Since Marvel Studios has been creating their cinematic universe, the only real question mark they really had was the first Guardians of the Galaxy. While all their other films were based on well known characters, the Guardians were relatively obscure and only known by die hard comic book fans. Luckily, something unexpected happened, and the movie caught on. Word spread, and more and more people checked it out. In the end, GotG wound up being the highest grossing Marvel movie to not feature Iron Man, and also became one of the most popular movies in the 14-film franchise. It made a household name out of star Chris Pratt, and introduced Groot to the world. Of course a followup was quickly ordered, and now that it’s here, was it worth the wait?

STARRING: Chris Pratt; Zoe Saldana; Dave Bautista; Michael Rooker; Kurt Russell

After saving the galaxy in the previous movie, Star Lord (Pratt), Gamora (Saldana), Drax (Bautista), Rocket and Groot travel around the galaxy doing jobs for money. On their most recent job, they manage to anger The Sovereign, a group of highly advanced beings now set on killing them. While attempting to escape their attackers, they run into the one person that Star Lord has spent his life trying to find, his father Ego (Russell). Meanwhile, The Sovereign has hired The Ravagers to track down the Guardians, but leader Yondu (Rooker) has his own agenda in mind.

When a movie comes out of nowhere to become a massive success, it’s highly unlikely that lightening will strike twice. It’s very hard to recapture what made the original movie work (recent examples such as The Hangover and Ted prove this. Luckily, this isn’t quite the case time. While not on the same level as the first one, it is still a very good movie and ranks in the top half of the now 15 film Marvel universe. I will say I found Vol. 2 to be a lot more serious than the first one, which was easily the funniest Marvel movie to date.

Fans will surely get what they expect from the film – lots of great banter between the characters, an amazing soundtrack, awesome space battles and a healthy dose of Baby Groot. They will probably also go in with extremely high expectations, and that is where they may find slight disappointment. Matching the success of the first film was always unlikely, and sadly it just can’t match it. It does come closer than most sequels to “out of the blue” success stories. Now, we sit and wait for their inevitable hookup with The Avengers.