Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. is exactly the kind of sequel it should be. It assumes you have watched the original and that you are familiar with it's characters. I know that might come as a shock to some of you but that is the thing with sequels. Crazy how some filmmakers expect some investment on the part of it's audience?
Sorry for my sarcasm but I honestly don't understand the criticism this sequel has gotten. It's superior to Avengers: Age of Ultron in almost every way. I was massively underwhelmed with that one. With this I experienced nothing but joy and laughter. On top of that it hit me in the heart quite a few times. And how that ever could be conceived as something bad I will never understand. Guardians of the Galaxy expands on the characters we have learned to like and love. It's less about the bad guy and his evil plans and more about the interactions and relationships that have been formed. May I remind people that this is one of the best things that Marvel delivers on. One example are Baby Groot and Drax. They don't seem to like each other much. Especially Baby Groot doesn't hesitate to slap Drax silly whenever he can. But then in a scene later in the film we get to see that this dislike is just playfulness and more a sign of genuine love and friendship. This film is filled with those dynamics. In the middle of all the mayhem and chaos the guardians still find time to banter and crack jokes which is so much fun.
Action wise this Guardians film has a lot to offer as well. Maybe it doesn't feel like there is as much as stake as in the original but that doesn't automatically make it less epic. It is true that the focus of this film has been shifted from MCU verse. Although left and right you will be confronted with some references or easter eggs to remind you that this film is still very much part of that infinite Marvel Universe. Several other characters have been introduced to us in this part and amongst them is none other than Sylvester Stallone who plays Stakar Ogord. I honestly don't know anything about this character but the little I read on wikipedia seems to be quite interesting especially if this could mean that Stallone might return in other Marvel films. The prospect of more and more people joining MCU is mind boggling and exciting. How can you not be? Of course I do need to mention Kurt Russel as well. And the terrific CGI job they did to make him appear as his younger self. It was so convincing. Much better than they did in Tron: Legacy with Jeff Bridges. It's nice to learn that technology has evolved quite a lot. At the same time quite scary as well since could this mean that one day there would be no need for actual human actors?
Do I really need to mention that just as the first one the soundtrack is ace. This is how it is done DC. Guardians of the Galaxy delivers all the Marvel goodness you want and then some. Actually it's awesome!