Caleb’s review published on Letterboxd:
"He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy."
I've been way too harsh on this one since the beginning. The warts certainly didn't disappear. They still exist. However, James Gunn brought out a lot of heart in this one. He's firing on all cylinders, even if it meant bogging down the script and some moments throughout with jokes. Generally, the best thing about this one is how Gunn takes apart the beloved group of misfits, the Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a family film, and he means it. Everybody came from a bad place. Chasing from their demons. Cursed pasts. Yet, they shed blood and tears. Why? Because they have more in common with each other. Gunn wanted to show us that, and I think he did it spectacularly. The first felt like a heist flick that got the people together, but that was just the beginning. This is the real meat of being a family.
Set against the backdrop of Awesome Mix Vol. 2, Gunn is able to weave the songs in the plot and the characters, and he does it flawlessly. The songs hit me harder this time around, and it felt like seeing the movie for the first time, but this time truly taking it in. It's beautiful, emotional, and just a whole lot of fun. Now excuse me while I listen to Father and Son by Cat Stevens. You don't know what you've got until it's gone. Call your fathers. Tell them you love them. Even if some of them didn't do anything right their whole lives, it's still your father.
Boy, I've been too harsh on this for a while. Glad I did a 180, because it is THAT good. Bless James Gunn. He's the best director in the MCU, and it's not really that close, even if Russo brothers have delivered more than once. Gunn just has that deeply personal touch that the Russos can't hope to equal.