So, for all of you people who thought Drax stole the show, while he had some hilarious lines, I still think Groot was the best.
OK, maybe I started in the middle of the review instead of at the beginning, but I had to express my love for Groot. It was a must. MUST. Let's try this again...
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a great movie. A lot of humor, as expected. Action as well. Great alien races and locations. However, it wasn't as good as the first. Let's face it, when the first in a series is a major hit, it's going to be hard to follow it up with a sequel that's just as great, or better. The first one hit all of its beats (in my opinion), but the second movie did have moments where it sagged a bit.
One of the reason for this was because the team had to split up near the beginning. A lot of the greatness of the first movie was due to the interaction of the entire team. Vol. 2 starts out with this awesome play between their personalities. They're all fighting a monster as hired mercenaries. One of the best opening scenes ever as the main fight is in the background for most of it while Baby Groot is dancing around and the opening credits are rolling. They even tip the hat to the Groot in a pot scene where he freezes when Drax looks at him.
But then they crash, and Starlord's dad shows up. We then have the team split up, since Rocket needs to fix the ship, and Baby Groot stays with him. Not that there aren't fun moments when they aren't all together, but it really picks back up once they're all reunited.
It's still chock full of 80s references, which is awesome, and most of the characters are well rounded and add to the drama and humor. Like the first movie, though, the main villain was a little lacking. The god who wants to rule the world. OK, great. We have a selfish jerk who tries to woo Starlord by playing ball with him (I didn't like this scene). A very one-sided character.
However, some of the side villains were great. I especially loved Nebula. I loved her in the first movie, too, and it's because she's such a complicated character. The complexity and layers make her an awesome bad guy, and then it makes sense in the end that she starts to switch sides, though she refuses to stay with the Guardians.
Yondu's growth arc was amazing, too. It was sad he died at the end, but it felt right, that his story was finished and his growth complete. (Speaking of growth arcs, I did love the slow growth between Starlord and Gamora -- a step toward future things!)
Ayesha and the Sovereign were fun as well. And I look forward to seeing what unfolds with her in the next Guardians movie after the one clip during the credits.
The thing I love most about both Guardians movies is the characters. It's what makes them fantastic. And if I didn't have kids, I'd probably have already gone out and seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 a second time already.
Also, Teenage Groot is fun -- the tone in his voice is priceless! But I think Baby Groot will always be my favorite Groot. ;)