Marvel Studios’ American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters next week & the embargo has been lifted today.

The sequel to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Glenn Close, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, and Kurt Russell.

As always we have rounded up reviews for you:

EW (B-): It’s still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it’s a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment. The laughs are still there, but they’re less involuntary.

indiewire (B-): If you’ve seen “Guardians of the Galaxy,” you already know a lot about “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” — a lively comedic space opera filled with banter between humans and imaginative aliens, astonishing visual effects, and the most idiosyncratic set of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (As a bonus, no distracting Iron Man cameos.) However, if you’ve seen “Guardians of the Galaxy,” you’ve also encountered a better version of this experience. Still, Gunn doesn’t fall short of the potential; he excels at turning cheesy, technologically overwrought material into next-level spectacle. There’s so much to enjoy about the “Guardians” that one can easily relax into its formula. It’s often a thrill to simply roll with the lively classic rock soundtrack, smarmy banter, slapstick battle scenes, and a wooden alien named Groot, now more adorable than ever.

Collider (B+): With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gunn attempts to recapture that strange magic while fulfilling sequel expectations for more action and bigger world-building. By and large, he succeeds. Vol. 2 is uproariously funny (it will no doubt be one of the most vocal theatrical audiences you’ll experience this year), possessing the same wit and wonder of the first film with a doubled down intent to explore what makes his heroes tick. But for all its strengths, Vol. 2 can never quite clear the impossibly high bar set by the first film.

The Guardian (3/5): “There are, once again, some funny lines, very often given to Drax, who has a way of oversharing. Pom Clementieff is very entertaining in the role of Mantis, a helpmeet of Ego; she has the gift of being an empath, someone who can intuit how someone else is feeling by laying hands on them, but is in every other fantastically naive and un-insightful about the way human beings behave. “Ego himself introduces some apparently huge Freudian issues to the film, which on paper would seem to take the film’s emotional impact up a notch or two. But they are dealt with insouciantly, even flippantly–far more so than in something like Star Wars or Superman. That’s in keeping of course, with the distinctive comic flavour of this franchise, but the revelations about Quill’s background just zing and ping around with the same pinball-velocity as everything else in the film. It’s fun, though GOTG2 doesn’t have the same sense of weird urgency and point that the first film had. They’re still guarding, although the galaxy never seems in much danger.”

Total Film (4/5): This sequel turns up the volume on the action and spectacle for a fun and frequently thrilling ride, but can’t help but feel like a disappointment in comparison to its predecessor.

Empire (4/5): Even when the pixels threaten to overwhelm, Gunn finds refuge in his main characters. There’s plenty to enjoy here, whether it’s the perfectly deployed Baby Groot moments, or a general strain of anarchic weirdness that runs all the way through the credits and which still feels unique to this franchise, not just within the MCU, but blockbusters in general.

Rolling Stone (4/5): Vol. 2 can’t match the sneak-attack surprise of its predecessor. You can only do that once. The good news, however, is that the followup, while taking on some CGI bloat and sequel slickness, hasn’t lost its love for inspired lunacy. Hanging with Quill and his mercenary space misfits is still everything you’d want in a wild summer ride.

Nerdist (4.5/5): In a lot of ways, Guardians Vol. 2 is a smaller film than both the first film and the previous grip of Marvel movies. There are still the requisite CGI space battles and monster fights and universe-jeopardizing peril, but even more than the first time around, Gunn does all this directly as a result and reflection of his characters. It feels much more like a comedy of personalities than it necessarily does a comic book sci-fi movie, though it deftly proves what the cosmic side of the MCU ought to always be. There’s clearly abundant love from the writer-director for the team, and even for the new characters and returning side characters. Each of them matters; they all get their moment or three to shine.

Radio Times (5/5): Overall, there’s more visual creativity in this film than in any of Marvel’s recent efforts (even including the mind-bending world of Doctor Strange), combined with a compelling story that contains some genuinely gasp-inducing twists, bucketloads of exciting cameos and an effective villain that becomes creepier the more time you spend with them.

Screen Crush (7/10): In the final scene of Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) asked Zoe Saldana’s Gamora what they should do next. “Something good? Something bad?” he wonders, before settling on “a bit of both.” Those turned out to be prophetic words. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a bit of both — albeit more good than bad when all is said and done. Here is a movie that will surely please fans of the original, just as surely as it won’t please them quite as much as the original did.

IGN (7.8/10):The second film is far denser and has a few more pacing and story problems than the first. Still, it’s a very good movie with one of the most emotionally impactful endings of any Marvel Cinematic Universe story yet.

The Hollywood Reporter (60/100): Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plays like a second ride on a roller-coaster that was a real kick the first time around but feels very been-there/done-that now.

USA Today (88/100): Just like the first one, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a winning and wonderfully relatable gem of crazy.

Written and directed by James Gunn.

Produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos.

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled to be released on May 5, 2017, in 3D and IMAX.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Reviews Round-Up 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Reviews Round-Up 4

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