Actually got to see this, and had a lot of fun! It's technically a better movie than the first, but does, however, lack the spontaneity and surprise. And for all its attempts at pathos, nothing quite hit me like Quill's speech to the other Guardians and Drax saying, "I will get to see my family again," "We Are Groot," and "Peter, take my hand!"
BUT, more of the same is, in this case, a good thing. More and bigger, and boy does it go bigger. To the point that, yeah, even with cutaway gags to undercut the idea of action spectacle, it would still get back to action spectacle that was a bit tired. Too often Gunn relies on some super chargeup move that kills everything all at once. Impressive with Yondu does it once or twice, but when Rocket also does it in the woods and then with the spaceship blasting all the Sovereign at the end, I start wondering what exactly the rules are for this universe...
Surprisingly Nebula and Gamora worked the most for me this time around. I didn't really care about either of them in the first, and Saldana has this weird rasp when she yells (and she yells a lot) that does not sound natural. I may only like Saldana as Uhura. But something about Nebula's "JUST TELL ME I WON" really connected with me. Sometimes it's like that. Just goddamn motherfucking say you're wrong!!!
Michael Rooker did kind of sound like he was talking through prosthetic teeth throughout the first half, not something I noticed in the first movie. But it evened out. I would have liked him and Quill to have a moment early on, but this is very much of a piece with the first so you just have to go with that. Also, nice subtle retconning allows Yondu to have a redemption arc. Suddenly he was doing the right thing by keeping Quill, suddenly the Ravagers are actually a noble organization that Yondu had drifted away from and now wants to make up for it. Doesn't betray the earlier movie at all (like I've heard happens with Jason Statham's character in Fast 8), and very comic book-y.
Here's my new MCU ranking from Facebook!
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Iron Man 3
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Captain America: Civil War
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Thor: The Dark World
Guardians 2 will probably move up. Doctor Strange has after my second viewing! But I don't want to jump the (James) gun.