ScreeningNotes’s review published on Letterboxd:
Every orphan's worst nightmare: that you finally find your father, and that he's an asshole.
This is Yondu's movie through and through. I had forgotten what a relative non-entity he was in the first Guardians compared to this. He just gets so many great scenes, from sadly zipping up his pants as his robotic sexual partner switches herself off, to being confronted with his past transgressions and being ostracized all over again by Sly and the Ravagers, to the cleansing of his mutinous crew to the musical stylings of Jay & The Americans, "I know who you are, boy, because you're me," "I'm Mary Poppins, y'all," "He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy," it's the redemption of a child abductor, and it has such bright highs and dark lows that it really just overshadows the rest of the film, which feels a bit painfully expository by comparison.
Nebula and Gamora's reconciliation is one of my favorite arcs of this whole dang franchise, and there's also a great (albeit singular) moment of anti-exceptionalism where Ego tells Quill, "You are a god! If you kill me you'll be just like everyone else!" and Quill very rightly responds, "What's so wrong with that?" If the first Guardians was about finding and celebrating unconventional families, the second Guardians is all about how even these found families have their flaws, Yondu and Nebula and Gamora and Rocket and Quill and everyone in this whole movie are all selfish and abusive in their own unique ways, and the point isn't that that's okay, it's not okay, the point is that if we can learn to see something of ourselves in them then maybe we can also learn to forgive them.
Well, that's it for my Marvel rewatch. What a journey. I wrote a little bit about the whole thing in the prologue to the first of these, but I feel like I should close with some brief thoughts as well. I discovered that I like some of these more than I remembered, but also reminded myself that I don't like all of them as much as others do. I don't think my wife and I will be doing this again anytime soon, at least not the whole thing all the way through, we'll probably stick to our favorites, but as much as these aren't exactly masterpieces for me, and as much as I wish we could get big budget sci-fi adventures without all the military propaganda, I truly don't hate them. I generally enjoy most of them, and perhaps more to the point, I'll watch just about anything with my wife.