It goes without saying that the first Guardians Of The Galaxy was the oddest film in the MCU when it came out: thanks to its blend of comedy and sci-fi and a cast of outrageous characters a million miles away from Captain America's wholesomeness, it was provocatively alien.
Since then, the franchise has taken several turns towards weirder waters with the likes of Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, but the only film that was ever going to out-weird it was always going to be its sequel. Buoyed by the success of the original, James Gunn was seemingly given carte-blanche to be as wild as he wanted to. And as if he wanted to prove he was grasping the opportunity with both hands, almost the first announcement saw the reveal of Ego the Living Planet as a key part of the storyline.
That's almost worthy of a mic drop, and it was day one of the marketing campaign. From there, things got a lot more left-field, and the final film is a joyful middle finger salute to anyone who claims there's a rigid MCU formula all their directors are forced to adhere to.
Inevitably, with Gunn given full creative licence to let his imagination run wild, Vol 2 is absolutely packed with jaw-dropping, weird and accidentally ruinous moments. And most of that is part and parcel of how great the sequel is...