And the winner is Guardians Vol 2! I wholly acknowledge there are an over abundance of jokes in this movie. Luckily for me I laughed at every one. It's a comical problem to have, is a movie bad because it brought you joy and laughter? Not in my book.
Guardians vol 2 dives right into the mystery of Quill's father. There's no epic adventure this time, this one is focused more on the characters growing from the motley crew they were in the first volume. You may have noticed I left Gamorra out of my mentions for the first one (#2) that's because she had very little to do other than move the plot forward, kick ass, and connect the Guardians to Thanos. Here we get to dive into her character a bit more. We get to learn more about her relationship with Nebula. How their rivalry was forced upon them by Thanos, and what drove them forward. Nebula by proxy also becomes more than the sulking lieutenant to Ronan. When the guardians find her, she's lost and broken. Her relationship between them is more reminiscent to that of Thor and Loki. Whether she reverts to her darker nature in the future remains to be seen, but it was a satisfying, natural development for myself.
Baby Groot is fantastic, every second he's on screen is a delight. From his misunderstanding Yondu and Rocket, to fighting the little lizard-rats in the beginning of the movie. However, he's only the second cutest character in the movie. Mantis was a character I was semi familiar with via comics. Here she stole tons of scenes. Maybe it was her large, expressive eyes but I felt like an empath myself when she was on screen. If one of the characters insulted her I audibly reacted, when she misunderstood something I laughed pretty hard. It was only fair she be paired with Drax for a majority of her scenes, as that was largely his role in the first volume. Their interactions were great. Drax didn't get a ton of action this time around, but they focused more on his emotional connection to the crew instead of retreading his martial prowess.
As for Yondu, his first scene in the film is one of the most complex scenes in any Marvel Film. The way he looks out the window after likely getting it on with those robo-prostitutes is one of reflection. He doesn't have the family the guardians have, and he's lamenting the choices he's made in life. Some thought he did a 180 from the first movie. I disagree. Even when he's got his arrow at Peter's throat in that one, he's dragging it out until he can't anymore. He's a character driven by his "family" of Ravagers. When the majority of them turn on him, he's broken until Rocket pulls him out of it with the hope of rescuing Peter. His sacrifice at the end was long in development and synced up with his decisions going into the finale.
Ego isn't the strongest villain, but nor is he the weakest within this universe. From the get go you know something is up, but you're not sure what. As his plan is unfurled you see the maniacal nature of his character. I mean his name is Ego, it makes sense if there's any one villain that'd be content to destroy the universe it'd be the Celestial brain/planet who's name is 100% Narcissistic.
At the end of the day all movies are subjective, you likely have a different list than I do, and that's the best part of these things. Getting to know each other and sharing our love for these types of movies is a ton of fun. So let me know what your list is. Maybe some of my picks impacted you more than they did me. Maybe ones that I left off, you can watch over and over again.