“It’s showtime a-holes”.

Three years ago, no one knew what to expect from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, outside of the very few comic book fans that knew of their existence. Who the heck is Star-Lord? Really, a talking raccoon with a machine gun? A walking tree who says the same lines over and over and over again, how is that not going to get annoying? Luckily, all these doubts went away when the film was released as Marvel released the riskiest gamble they’ve ever done, even to this day, to excellent results, even some argue that it’s Marvel Studios’ best movie to date, so of course expectations were high once the inevitable sequel was announced. Could Marvel make another fun-filled wacky space adventure with these likeable a-holes or was it lightning in a bottle with the first ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’? It’s time to hit the play button on our Walkman and get this outer-space party started.

Image via Marvel Studios

The ragtag of misfits are back together again setting out on epic space adventures, however when one mission misfires, the team find themselves amidst a war. Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord) quickly comes to realize that his father has been looking for him for a very long time, 34 years to be exact, and now he wants to bond with his long lost son.

Not to worry, faithful fans of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but everything you’ve come to expect from this sequel rightfully delivers. The film fleshes out most of the characters whether it’s Peter coming to grips with his father and the growth in their relationship, Gamora trying to solve the problem that is her psychopathic step-sister, or Rocket finding a purpose in his life. The characters get added layers of depth, which you expect with Peter Quill (his friends call him Star-Lord) but even secondary characters from the first film get more development, like Yondu, who becomes a break-out character in this film. Essentially, summarizing the characterization of this film, the sequel explores the dynamics of family, both good and bad. And because this is a Marvel film, the humour is intact and delivers bigger laughs than the original (and that film is quite humorous already with its wit and gags). Although, sometimes it goes a little too silly with some jokes involving toilet humour and overdone sexual innuendo.

Image via Marvel Studios

While the sequel seemed to be a recipe for success and outdo the much-liked original film, it’s missing one particular element; a coherent story. While there are plot arcs, and story beats, when you put it all together, it isn’t as solid or easy to follow as one would think. The film’s pacing isn’t as rhythmic or fast-paced like the original film, instead the sequel at times feels slow-moving, sometimes for good reasons like Peter’s bonding with his father, but sometimes not like the gold people that are mostly just boring to watch and don’t offer up anything interesting. While the opening is solid, the middle kind of drags, but thankfully the sequel delivers an amazing third act that will leave fans emotional.

And you can’t talk about a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ film without talking about the music, and while the songs are serviceable, they aren’t as memorable as the first film’s insanely catchy set of retro 70’s tunes. Instead, the sequel’s score is more memorable than the first film’s, offering an exciting action-packed score that elevates the film, especially the film’s incredible third act.

Image via Marvel Studios

I found myself at war with this film. While the story isn’t as strong as the first film and the sequel’s songs aren’t quite as memorable, this sequel succeeds as a hilarious space opera ride filled with zaggy one-liners, characterisation, and plenty of heart.

The sequel may not “Go All the Way”, but it will still leave fans and moviegoers alike to get “Hooked on a Feeling” all over again.