Love my mindless movies, so this was up my alley.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy was something I watched when I had downtime and just wanted to see stuff blow up. But I was pleasantly surprised. It had a good story, good acting, very good humor, and of course, the 70-80s nostalgia. To be honest, I wasn't seeing how they could replicate the uniqueness of the first movie now that the cat was out of the bag. So what did I think of this second installment? I enjoyed it. The humor was there. The characters were great (baby root deserves an Oscar). The storyline was decent, if a little weak. But by far, the most poignant aspect of the film were all the family dynamics.
So let's list 'em
The plot was that Star-Lord's Father, Ego, finds him. Ego is a celestial, i.e., god/immortal being. Turns out that the reunion is not quite what it seems, as Ego wants to turn Star-Lord into a co-domineering force and re-image the universe. So now the Guardians have to fight the god and work out all the family issues at the same time.
The dynamic and intensity that carried the movie was between Gamora and Nebula. All the bad guys in the movie are comical to some degree except for Nebula. She carries real malevolence that you can feel. You don't want to run into her in an alley. She has hatred toward her father Thanos and holds her sister, Gamora, responsible for all Thanos did to her. And all through the film, you're waiting for this dynamic to play out.
The other satisfying relationship was that of Yondou and Peter Quill. Here we find that the bad guy sacrificed a life of honor to save Peter. Even though he'd presented his actions as done out of purely selfish motives. As a smuggler, he realizes that Ego means to kill Peter and he thus never delivers him. At the end he gets his redemption and Peter gets to reconcile with, not just with his mentor, but his true "dad."
As a creator of content, I found the film fascinating in that, they had a thin storyline, but they exploited the humor and relationship tensions to great effect and that was enough to make it a fun watch. This film was an aggregate of all the correct buttons. It's amazing to see the application of a formula and watch it work. Humans are predictable. If you find the right formula, you'll get a predictable response from us.