At about the fifteen minute mark of James Gunn's sequel to the 2014 "Guardians of the Galaxy" blockbuster, I leaned over to my colleague and noted that the local hit Lake Shore Drive (LSD) by Alliota Haynes and Jeremiah was included in the soundtrack. My colleague acknowledged the memory and wondered how many of the songs would be throwbacks from our generation.


The answer was pretty much the entire soundtrack, just as in the original film. Moreover, Gunn tossed in a couple of other throwbacks from the dusties pile - Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone - as "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" invites the old timers to make a bunch of money much like "The Expendables" and "Fate of the Furious".


Russell, unlike his ornamental role in the "Fast & Furious" series, gets a meatier role as a god. And boy does he play it up. In fact, he's having such a good time, the entire movie gets a big bump up with the humorous dialogues of Drax (Dave Bautista), Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Rocket (the raccoon played by Bradley Cooper). They easily offset the two dimensional work by Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Toss in a bunch of special effects, a for-women-only "adorable" Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), and a hammy Stallone recalling his Judge Dred character and you've got a fast paced comical adventure in the Marvel Universe.


It opens with the Guardians fighting off a giant creature that is trying to steal some batteries from a gold clad elitist group who call themselves The Sovereign. The Sovereign is very powerful, but they don't lower themselves to fighting bad guys, so they hired the Guardians.


But wouldn't you know it, Rocket decides to swipe a couple of the batteries for himself which unleashes the wrath of The Sovereign. NOW, they decide to come after the Guardians themselves. The only thing that stops them is the appearance of Ego (Russell), a space god.

It turns out that he was the one who originally hired the Ravagers led by Yondu (Michael Rooker) to find Peter. Ego, is accompanied by an antennae’d empath (Pom Klementieff) - think a couple of old episodes of Star Trek (especially "The Empath" and "Journey to Babel"). They are on a mission to bring Peter to their home planet.


Meanwhile, there has been a mutiny of the Ravagers and they have grabbed Yondu and plan on doing in he and Rocket. It turns out the Ravagers - whose secret leader is Stakar Ogord (Stallone) - are pissed off at Yondu for betrayal.


Gunn's screenplay borrows heavily from the old Star Trek series and fans of the series will have fun pointing out the plot-point rip-offs. Is it a bad thing? No, it's a good trivia test.


Bautista, is completely at home as Drax even when he becomes smitten with the empath. Baby Groot keeps that on-going gag lively with his all inclusive "I am Groot" line that apparently most of the group is understanding.


If there is one flaw, the film gets a little top heavy with the final special effects. It becomes a bit of a mess in the final ten minutes.


"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" picks up where it left off three years ago as a truly entertaining, humorous visit into the Marvel Universe for Boomers, Millennials, women, men and kids. Look for Vol. 3 to bring it completely into the Universe with crossover characters.   -- GEOFF BURTON