Man, the hate for GOTG2 is strong in this dojo. I just watched them both, in reverse order. The second is waaaaaay more refined and slick visually. There is a far greater reliance on vfx, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the movie is gorgeous. The second isn’t missing a plot, as some have said, it just has a far less kinetic one. The first was paced around movement, with the gang bouncing around the Universe being chased by Ronan, whereas the second one only (“only”) had scenes on 4planets and 3 unique spaceships, and the sense of movement wasn’t as intense.
The first is grittier, visually. More tactile sets, a lot more greys and dark shades, and a certain amount of lived-in grime. The second is cleaner.
The second is much different than the first, which I appreciate. When we get sequels that are more f the same, it can be disappointing. There are a lot of little touches in the second that the first lacked, specifically with regard to character interactions. The first one had to introduce everyone to each other and use valuable time establishing relationships, where the second one could delve into those relationships and explore them. Plus, Mantis.
The second had as many standout scenes as the first…(Nebula/Gammora fight and reconciliation, the escape on the Ravager ship, the forest scene with Rocket, the opening sequence, Mantis and Drax sitting on the steps of Ego’s palace, to name a few.)
It’s one f those movies that I like more and more every time I watch it, which is something I’ve noticed about Marvel’s recent output.