Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead
Plot: Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own — a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.
Review: Now THAT’S what I call a Marvel movie! Or at the very least, a Marvel movie that proves these films work best when the director (in this case James Gunn) is allowed to let their vision shine through.
Starting all the way back in 2014, the first Guardians movie was the one Marvel entry where viewers had no idea what to expect. Even if you were a fan of the comics, these characters seemed unlikely to fit into the known universe at that time. And James Gunn wasn’t really a household name to anyone outside of the horror genre. Then the movie debuted with a quirky group of outsiders and a tone that effortlessly balanced wacky and weird with heartfelt emotional beats, and the Guardians of the Galaxy became household names.
Followed up by a solid but just shy of great entry with the second film in 2017, it would be a whole six years before they hit the big screen again, and boy did they hit it! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 takes all the emotion found in the first two films and doubled down on it with the origin of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) as well as exploring the difficulties Peter Quill AKA Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is having with losing Gamora (Zoe Saldana) only to have an alternate version of her return with no memories of their love. As the team of Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Groot (Vin Diesel) and new additions Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) come together on Knowhere, trying to build a life for themselves and the folks who live there, they face an unexpected foe in the form of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). Things deteriorate when Rocket is gravely injured, forcing the team to seek out answers and face off against their biggest antagonist thus far in the form of The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).
There are some things we’ve come to expect from a James Gunn experience and the imaginative director and writer doesn’t disappoint here. With creative and colorful locations, high-octane action sequences and a banger of a soundtrack, GotG Vol. 3 never fails to keep your eyes glued to the screen as you wonder aloud, “What the hell am I looking at?!” and find yourself grinning along to the craziness of it all. But even when things get sombre the solid performances and heartfelt dialogue draw on all your emotions in the best ways possible. From seeing Peter finally “grow up” and leave behind the petulant man-child who almost destroyed the universe in Avengers: Infinity War to Rocket coming to terms with his painful past and the guilt he carried for his choices, to even smaller moments like Kraglin learning to use Yondu’s space arrow or Zoe Saldana getting to play Gamora in a way we’ve never seen before, it all came together to deliver a near flawless entry and a great send-off for this space family.
My only nitpick here would be to point out the “Marvel formula” does step in at times to ensure the movie follows some well-worn beats that at this point, and it feels like they’ve worn out their welcome. The movie is a bit bloated with too many characters thrown in for what feels like no reason whatsoever. As much as I enjoyed seeing Sylvester Stallone return as Ravager captain Stakar Ogord or the talking dog Cosmo (who doesn’t love a good doggie) they weren’t going to be missed if they didn’t turn up.
Still, I had an absolute blast of a time with GotG Vol. 3 which is not something I have said about a Marvel movie in quite some time. We had a compelling villain I would love to see again, a story that mercilessly pulled on my heartstrings and more than a few “wow” moments that instantly made me want to sit back and watch it all over again. All that’s left to say is, I wish good luck to any MCU movies that have to follow in the space-sized shadow of this wholly wonderful film.
Sommer’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
Have you seen Vol. 3? What did you think of it? And you can check out more MCU content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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