Buckle in, a-holes. You’re in for an emotional ride with the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Not only is the team set for some internal upheaval, but this is also the last Marvel Cinematic Universe movie from writer and director James Gunn. Now that he’s on a mission to make DC movies great again, his Marvel swan song doesn’t try to hide from its fan servitude. Volume 3 wants to give the moviegoers, along with the cast and crew, the ending the Guardians deserve.
In the film, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still reeling from the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana). When Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is injured during an attack, the team goes on a high-risk mission against the man (Chukwudi Iwuji) whose experiments gave Rocket his extreme intelligence.
What works in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
After a rocky visit with the Ant-Man team in Quantumania, the Guardians get it right, keeping the tone and characters perfectly synced with the Guardians films we’ve already grown to love. If you loved Vols. 1 and 2, Vol. 3 is going to be right up your alley.
If there’s one thing Gunn does well, it’s balancing high emotion and high comedy on a razor’s edge. To quote a totally unrelated film, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” You’ll go on a roller coaster of emotions with Vol. 3, and if the Guardians are your jam, you’ll love almost every minute of it.
What doesn’t work Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The story is a good one, but there is a bit of a disconnect when you think about it a little too hard. The team goes on an extraordinarily high-risk mission, with limited hope of success, all to hopefully save Rocket. That mission delivers a very high body count in exchange for one – albeit well-loved – raccoon. Sure, the stakes get raised as the story moves along, but the risk/reward ratio is definitely skewed at the start.
The highlight of any Guardians story is the soundtrack, and Vol. 3 delivers a stack of tunes from the 70s all the way to the Aughts. I’ve got no quibbles with the song selections, but the flow into the films wasn’t as seamless as the previous volumes. There are a few times when the tunes felt more shoehorned in than not.
The film also highlights a disturbing amount of animal cruelty. Do not misunderstand, these are CGI animals, and the film isn’t particularly graphic when it comes to those moments, but they are disturbing nonetheless. There is no glorification of animal experimentation, but animal lovers be warned: it can still be hard to watch.
The Guardians franchise has always been one of those that isn’t for everyone, and this latest entry is no exception to that rule. If, however, you love the team of misfits from the previous films, this is the goodbye they all have rightfully earned.
About Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Rating: PG-13 (Intense Sequences of Violence|Action|Strong Language|Suggestive/Drug References|Thematic Elements)
Runtime: 2 h 30 m
Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill must rally his team to defend the universe and protect one of their own. If the mission is not completely successful, it could possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.