Carn’s review published on Letterboxd:
After the success of the first 'Guardians of the Galaxy', it was always going to tough to top the original, especially with anticipation this high. However, James Gunn has given it a go and for the most part has been successful.
Whilst not as good as the original, Vol 2 succeeds due to Gunn's focus on character first and foremost. They are the best part of this franchise and he knows it, giving us more of each of them and fleshing out their backstories, whether it's Nebula or Drax. They all get time to breathe and it benefits the film.
That same style of cinematography appears again, with colours popping off of the screen. The focus is always on fun and the colour palettes reflect that. Along with the visual style, the soundtrack is back and has become a character of itself.
However it isn't perfect, it has that same problem that plagues many Marvel films, being a long CGI-filled ending. Once it switches back to the characters and allows that to do the heavy lifting it certainly benefits. Another aspect of note, is that the story doesn't really reveal itself until the final 1/3 of the film which can feel a bit odd at times, but that just shows the focus on character that James Gunn has adopted.
Not quite as good as the first one, but for a difficult second album, it certainly isn't a disappointment.