Brendonyu668’s review published on Letterboxd:
So, is this an improvement or step down from Guardians of the Galaxy? Both.
James Gunn's direction is, once again, outstanding, but the script is more lacking. The new character introductions are fantastic. There are some fantastic moments that are fun and enjoyable with some inappropriate language, creating a funny effect. The plot is quite different and fresh from the first film. I really liked the twist of the father with some good emotional depth. This probably has one of the best villains in MCU filmography.
However, I do feel the humour is a hit and miss and certainly doesn't reach the hilarious effect in the first film. The themes in this film are not as strong as the previous film. There are some confusing plot elements and undeveloped characters such as Starhawk.
The cast is as solid as the first film. Kurt Russell is excellent, but Baby Groot is not as good as Groot... It's nice to see Elizabeth Debicki, but I feel Sylvester Stallone doesn't really add much.
The action sequences are incredible and much more engaging than the first film. There are more action sequences and great use of arcade video game references from a visual and sound perspective. The visual effects is certainly peak MCU. Every single shot is beautiful and eye popping without any flaws. There are some amazing and memorable cinematography. The makeup effects are also well implemented.
The production design is much more superior to the first film. There are a lot of set designs that are unique and mesmerising, almost feeling like the world building of Star Wars. There may be some slight drag in pacing, but generally, I don't have any major problems with the editing. The retro and original score soundtrack don't reach the heights of the first film as it is not as memorable, but there are still some marvellous use of music.
This is still a brilliant film, featuring perhaps the best technical aspects an MCU film can offer. I highly recommend it!
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