This was one film that would almost certainly find it impossible to live up to its predecessor. But in all fairness, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is still miles ahead of the majority of superhero flicks that have plagued the box office in recent years.

When Guardians first hit our screens it instantly created a fandom frenzy. Even the biggest Marvel haters had a soft spot for Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his collection of misfits.

There’s no denying that there was a huge demand for a second installment and so you can’t blame director James Gunn for stepping up to the almighty task.

One thing he definitely did succeed in was perfecting the ultimate mixtape. The soundtrack is a big part of the Guardian‘s brand and ultimately it makes the film less pretentious. This is in direct comparison to some super hero films that take themselves so seriously that they edge on cringey.

Gunn’s take is very much Star Wars-esque (there’s major ‘I am your father’ sort of vibes). It’s not afraid to mock itself and the genre in which it is placed, making the audience feel at ease and triggering a knowing smile at certain one-liners.

Star Wars also features a heavy family dynamic and similarly, questions of family identities are raised throughout multiple Vol 2 sub-plots.

Although this is interesting at times, some of the characters seem as though they have been placed there as fillers without any real purpose or influence on the main plot.

Characters. Let’s talk about characters. Quill’s friends are the most unlikely group of heroes since Scooby Doo and his gang and each one has their own flaws. And yet despite this they are all likeable and useful in their own weird way. This strong message of diversity is a good one. Thumbs up from me.

Also, Baby Groot has to be the cutest fictional being since Dying Dobby.

Back to issues of family and the two father figures that feature: Yondu (Michael Rooker) and Ego (Kurt Russell). Personally, I’m just thanking god that I haven’t got to choose between the two.

Some actors excel in certain roles and for some reason Rooker is a perfect bad guy and he definitely steals the show in Vol 2, whereas the celestial being, Ego, is the epitome of his namesake. And that’s all I’m going to say about someone who does not need an even bigger head.

Despite the fate of the universe being on the line and the death of the film’s major characters, we can never take the plot seriously as we all know there’s always another joke waiting around the corner. There’s even a reference to Mary Poppins for god sake.

Gunn clearly just wants us to enjoy ourselves and that we do. He focuses on the graphics of the film more than anything else and slapstick fun. The characters are some of the most intriquing I have ever seen. Mantil anyone?

The plot is simplified, it’s a little too long and it piggy backs off the first film.

Yes, it’s a bumpy ride but when the film’s over we forget the journey and remember the fun we had watching it unfold.