Jamie’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's clear that everyone's opinions are fairly mixed about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Some are loving it, most are liking it, and then there are others who find it mediocre or even bad. Me? I loved it. A lot.
I'll start off by saying that the first Guardians is probably a more well rounded, better put together film. But that's part of what makes Vol. 2 so special, the fact that it's not afraid to be less congruent than the average Marvel structure. This is Gunn at his most creative and most free, and I love it. Every scene and every design feels so inspired and looks gorgeous. The CGI, like in Doctor Strange, is leagues better than what we've been seeing in the Avengers films, and while I'm not a fan of climactic CGI battles, the heart behind the film supports this one.
And that's what's strongest about this film. It's god damn beautiful heart. We've got fantastic visuals and amazing cinematography abound, but it would be nothing without Gunn's aboslutely fantastic script. He really knows his way around an emotional core. The connection I feel between these characters is something The Avengers don't have. It's something I've never felt in the MCU. As much as I enjoy these modern Marvel films, they've lacked the emotional punch that the characters deserve. Only X-Men have understood this in recent years, but have not put it to such resounding affect as Gunn does in this film.
Vol. 2 is absolutely, 100% character driven. That may turn some off, but it was exactly what I was looking for. We had fun with these characters in the first one, and now it's time to get to know them. We really feel for each one of the Guardians and each has real, genuine feelings that we can connect with. And all of it ties into the story. The way Gunn interweaves plot with character is something most modern superhero films just can't do. And that's what makes Vol. 2 so special. And it's elevated even further by it's amazing cast, whose chemistry drives it all home.
Also, it's funny as fuck.
I loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I loved it for everything it was, and everything it wasn't. I can't wait to see these characters again.