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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

One more time: A found family of misfits and goofballs 

save a friend and ride into the sunset on paths we never thought of.

7.5/10

                       

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an action-packed movie that offers an emotional ride with moments of both warmth and cheesiness. The film takes us on a journey to explore the origins of Rocket Raccoon while also showing the state of the Guardians after the events of The Infinity Saga (Phase 3).

After the conclusion of Endgame and the exit of powerhouses heroes Tony Stark and Captain America, Marvel has struggled to maintain the same enthusiasm and excitement into the next phase of the MCU. They started to get carried away from what helped make their early movies successful, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 gets back to the roots that made these early movies great.

The original Iron Man, Captain America, and even Thor movies focused on interesting characters that were charming in their own way and were given time on screen to see their growth. They were strong, individually developed characters who eventually came together with clear direction, chemistry, and synergy to carry them through to the conclusion of the 1st Saga.

Phase 4, the start of the Multiverse Saga, started to show signs of Marvel falling out of step and losing its way with its fans a bit by subverting a lot of fans’ expectations in disappointing ways that were not what fans were ever asking for in cinematic versions of the comic book characters. Fans were becoming concerned with this direction, and it became more apparent of an issue entering Phase 5 with Antman: Quantumania.

Thankfully, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a fitting swan song to this found family of misfits. The writer/director, James Gunn, begins the movie with the Guardians at their base on the floating deceased celestial head called “Knowhere.” We are dropped into the town following Rocket walking down the street, where the audience sees the other Guardians fixing up the town. As the camera follows Rocket into an interior area, he sees Quil “Star-Lord” drunk on the table sulking still the loss of Gamora.

Suddenly, descending quickly from out of the sky, Rocket is attacked by a young Adam Warlock played by Will Poulter and fatally injured. The Guardians quickly come to aid Rocket and fight off Adam Warlock, who at this point is unclear why he attacked and where he came from. After a brutal fight, the Guardians are able to temporarily dispense Warlock from the area and discover that the medical tools at their disposal are unable to save Rocket’s life because mechanical parts were surgically attached to him when he was young, which might explode internally. They must go and find a passcode that will deactivate the mechanical parts attached to his heart, preventing any kind of medical technology from healing Rocket.

Our journey starts here, where the Guardians take Rocket into their ship and take off to seek out the passcode. As they travel, Rocket is hooked up to vital sign machines and has fallen into a coma while desperately trying to remain in stable condition as the Guardians fervently head to a location that possibly has what they are looking for.

The movie weaves back and forth between the rest of the Guardians proceeding on their mission, and as we move from plot point to plot point, the dialogue between the Guardians really shows how well they know each other, how to get under each other’s skin, all that they have been through together, and that they are as dysfunctional as ever. It’s a strong suit of the movie.

In my opinion, the movie has many strengths, but there are a few spots where it loses touch by traveling to places that are unnecessary and not interesting to the story, making the movie feel long in those sections. These scenes were cheesy and could have been taken out or shortened to keep the movie going.

The villain in this movie is a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has a very interesting personality. The actor’s performance is full of energy and always kept my attention.

The third act of the movie is where it really shines, with an awesome fight scene featuring great cinematic camera work and fight choreography from the Guardians. Almost all of the characters reveal and confront hard truths from their hearts and souls, leading to different conclusions that you may or may not expect. But as I sat there thinking about whether or not I agreed with the direction james gunn went with in how the characters journey’s ended in the movie, this was the 1st time in awhile that I thought ok, even though I didn’t like a specific choice I saw, I understood it was a totally reasonable/valid outcome and didn’t totally subvert expectations in a way that would take you out of the story and leave a bad taste.

Overall, I recommend this movie if you’re a Marvel fan or if you’ve seen the previous Guardians of the Galaxy movies and wondered if you should skip it. It offers a nice change of pace from what Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars have been offering recently, with a few exceptions like Andor.

Apart from two scenes in the movie that felt out of place and uninteresting, I enjoyed learning about the origins of Rocket and listening to the banter between the team. The movie left me wondering more about Gamora and Star-Lord.

The movie begins with a twist on a new threat that moves into an adventure to save a friend with a shocking origin. The team once again comes together against the odds and finds a way to save the day, their friend, and razz the hell out of each other the whole way while hitting us with the feels in a couple of scenes and not rolling our eyes….that much..

At the end of the film, we see how this adventure impacts each of the guardians’ decisions moving forward, leaving us wondering what’s in store for the future of some of the characters. Overall, despite a few missteps, the movie is enjoyable and worth watching for Marvel fans.

One thought on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

  • Well said ….. Thank you for your wonderful and very insightful opinion.

    Reply

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