Not a patch on the first, for two reasons: (1) the soundtrack is inferior, highlighting how important that mixtape was the first time around. (2) As Mel Brooks well knows, plot always gets in the way of comedy, and the Kurt Russell storyline is badly mishandled, dragging the second half to tedious depths of meh.
A superior sequel and colorful genre film. It sends positive vibes in a day and age when people need such inspiration the most. The narrative is appealing (anti-patriarchy and anti-eugenics) and the humor is never-ending. One of the very best of the MCU films and the genre IMO. Great soundtrack too.
In a multiverse populated by aliens, demigods, and super-soldiers with perfect teeth, it perhaps makes sense that the corner of the galaxy resigned to misfits and freaks would continue to be the most compelling. There's no way "Guardians Vol. 2" could have felt as fresh or fun as the first time you heard this song, but the sequel at least rings as earnest and heartfelt as a deep cut or fan revered B-Side should.
The plague of self-aware movies continues and perhaps reaches an all-time high with this overwhelming, CGI-driven, poorly written sequel. Gunn essentially doubles down on everything that made the first installment a huge hit (soundtrack, social media humor, ridiculous action) clearly forgetting craft and the art of subtlety. Vol. 2 feels like a music video half of the time, and the other half a waste of Kurt Russell.
The most dramatic decline in quality between Marvel films since "The Avengers" and "Age of Ultron," only much steeper. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" admirably tries to subvert the Marvel formula, but winds up playing to its worst tendencies by making a film too overwhelming visually and far too low stakes. James Gunn is a master at fan-service, which explains why that's about the only thing that works here.
Marvel again delivers a bombastic hero epic even if the film seems overlong and overstuffed at times. Often a feast for the eyes especially it's dazzling open set piece scored with ELO's 'Mr. Blue Sky'. Performances vary with Michael Rooker faring best alongside with our CGI characters Rocket and Groot.
3,3. The definition of bipolarity. Doesn't have the sense of urgency of the first movie and it's bloated like most sequels. Nonetheless, it's really funny (gotta praise Dave Bautista) and the soundtrack is spectacular.