’s critical and commercial success was not a fluke. Grander, funnier, wilder – Vol. 2 is an extreme level-up in all ways it could.

The movie boasts everything you could ever hope for in a comic book adaptation: non-stop action, unprecedented humor, a committed group of actors who equally stand out in their own rights, dazzling visual effects, and above all, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plays its own strength: it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. Its ridiculous imperfections, cheeky tone and cheap thrills that work so well, it’s a rollercoaster ride straight from a comic book. The creators’ specific vision of a grungy-looking production, low-key CGI, hues of pink and blue, steam punk atmosphere translates impeccable on-screen, it almost creates its own genre. It lies somewhere between a campy yet soulful 80’s B-movie and a grandiose superhero feature that is so rare in cinemas nowadays. Its intentional imperfections are key towards an action-comedy flick that’s a high-kick close to perfect.

The cast is unstoppable; flawless comic timing to the tee, and none felt irrelevant. Every character is well-conceptualized, wisely thought, and hilariously played by an ensemble of true talents.

The production design has to be the film’s star power. Its style is so distinct, it seems that it has created its own brand. Visually cartoonish, but overall stunning – the movie is the epitome of a comic book brought to life, almost literally, and as colorful as the luminous stars and queer planets of its own universe. I would not be surprised if this movie would finally be rewarded with its overdue Visual and Special Effects, Hair and Make Up, and Art Direction accolades by the end of the year.

A few casualties, however, are quite detectable from the film’s narrative, coming off quite conventional and formulaic filled with cheesy dialogues and preachy sentiments, and ultimately predictable as the film reaches its second half. Not to mention, a Razzie-worthy performance from Kurt Russell who awkwardly plays a pivotal role, clearly carried by his costumes and the film’s CGI, but that is more of a dress-up play than a cinematic portrayal. My money for Worst Supporting Actor is on him. But at this point, it’s almost impossible to care for the film’s flaws, as the high is already explosive enough to compensate.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II is a gigantic leap from Vol. 1’s already-monumental achievement. The film’s generosity on its visual splendor and entertainment value will simply live up, or even exceed everybody’s expectations. So far, the best film of 2017.


4.75 out of 5 stars


WATCH: First full trailer for ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ debuts

The world’s unstoppable spies are back in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” directed by Matthew Vaughn, who also helmed the phenomenal blockbuster “Kingsman: The Secret Service” that introduced a street kid into the world of espionage.

In the latest instalment “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” Taron Egerton reprises his role as Eggsy along with returning powerhouse cast led by Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Michael Caine and Sophie Cookson. This time, the returning Kingsmen are joined by new exciting and award-winning cast members including Sir Elton John, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Julianne Moore.

In the recently revealed first trailer of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” our heroes face a new challenge. When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, dating back to the day they were both founded. In a new adventure that tests their agents’ strength and wits to the limit, these two elite secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy, in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy.

Prepare for a rip-roaring time at the movies when “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” opens in Philippine cinemas on September 27, 2017, from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros.

Girlfriends have one ‘Rough Night’ in teaser poster

“The best nights never go as planned,” or so declares the teaser poster of Columbia Pictures’ new comedy Rough Night, starring Scarlett Johansson.

In Rough Night, an edgy R-rated comedy, five best friends from college (played by Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz) reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to figure out what to do,their night takes some hilariously unexpected turns, ultimately bringing them closer together when it matters most.

Directed by Lucia Aniello and written by Aniello & Paul W. Downs.

Opening soon across the Philippines, Rough Night is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

WATCH: ‘Cars 3’ hero gets back on track with new trailer

One last chance. One more dream. View Disney-Pixar’s new Cars 3 trailer below and watch the comedy adventure in Philippine cinemas on August 23, 2017.

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

The animated adventure is directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist Cars, Cars 2) and produced by Kevin Reher (A Bug’s Life, La Luna short).

The film also features the voices of Armie Hammer hotshot new racer Jackson Storm, Cristela Alonzo as the friendly trainer Cruz Ramirez, with Bonnie Hunt, Tony Shalhoub, Paul Dooley, Cheech Marin, Katherine Helmond, Larry the Cable Guy, Angel Oquendo, and Darrell Waltrip.

Cars 3 is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.