By Cassidy Delahunty, editor-in-chief

As soon as I finished watching the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, I was already anticipating the release of the second one. The quick wit and lighthearted nature of the film made it stand out from other superhero movies of recent years, and the comedic dialogue actually added to the intensity of the action instead of detracting, as it does in some other action movies. However, this was something I thought would be hard to replicate in the sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2.” The back and forth banter between Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) and friends could become gimmicky, I was concerned, if not done right.

Thankfully, Marvel pulled it off. Despite the slightly grittier plotline of the new release, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” still retained the light hearted relationships and conversations between characters that drew comic book fans to the original movie.

Something the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies do very well is make their characters authentic. Peter Quill, our protagonist, could easily have become the all-powerful superhero without any weaknesses that we see so often in comic book movies. After all, we did find out at the end of the first movie that Quill isn’t entirely human, but is instead something much more powerful. That leaves open a lot of possibilities for him to become a Superman-esque power fantasy. Instead, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” shows us a very human Peter Quill who’s learning more about himself and struggling in a new relationship with his father (played by Kurt Russell) while still holding on to his joking and loving personality.

Similarly, we can take a look at Rocket Racoon (played by Bradley Cooper). Sort of a witty sidekick/reluctant friend in the first movie, Rocket’s plotline didn’t have a lot, if any, of holes left by the end of the first movie. Instead of being satisfied with this, the second movie opens up a storyline for him to develop into a more three-dimensional character without compromising his wit and arrogance that, ultimately, make him charming. Rocket is, very literally, a CGI raccoon, but his character still feels authentic and developed.

Despite the flashy CGI space battles and the nostalgic soundtrack and constant banter, the thing that really makes the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies as good as they are is the characters. With a comic plotline so rich in drama, it could have been very easy for these movies to devolve into the gritty, dark, under-saturated superhero movies that have become so commonplace. Instead, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2” is colorful, vibrant, and downright hilarious. This movie is definitely a must-see.

My only criticism of the movie is that we didn’t get to see more of teenage Groot.