‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ reviews: Does Marvel sequel live up to the original?

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” opened on Friday, May 5. The big-budget sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt follows the 2014 original which was a surprise critical success and a larger-than-expected box office blockbuster. Does the sequel live up to the high expectations set by the original? Well, it depends on who you ask.

“Vol. 2” has a MetaCritic score of 67 and a Rotten Tomatoes rating at 82%. Both of those marks are shy of the earlier film, which had a 76 on MetaCritic and 91% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s still being looked on favorably by most critics, many of who point out the film’s “surprisingly touching” impact. It shows “little strain and a belly of genuine emotion.” Like many big-budget sequels it’s “overstuffed,” but it’s “stuffed with good cheer.” Writer-director James Gunn “comes alive again” with his “shaggy throwback to ’80s action camp.”

Are you excited to see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”? Have you seen it already? Check out some of the reviews below, the comment at the bottom of this post and make sure to join the discussion on this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums.

Sara Stewart (New York Post): “With its tie-dye colors, classic rock and wisecracking space gunslingers, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is a shaggy throwback to ’80s action camp — and, like the original, a nice reprieve from superserious superhero fare. If it’s overstuffed in the way of most sequels, well, at least it’s stuffed with good cheer.”

Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post): “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ manages to re-create the formula of self-aware, snarky humor and unapologetic action that made the original 2014 film such a pleasing package of ear and eye candy … The new film is more expansive, more beautiful, funnier, nuttier and — this is the most difficult trick for any comic-book movie to pull off — more touching than the first film.”

Brian Truitt (USA Today): “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ is a winning and wonderfully relatable gem of crazy. The creative mind of writer/director James Gunn comes alive again in this hysterical and surprisingly touching sequel filled with misfits saving the universe once more, a guy who’s a living planet, a cosmic biker gang with loyalty issues and people pinballing through space like Bugs Bunny cartoons on fast-forward.”

Gregory Ellwood (The Playlist): “How many times have you read that it’s really hard to duplicate the success of the first film in a sequel? Probably more than you can remember. Well, here’s a newsflash: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’ pulls that feat off with only a little strain and a belly of genuine emotion.”

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