Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 delivers a satisfying, heartfelt conclusion to a nine-year journey.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is the end of a trilogy that began in back in 2014. And what a trilogy it has been. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its ups and downs, but the Guardian’s journey has been consistently good. Directed by James Gunn, this is his third time directing a Marvel film, having directed Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. He was briefly fired following his inappropriate response to offensive tweets, but was later rehired.
Compared to other Marvel comic book teams like the Avengers, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy were not nearly as well known as they are now. That all changed in 2014 when they made their live-action debut in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. Under Gunn’s guidance, they went from background comic book characters to some of the most iconic and loved superheroes we know today. Fans have been eagerly anticipating the day they would see this movie the moment the trailer was released.
Taking place shortly after the Holiday Special, the Guardians still reside on Knowhere. It has been a while since Endgame, but some of the team, Quill (Chris Pratt) in particular, are still feeling the effects. Gamora’s (Zoe Saldaña) death weighs heavily on him to the point he can barely get out of bed. Things are not perfect, but at least they are peaceful. Their quiet time, however, doesn’t last. An attack leaves Rocket (Bradley Cooper) wounded and on the verge of death. Unable to heal him due to a kill-switch, the other Guardians need to go on one last adventure to save him.
Volume 3 is certainly not lacking in laughs. It possesses the same brand of comedy of the last two films that never fails to get a laugh out of audiences. It is the type of silly humour that many would struggle to fit into a superhero movie, but Gunn makes it work. The actors are to thank as well due to how well they mesh with each other. The characters ultimately do a great job bouncing jokes off of each other, whether it be in a calm setting or in the middle of a battle to save the universe.
What’s up with the Guardians?
While all the Guardians have a part to play, Rocket Raccoon without a doubt is the film’s main focus. Often a source of explosions, insults and stolen prosthetics, Rocket has a larger role in this film. Rocket’s origins as lab experiment have always been known, but it has never been delved into until now. Rocket remains unconscious for a good portion of the film’s runtime, but his backstory is shown through flashbacks. And boy are they eye-opening. Knowing is one thing. Watching a younger Rocket and others like him being subjected to cruel experimentation to another.
Rocket has the spotlight, but Quill also has a significant part to play. The film addresses the story of Quill and Gamora. Quill, simply put, is at his lowest. His Gamora is dead, but at the same time another time misplaced Gamora who wants nothing to do with him. Zoe Saldaña does a stellar job playing a Gamora who is more violent than what the audience (and Quill) are used to. The interactions between the two serve as a great source of sad dialogue and comedic bickering.
The other Guardians might not have as large a role, but they nevertheless stand out. Nebula (Karen Gillan) is another returning favourite. Originally a remorseless killer and enemy of the Guardians, she would undergo a redemption arc that began in the second Guardians film. By this film, she is much more friendly and outgoing. Gillan does a great job conveying these changes. Drax and Mantis get to provide some comedic and heartfelt moments. Audiences would riot if there was a Guardians film without everyone’s favourite tree. Rocket has a great backstory, but it feels like Gunn missed a chance to cover how Rocket and Groot’s first met.
This film’s villains
The High Evolutionary serves as this film’s villain. Played by Chukwudi Iwuji, he is far from previous sympathetic MCU villains like Killmonger or Xu Wenwu. The High Evolutionary is an immoral scientist whose objective is to create a perfect society through the use of genetic tampering. He has created and destroyed whole societies over the course of his life. And he needs his old test subject Rocket to complete his plans. Iwuji definitely does a great job making audiences despise his character. The High Evolutionary might be the most detestable MCU villain to hit the screens yet.
A new addition to the cast is Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), a genetically engineered warrior tasked with hunting down and capturing Rocket. Serving as a secondary antagonist, he provides comic relief due to his lack of knowledge regarding various social cues because of his young age. Despite being an enemy, he shows a softer side with him adopting a fuzzy F’saki as a pet being a prime example of this (after murdering the original owner).
Something else worth praising is the visual effects. Everything is graphic and eye-catching, whether it be the colourful, organic space station or the beastly cybernetic minions. Everything just shouts sci-fi without being over the top. The effect artists show that they know where to use CGI for great effect. One scene depicting this is the hallway fight scene that mixes realism, action visuals and colour. The special effects of young Rocket and his friends never fail to pull at the heartstrings.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 stands out as the the greatest superhero film made this year. With the mixed standards of MCU films these days, Volume 3 proves that there is still hope for the franchise. There are plenty of tearjerking moments that add to the emotional weight (too much at times). There is plenty of humour spread out across the film that makes for many lighthearted moments. Above all, there are our beloved characters who bring the best of themselves for one, final, climatic showdown. Overall, Gunn gives the Guardians one final, satisfying adventure before wrapping up the trilogy that has touched the hearts of millions.
See the trailer below:
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