"continues the promise that was made by its predecessor, builds on it, and doesn’t disappoint"

When Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced as a concept for a film, it was initially dismissed as a bonkers and off-the-wall property that, on paper at least, shouldn’t work. When you have a team that includes a talking Raccoon and sentient tree-like creature that only utters three words, you’d be forgiven in thinking it was destined to fail. However, as we saw back in 2014, it received incredible acclaim.

Fast forward to 2017 and Marvel Studios returns to their cosmic superhero team with James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which continues the promise that was made by its predecessor, builds on it, and doesn’t disappoint.

So at the heart of the story is the theme of father and son, as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is finally reunited with his father Ego (Kurt Russell). The chemistry between these two skilled performers is just mesmerising, and the tongue-in-cheek humour between them is extremely entertaining.

Speaking of humour, most of the best laughs come from the interplay between Dave Bautista’s Drax and Pom Klementieff’s newcomer to the MCU, Mantis. Karen Gillan provides us with a much more intense anti-hero of sorts as the damaged Nebula, but her onscreen chemistry with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora makes you believe that these two really are sisters with deep roots and a troubled past.

Newcomers to the franchise Elizabeth Debicki as Sovereign leader Ayesha and the legendary Kurt Russell as the aforementioned Ego provide a sense of gravitas to the film that builds on the world introduced by masterful filmmaker James Gunn – so glad he’s back for the third!

Setting-wise, it is as beautiful as you’d expect: set pieces are dazzling and we go to even more places in Vol. 2 than in the first. The world-building is first rate and truly lives up to the name Guardians of the Galaxy.

In the first film the emotional centre was Rocket (voiced once again by the magnanimous Bradley Cooper). This time around the emotional focus is Pratt’s Peter, showing him to be a well-rounded character with his interplay with Yondu (Micheal Rooker).

I’d be remised if I didn’t mention Vin Diesel’s Baby Groot; his character is so playful and loveable but is clearly someone that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also has one of the best soundtracks that has ever been put to film, building on the promise of Awesome Mix Vol. 1… with Awesome Mix Vol. 2.

All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a must-see. It’ll have you laughing your head off whilst also connecting emotionally with the characters, and I can’t wait for Vol. 3. This franchise just goes from strength to strength and whilst I won’t say what they are, do stay for the end credits - there are four button scenes that will make you excited for the future of this awesome franchise and the expanded MCU!