Fun fact: James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, was married to Jenna Fischer, who played Pam on The Office. Eventually they both became impossibly successful in their individual pursuits and divorced. I wonder if they split because success demands a level of devotion that leaves no room for relationships. We know how Damien Chazelle feels about that. Myself I think it's pretty obvious and it always dumbfounds me when people act shocked that their spouse is a workaholic. But I digress.
The Guardians sequel is a very good film which I watched after drinking three pints of beer in Singapore one lazy afternoon. Its visual sensibility is magnificent because James Gunn sees the world in a way other people do not (it's possible he is a little insane). The extent of his weird vision could never be fully realized in a massive studio film with the full weight of Marvel's universe riding on it - the film's third act is exactly the kind of mindless and boring CGI spectacle you would expect a corporate conglomerate to invent by committee - but Gunn's fingerprints are all over the rest of the film and those parts shine.
It has this wild Day-Glo color scheme, some really hilarious and self-referential winking comedy featuring almost too many great one-liners, and some truly jaw-dropping set pieces that are composed and choreographed beautifully (especially the scenes involving Michael Rooker’s whistle-controlled arrow or Rocket Raccoon setting up a night-time forest ambush). The world-building Gunn has done in this part of the Marvel Universe is just great, and visually distinguishes it from the other parts of the MCU. The character development is pretty light, sure, but this is a fucking comic book movie about sentient trees and living planets. If you are here to watch a heartfelt, moving film where a father and son reconcile their issues then you just do a Mama Cass and choke on a sandwich – you obviously don’t know what movie you are seeing.
About 7 years ago, Gunn made a film called Super with Dwight from The Office. It is an amazing take on the super hero format full of weird subversive moments (God makes a cameo as a brain-sucking tentacle, if I recall correctly) and shocking flashes of ultra violence. I thought it was brilliant. Many critics at the time were turned off by it, but one reason I think Disney has been so successful is because they find talent like Gunn and aren't afraid to turn the keys to an enormous franchise over to him. Being able to recognize real talent is in some ways more important than actually making the movie. Take Warner Bros - drowning in their own puke because they decided Zack Snyder was a visionary and refused to relent despite all empirical evidence to the contrary. Marvel - and Lucas Film as well - has so far shown far better judgment in that department.
So, go see Super. Then go see Guardians 2 and be wowed by the color scheme, the one-liners, the easy camaraderie between characters that ooze charisma, the visually striking and clever world-building, and the elaborately staged set pieces. If you want a movie where a son plays a game of catch with the father he hated until he was gone, go watch Field of Dreams.