FilmApe’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am conflicted about this film, so let's get into it.
I would say that they avoided problems with the two biggest things that I thought would be a problem, Baby Groot, and the music. Both are just kind of in the film, and I wouldn't say that it ever goes full pandering. I found the majority of the Baby Groot scenes funny, and the use of "classic" tunes just feels like Guardian's thing, so I am fine with it.
This is certainly a colour buffet, and that's a buffet that has me filling my plate a lot more than once.
There are so many fantastic and interesting visuals in this, that it feels wrong to be overly critical of the green screen work, because there is a ton of green screen work that looks fantastic, but there are some scenes that look absolutely horrendously green screen-y. This is particularly evident when it is just two characters having a conversation, and it looks so disconnected from the environment. It's like, build a set.
I want nothing more than to see Vinny D doing the voice work for Baby Groot....
This film really doesn't have much of a plot, and I am totally okay with that. This just feels like a one off adventure for the Guardians, and while they face adversity, it really isn't that much of a focus of the film. I would say that two films came to mind while watching this, and those two films are Flash Gordon (1980) and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
Young CG Kurt Russell is nowhere near as sexy as current age Kurt Russell.
The biggest problem that I have with the film, is that it is way too long, and everything is paced like television. There are long stretches where we are only with two of the main characters, and then that sequence will end, and then switch to another two. There is no cinematic rhythm at all to the events of the film. Furthermore, there is too much weight given to certain events in the film, particularly a character's death, that just feels like a "we are wrapping up this season" kind of feeling. It's like, every single character has to have a moment, and every loose end needs to be tied up, and this sort of idea works fine if you spent like 12 hours on the story, but even though Guardians Vol. 2 feels like it's 12 hours long, it is still a movie. There is no weight at all to the events going on in the film, no tension, suspense, or excitement, events just unfold, and then it is on to the next one. I bet you could cut about thirty five minutes out of this film, with no real loss at all.
There was a person three seats away from me who pulled out a legit oriental style fold-able hand fan, and started fanning themselves in the theatre, and while it was distracting, I was also jealous, because the theatre was pretty hot.
All the actors seem to fall victim to the sequel sickness of performing their characters, rather than just being their characters. They all seem a tad off, well all except for Chris Pratt, who is way off in my opinion. Every character tells more jokes, and while I think the argument can be made that these characters would be different than in the first film, since they have now spent a lot of time together, it still just doesn't feel right. As for Pratt, this is him phoning it in. At least Bautista has a lot of fun with Drax, even though he is much more over the top in this film. Pratt just seems to be trudging through the film with his character, in my opinion.
There is zero reason for Stallone to be in this, unless the stuff with Ving Rhames and Michelle Yeoh at the end has some tie to something or other.
In summation, I liked this movie, and it is hardly bad, and there is certainly stuff to be applauded here, particularly the lack of tie-ins and plot taking a back seat to adventure, but I just can't help but feel that this is a forgettable film. I did enjoy watching it enough though, and I will watch it again (if Disney starts releasing UHD), so I don't know. Whether you love the movie, or hate the movie, you are probably still a decent person, and you probably have people in your life who you love, so give them a hug and a kiss, and tell them FilmApe says hi...