Cyrus Taherbeigi’s review published on Letterboxd:
I went into this film, having literally watched the first one 20 minutes earlier, I was completely ready to have director James Gunn explore the characters even deeper and give us a great story, I'll answer that one later.
As we all knew, Peter's Dad was going to be an integral part of this film and would give great backstory to Starlord's origin as well as develop the character forward and boy does it. The arc from the beginning of the first film of being so incredibly alone to how this film ends is perfect, it tells a story and teaches a lesson that I won't spoil in this, but it's important and can be related to by so many people.
Gamora and Nebula also have great development in this film, adding more information on how they were raised by Thanos and why they are at each others throats so much. Just as in the first Nebula is the more extra and over the top character in the film, which is saying a lot considering the rest of them, it is so fun to watch her just do stuff.
Rocket & Yondu really get exposed in Vol.2, their characters get broken down and you really see so much more to them than the first film did, this is probably one of my favourite parts of the film.
Drax, while through most of the film is straight up comic relief, does have moments in the film with Mantis which show that he is more than just the OTT muscle who is clueless. I think he needs more focus in the next film/infinity war, though that is just me.
Baby Groot was cute, served as small plot points in the film but honestly it was just a marketing ploy and that is fine when the rest of the characters work.
Of course there are more characters but they are the Guardians so they get the run down.
Overall the film is fun and has moments of levity in it, some distrusted by a couple poorly timed jokes but nothing that ruins the film, the first act is a joy to watch, second act is as always slow but serves a strong purpose and the third act gives great pay off, while being a bit of CGI fuck fest, still holds on to the important parts that make GOTG great.
P.S: If you don't see a thing in this films third act that reminds you of Man of Steel then you clearly are blind.