Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
May 5th, 2023
MOVIE: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3
STARRING: CHRIS PRATT, ZOE SALDANA, DAVE BAUTISTA, VIN DIESEL, BRADLEY COOPER, KAREN GILLAN, POM KLEMENTIEFF
DIRECTED BY: JAMES GUNN
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
The impact the Guardians of the Galaxy have made on the Marvel cinematic universe was not something I ever expected. In fact, I didn’t even know who the hell they were when introduced in 2014, and now I can’t even picture a world without them. James Gunn jump-started his brand of filmmaking through a talking raccoon, a giant tree man, a green woman named Gamora, a giant gentle idiot named Drax, a cyborg woman named Nebula, and a smooth-talking dude named Star-Lord. They have become a staple with their off-color humor, their approach as heroes by accident, and Gunn’s added influence of great music taste. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be the last one– Gunn has been made the head of DC’s creative side so it’s safe to say this is a true statement– and he’s going out with a bang. It’s a whole lot of movie, in a nearly three-hour adventure, where the band has to come together one last time to save the universe and their friend from a madman known as The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has all the highs and lows, plenty of laughs and thuds, and bonds together as a family to make for a great final ride.
We catch up with the Guardians after what transpired in Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder. Peter (Chris Pratt) is a miserable drunk after Gamora (Zoe Saldana) died, but now she’s back as a different version of herself, someone that doesn’t care for him. Groot (Vin Diesel) has grown bigger. Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have become close friends. Nebula (Karen Gillan) is still miserable and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is the one keeping them together. It is Rocket’s backstory that takes center stage, through flashbacks of what his existence was before the Guardians, and being created by The High Evolutionary. We come to find that Rocket is a big asset to his creator and sends golden lunkhead Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) to go get him. In a big opening scuffle, Rocket’s heart is damaged and now the Guardians have to find a code to shut off a kill switch in his chest. The team needs to pick themselves up in a time of need to help keep their good friend alive.
As far as the narrative goes, Vol. 3 is a standard MacGuffin approach. That involves breaking into high-security locations and creating chaos in the process. Gunn understands these characters more than most and pours a full glass of what makes them a delight, this includes an intergalactic heist of sorts and flashbacks to Rocket’s beginning. The screenplay does not always hum, as the tone can be a bit too chaotic, but Gunn surprisingly finds the emotional center of this family. The mission is what matters and on the journey, we get plenty of action, Drax jokes that only he laughs at, and a hilarious moment where Peter involuntarily flirts with Nebula. We see new odd-looking creatures, a cameo from Nathan Fillion, and plenty of goo. It’s all Guardians and textbook Gunn.
What makes this Guardians movie different from the first two installments is the Rocket plotline. The flashbacks show a great amount of animal testing and the cruelty that The High Evolutionary is capable of. He is a madman, hell-bent on getting humanity “right”, which he believes can be done by perfecting a species, using robotic arms to heighten an otter, or a set of hydraulic wheels to help a seal move quicker. These are Rocket’s friends and if you love animals as much as I do, you will shed a tear and realize that Rocket has been the best Guardian all along.
It’s certainly not the best of the three Guardians movies but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a perfect cap to the trilogy. It’s also the Marvel movie getting back into the groove of telling a genuine story. There’s no focus on multiverses or new villains to fear in the future. Going forward without this group of goofball heroes seems wrong but boy has it been a lot of fun. At this point, we are all Groot and the galaxy is better with the Guardians in it.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 IS PLAYING IN THEATERS FRIDAY MAY 5TH, 2023.
Written by: Leo Brady