Starring: Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Bradley Cooper voices Rocket Racoon, Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary, and Vin Diesel as Groot.
The Guardians must band together to save the life of one of their own. With the clock ticking, they must journey to various planets and face various powerful foes, all while each character deals with internal obstacles seen in the previous installments.
Is It Worth Watching?
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have “the feels” while watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 (GGV3) because, boy, did it have some very emotional moments. Kudos to filmmaker James Gunn for unpacking so much in this film. Although our beloved characters are experiencing a lot personally, the collage of storylines is not overwhelming and, more importantly, won’t leave audiences confused. Let’s go through the good things about this film.
The story focuses on the intelligent and quippy Rocket Raccoon and its origin. We finally gain insight into why Rocket is not only rude at times, but also guarded. Rocket has had some trauma in his life (which has been set up since his introduction). We find out how badly he was manipulated and abused by his creator, The High Evolutionary. Not only will we see Rocket’s past in this film, but we’ll also come to realize just how smart this character is.
For the psychology majors and mental health professionals, I am sure the characters are of interest as the trauma and grief of Rocket and Peter Quill are explored in depth. We see Peter is still struggling to get over the death of Gamora and coping with the rejection of the alternate version of Gamora (the newest member of the Ravagers). Quill spends most of his time trying to convince the alternate version of Gamora that they once were lovers all while the team goes on an adventure to save Rocket.
More character depth is explored with Nebula, as she is no longer the completely guarded and defensive soldier she was once built to be. Although she’s been souped-up with stronger battle gear and more damaging weapons thanks to Rocket, she is now more apt to try understanding the predicament at hand before unleashing her fury.
Drax and Mantis continue to bring their fun banter and chemistry displayed in the highly praised Disney Plus Christmas special. While still hilarious, they also show some growth as characters. These are actually my two favorite characters (outside of Groot) because of their funny dialogue. At times, I did think that Drax was leaning too much into comedy and displaying less of the menacing, stoic persona we see in the comics, but this version works for him in the cinematic MCU.
The High Evolutionary is one of the top villains in the MCU because of his power and his no-nonsense attitude toward his work. This character is so powerful that he created worlds and populations of people; he is basically a god with a lust for perfection. He created Adam Warlock who, despite exhibiting some characteristics of a man-child, looks to be one of the most powerful beings in the MCU. Although I was not expecting the overpowered version of Adam Warlock seen in the comics, I was expecting more from this character. Adam is not in many scenes, but when he is on screen, his presence is felt with all his power and desire to please his creator. But I still felt the character didn’t have the same gravitas he does in the comics and needed to be, in my opinion, more insightful and less of an immature henchman. I would like to see if the MCU will bring Adam to his peak level as seen in the comics. It’d be nice to see if he could be effective against the Celestials.
This film had one of the best melee fighting scenes in Marvel history; there were double-team moves that were nothing short of exciting to watch. One of the best badassery moments came from Gamora when she went ape sh*t on some giant aliens.
The CGI work was proficient, and the wacky worlds that the Guardians visit are both colorful and filled with cool visuals. The most unique of them all was the alternate earth that The High Evolutionary made. It consisted of anthropomorphic animals that mimicked behaviors exhibited on planet Earth.
This emotional and fulfilling final film of the franchise, Guardians Vol.3, is a good out for James Gunn and the actors that play the colorful rag-tag bunch. With an open story arch for all of the characters, it will be interesting to see where their journey takes them and if any of the characters will be involved in the upcoming Secret Wars or the next installment of The Avengers. Given the amount of trauma and emotional obstacles that some of the characters had to overcome, the film release date was quite appropriate as we’re now smack in the middle of Mental Health Awareness Month. Although the first Guardians of the Galaxy is the best of the franchise (in my opinion), this film comes in second as the next best installment. With its Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% and 92% audience score, this film is no doubt worth watching. Check out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters today.
Warning: this film does contain some language not suitable for children.