Your favorite band of intergalactic a-holes are back at it in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," but are critics as excited about the sequel as they were about its 2014 predecessor?
Nearly every review released so far compared the two films to each other and while the followup still sounds like it's a blast, it's not as groundbreaking or unique as the original.
The new film, once again written and directed by James Gunn, follows the rag tag group of unlikely heroes -- including Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bausitsa), Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) -- as they search for Peter Quill's father.
So far, the film sits on Rotten Tomatoes with a very respectable 89%, with 34/38 positive reviews. Keep reading for the top critics.
Vol. 2 is filler, to be sure, but if you like the flavor of these movies, you'll enjoy this second bite. To be fair, the testy romantic chemistry between Peter and Gamora and the utterly irresistible adorability of baby Groot go a long way toward keeping the film from feeling like merely a cynical cash-grab.
Alas, most of these maverick mercenaries prove rather less charming the second time around; they're like bickering family now and not in an amusing way.
The scenes between the well-cast [Kurt] Russell and Pratt are the best in the film, the one occasion Gunn calms down a bit to stage meaningful exchanges.
But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plays like a second ride on a roller coaster that was a real kick the first time around but feels very been-there/done-that now.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the gag is starting to feel like it's getting a bit old. It's still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it's a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment. The laughs are still there, but they're less involuntary.
It's still possible to have a good time while also realizing that there's something a little lazy and thin about this sequel.
It's smarter than most films, but not as smart as the first one. It's funnier than most films, but not as funny as the first one.
It's a decent enough Marvel movie
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" is an adventure worth taking, and the number of moviegoers around the planet who will want to take it should prove awe-inspiring. But it doesn't so much deepen the first "Guardians" as offer a more strenuous dose of fun to achieve a lesser high.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts and ends as well as hoped, but it trips over itself a bit in the middle. Like most other "part 2" sequels in the MCU, this second chapter is pulled between the desire to be a more buttoned-down, character-focused picture (since it's not the origin story, not the finale) and the financial demands of a film expected to deliver mega-budget thrills and major narrative consequence.
On the plus side, there is every reason to hope that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be pretty terrific.
"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" opens May 5.