Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had its first press screening yesterday and while reviews won’t be published until next week, critics’ first impressions of the film have found their way online.
Unlike the first Guardians of the Galaxy, which seemed to bowl over the majority of critics when it premiered in 2014, reviewers seem divided on the pacing, tone and joke structure director James Gunn includes in the sequel. While some admitted they loved Gunn’s approach to the characters, digging a little more into their backstories and letting the actors have even more fun with their roles, others chided him for doing the same things the first film did.
Most critics, however, were positive about the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is funnier than the original, a ton of surprises, and an unexpected emotional profoundness. I am Groot.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 18, 2017
Mantis and Drax steal the movie. The music on Awesome Mix 2 is great and has some deeper tracks than vol 1.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 18, 2017
Holy smokes was Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 fun! I had a smile plastered on my face nearly the whole time. Tons of Easter eggs too. pic.twitter.com/558Q7nw8yN— Dan Casey (@DanCasey) April 18, 2017
I doubt I'll see a more fun blockbuster this summer than GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2. Yes, looking at you, FATE OF THE FURIOUS.— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) April 18, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a whole heap of fun. Gorgeous, a bit mad, and surprisingly emotional. And yes, Baby Groot is everything.— Haleigh Foutch (@HaleighFoutch) April 18, 2017
Really loved @Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 - great sense of humor & quite a fun film to watch as well! Can't say more until embargo breaks— Jeff Goldsmith (@yogoldsmith) April 18, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is filled with tons of surprises and an unexpected amount of emotion. Another Marvel winner.— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) April 18, 2017
That said, the film wasn’t immune to criticism. A couple called out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for feeling stale, while others pointed at Baby Groot as the root of everything wrong with cinema in this day and age.
Plenty of laughs, but so, so much restaging of what worked from the first one. Plus, Baby Groot was sent here from hell to kill me— Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse) April 18, 2017
#GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2. It was okay, I didn't love it. It lacks a lot of what made the original so tight. Drax and Groot are highlights.— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) April 18, 2017
Hate to be the Voice of Reason, but GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 isn't as good as the first. What felt fresh now feels forced. 2.5/4 stars— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 18, 2017
G-team is too split up. Didn't care about Star-Lord & his Dad or Gamora & her sister. Leads not as fun as Rocket, Drax, Yondu or Baby Groot.— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 18, 2017
However, the critics who gave the movie a harder time also admitted they aren’t the core audience for Marvel, DC or superhero movies in general, adding that for a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, that’s an important distinction.
Full reviews will be published next week. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will premiere May 5.