They saved the galaxy once—but can they do it twice? Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper give it a try in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the sequel to 2014's much-loved Marvel flick. Are critics as charmed by the playful antics of the Guardians this time around? Here's what they're saying:
- This "ravishingly designed comedic space opera" is "a toe-tapping, eye-popping indication that summer is here, and that it might not be so bad after all," writes Michael O'Sullivan at the Washington Post. In high praise for a sequel, he says the flick is "more expansive, more beautiful, funnier, nuttier" and "more touching than the first film," managing to "evoke genuine, deep feelings, along with belly laughs."
- Richard Roeper doesn't think the film quite measures up to the original "but it still packs a bright and shiny and sweet punch," he writes at the Chicago Sun-Times. "Even with all the silliness and all the snarkiness, the Guardians can put a lump in your throat," he writes, adding "Chris Pratt and Kurt Russell are terrific together as a father and son." Still, a third installment could be "just a little smarter, a little less bloated, a little more focused."
- At times it seems like director James Gunn "is playing cosmic pinball rather than telling a story," with the characters bouncing from one battle to the next. But the redeeming factor is that those characters are so "imaginative," Peter Howell writes at the Toronto Star. Combined with the production design, they help make up for "the cheeseball soundtrack" and gags that "go on too long."
- But Colin Covert feels there's little that needs improving. The film is "touching and bawdy, violent and hilarious, glamorous and goofy. It's as close as comic book movies come to being all things to all people," he writes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "No franchise is so gifted at exploiting the popularity of superhero movies while satirizing the genre," adds Covert, who gives the film four stars.
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