Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5 (April 28 in the UK; May 23 in Australia), a little under three years since the first movie pleased cinemagoers with its fresh sense of weirdness and irreverent humor.

But what about the sequel? Does Vol. 2 continue the original’s good form or is it a difficult second album for writer/director James Gunn and co.?

In GameSpot’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review, critic Randolph Ramsay said the film feels too familiar at first, but it soon “becomes thrilling, emotional, and funny.” You can take a look at what a selection of what other reviewers thought in our review roundup below, or check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic for a wider view on critical opinion.

Beware: Minor spoilers lie below, so look away now if you want to go in totally fresh.

GameSpot — No score

“For a brief moment, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 felt like the worst thing a movie featuring a sentient baby tree and an anthropomorphic raccoon could be: it felt familiar.”

“But then, just as a certain new character’s Mork & Mindy-like egg-shaped ship takes off to the sound of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 starts bringing it all together. It leaves the references to the first film behind, pushing its characters, setting, and plot to compelling places. It becomes thrilling, emotional, funny, and most of all, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 finally becomes what the first film was: fun and more than a little heartfelt. As Rocket Racoon says near the film’s climax: “Welcome to the freakin’ Guardians of the Galaxy.” It’s about time.” — Randolph Ramsay [Full review]

The Guardian — 3/5

“There are, once again, some funny lines, very often given to Drax, who has a way of oversharing. Pom Clementieff is very entertaining in the role of Mantis, a helpmeet of Ego; she has the gift of being an empath, someone who can intuit how someone else is feeling by laying hands on them, but is in every other fantastically naive and un-insightful about the way human beings behave.

“Ego himself introduces some apparently huge Freudian issues to the film, which on paper would seem to take the film’s emotional impact up a notch or two. But they are dealt with insouciantly, even flippantly–far more so than in something like Star Wars or Superman. That’s in keeping of course, with the distinctive comic flavour of this franchise, but the revelations about Quill’s background just zing and ping around with the same pinball-velocity as everything else in the film. It’s fun, though GOTG2 doesn’t have the same sense of weird urgency and point that the first film had. They’re still guarding, although the galaxy never seems in much danger.” — Peter Bradshaw [Full review]

Empire — 4/5

“Even when the pixels threaten to overwhelm, Gunn finds refuge in his main characters. There’s plenty to enjoy here, whether it’s the perfectly deployed Baby Groot moments, or a general strain of anarchic weirdness that runs all the way through the credits and which still feels unique to this franchise, not just within the MCU, but blockbusters in general. It’s easy to overlook the odd off note when a mix is this awesome.” — Chris Hewitt [Full review]

The Hollywood Reporter — No score

“The heavy, elaborate action is both plentiful and rote; in their geometric design and execution, the special effects feel exceedingly computer-generated. Unlike, say, the best space battles in the Star Wars series, the frantic ballistic parrying here often makes the viewer feel as if trapped inside a pinball machine. The attitude toward all the violence and mayhem is mostly good-humored, casual and tossed-off, which provokes a few good laughs and chuckles, and writer-director Gunn gets away with a lot of lame stuff simply by moving on quickly to the next gag or explosion. As before, his bluffly cynical, good-times attitude supplies a devil-may-care feel to the proceedings that’s quite appealing to audiences. But Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 plays like a second ride on a roller-coaster that was a real kick the first time around but feels very been-there/done-that now.” — Todd McCarthy [Full review]

Variety — No score

“The gods of sci-fi spectacle must, of course, be served, and the climax of Vol. 2 is exorbitant, rousing, touching, and just obligatory enough to be too much of a good thing. (That isn’t even counting the half-dozen post-credit teaser scenes, which make the film feel likeā€¦TV.)”

“The difference between the first Guardians and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is that the new movie is flush with what a big deal it is. Ironically, that makes it a smaller deal.” — Owen Glieberman [Full review]