Tyler Hicks’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ok now this, THIS IS WHAT I CALL PROGRESSION.
Here are the negatives, because I wanna get them out of the way now:
The first maybe 10 minutes or so? Fucking mediocre. So mediocre in fact that it was pissing me off. Ayesha is a plot device and that's about it, nothing about her is extravagantly special and she easily could've been cut out of this movie. Some of the dialog and jokes don't really land but again, that's all in the first act, which seems to be the most troubled portion of this movie. Lastly, and this is my number one, constant complaint about every single MCU movie after Winter Soldier's release: the use of humor at EXTREMELY inappropriate times.
But now that the stuff I didn't like is out of the way, let's get on to the good shit:
The number one complaint I heard from people that felt lukewarm with this movie was that it was retreading old ground. And with the humor maybe, but with the story? I don't think so. What the first guardians movie was to me was a coming together of good people from troubled pasts and trying to make a change. What THIS movie was to me was a story about family and living in the present rather than dwelling on the past. It's fairly well scored, well shot, and goddamn is Michael Rooker good in this movie. Like seriously the core cast is fucking awesome as well but goddamn, Rooker did all kinds of great and evolved his character from just being another wisecracking asshole. Also Kurt Russell is pretty damn solid and not bad at all, and it was good to see Sly Stallone is a big movie again.
I honestly think this movie really is a progression from the previous MCU movies we've had, yes it relatively does stick to the formula but it does have its standout moments, it does matter, and it's clear that James Gunn was allowed to put his name on this movie. So thank you all so very much for letting me enjoy this movie, Mr. Feige.
I am motherfucking Groot.