I saw this at an early screening last night and it was a fair bit of fun. It was not as good as the first film, but it is pretty entertaining.
The character dynamics are pretty great and the story is pretty solid. It picks up on the themes of the first film with the meaning of family etc. Which was nice. The soundtrack was pretty solid again and the visuals were pretty great.
We get to see Rocket go sort of Rambo and take on an army himself. Well, a large group of Ravegers at any rate.
The depiction of Ego was pretty good. He is a living planet and is the antagonist of the film but that is not entirely clear until a little ways into the movie (it is but he is not overtly hostile until that point).
Ego, and the others, refer to himself as a celestial or god of sorts. And he is pretty powerful in the movie. We are starting to see more and more of the big god sort of guys like Dormammu and in this case Ego (we saw a Celestial in the first film for a moment).
During a battle between Ego and Quill at the end, we get a giant stone warrior vs giant stone Pac Man for a minute. It is funny.
There are numerous after credits scenes. Most of the mare just comedic except for one that sets the stage for Warlock to finally show up in the films.
If I had a main gripe it would be Ayesha and the Soverign race come off as too goofy for me, but it does not take away from things.
The movie does drag a bit in a few spots, an issue the first film did not have, but they do not last too long. Overall, it is a fun movie and return of characters I have grown fond of on the big screen.
The sequel tries to tonally retread the first film, but it feels forced. Also forced is the movie's attempt to give each character an emotional moment, and two thirds of the way into the film, it's just a parade of these scenes that would achieve more emotional resonance if it didn't feel so schematic. This is more of a comedy than a drama or action movie and for a good while, it's just a joke telling machine with a plot meandering without much direction. It is funny, quite funny, but the movie goes out of its way to say the action scenes are besides the point. The opening fight occurs in the background of Baby Groot jokes and so does another. The only good action sequence is Rocket taking on the Ravagers. The ending is so sentimental, the movie only gets away with it by being a comedy. Despite being the main focus, Peter Quill's relationship with his father, Ego, is all exposition and never that interesting. The character that actually gains a lot of depth is Nebula. Sylvester Stallone's cameo is terrible. Stan Lee's cameo is great.