Is it worth a watch? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3


Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

From the back left to right, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula. Front left to right, Maria Bakalova as Cosmo, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, and Zoe Saldana as Gamora

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has found itself in a precarious situation. Ever since Endgame, the MCU has been trying to find its footing after the departure of crucial actors and actresses like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman, and Scarlett Johansson. While the MCU is trying to find itself with its most recent phases by introducing the new big bad, Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Start of Phase 5), it is saying goodbye to yet another big player: James Gunn.

Gunn came to the MCU and took an obscure superhero team from the comics, then made them into a $1.965 billion film trilogy (so far Vol. 3 has only grossed $318.7 million). Guardians of the Galaxy has proven to be one of the most consistent series in the MCU; each movie has been received well by critics and audiences, as well as having great commercial success. Despite all this success, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is Gunn’s final film with Marvel as well as being the final Guardians of the Galaxy film.

Gunn had been initially fired from the film during its writing due to some old tweets of his resurfacing. During this time Gunn was hired by DC Studios and brought in to do the new Suicide Squad movie. There was a large outcry from the public and the stars that worked with Gunn in the movies after his firing; in the end Gunn was brought back to finish Vol. 3. It was to be his final film, as he has been named co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios.

James Gunn the mind behind the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, now moving to the DCEU (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

So, does Vol. 3 pass the muster set by the previous films in the series? Let’s dive in and see. This week we are joined by science teacher and wildflower enthusiast Collin Trudel.

Straight from the get-go there is a noticeable difference in tone and feeling of Vol. 3. It starts with Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) listening to and singing along with Radiohead’s “Creep.” It’s a great introduction as it shows the audience what the Guardians have been up to since Endgame; we see their headquarters in Knowhere. We see Nebula (Karen Gillan) taking more responsibility within the group and we see Star Lord  (Chris Pratt) suffering.

“He always was more carefree and jovial, but during the entire movie we ONLY see serious, business-like persona he has.  It shows that he has lost his identity and is struggling to cope post-Gamora,” Trudel said regarding Star Lord’s character.  We see the title as the group walks together while Nebula is carrying a passed out Star Lord.

The climax of this introduction is when Will Poutler’s Adam Warlock comes crashing through and tries to take Rocket away. He severely wounds him. It’s revealed that Rocket has a kill switch that prevents them from saving his life and thus they set on an adventure to save Rocket by uncovering his past.

Over the course of the film Rocket’s past is revealed through flashbacks (in some ways reminiscent of Vito Corleone’s history shown in The Godfather Part II) and this leads to some of the most emotional moments shown in the MCU so far. The film is not just focused on one single member of the group, but it gives time for all of them to be developed.

“It shows just how much the Guardians have all changed as they try to find their paths, and themselves, without Gamora,” Trudel said about the team dynamic in the film.

The MCU has been noted to have weak villains (not strength-wise but character-wise), quite a few of them have been forgettable and/or wasted. Fans know any villain introduced in a single movie will by the end either die or be put into a situation where they can never pose a threat. However, the big baddie in this film is the High Evolutionary.

A character obsessed with evolution and the creation of a perfect species, he follows the archetype of a mad scientist,  but they portray extremely well. While some complain about the seemingly whiny nature of his character, they miss the point of how that is a part of his character.

He is brilliantly portrayed by Chukwudi Iwuji, at one point you can even see his own spit as he descends into a  tirade.  Hands down one of the best lines in a Marvel film, “THERE IS NO GOD, THAT’S WHY I STEPPED IN!”

“Excellently portrayed his ego and the seriousness of the character, and never left any doubt that he was the baddie”, Trudel said about Chukwudi Iwuji’s portrayal of the High Evolutionary (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Trudel summed it up best, “he was a good choice for the story they were telling and expertly acted.  VERY well written, as most villains are good when their motivations are clear.”

The Guardians of the Galaxy films have always been known for their soundtracks, the first film opened with “Come and Get Your Love” (Redbone), Vol. 2 opened with “Mr Blue Sky” (Electric Light Orchestra) and as mentioned before Vol. 3 started with an acoustic version of “Creep” (Radiohead).

While the first two movies were predominantly 70s and 80s music, Vol. 3 is a departure from that as we see the 90s and even the 2000s invade the soundtrack. The best usage of music in the movie comes towards the end when “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” (Beastie Boys) is played. Trudel had this to say, “One of the most entertaining sequences, fight or otherwise, in any Marvel movie.”

Will Poutler as Adam Warlock, “He could be a big character moving forward in any potential sequels or new team iterations” Trudel said about Adam Warlock
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

This is the final film with this group of Guardians, but it turned out to be a satisfying conclusion. “We got to see growth from EVERY Guardians member, even the new ones of Nebula and Kraglin, and see their stories come full-circle in organic ways”, Trudel said about the ending.

Despite the fact that this is the final Gunn directed Guardians film, this does not necessarily mean the end of The Guardians. Trudel  a knowledgeable comic book reader provided his insight, “The comics Guardians team has a rotating membership, much like the comics Avengers team, so this leaves the possibility open for new, fresh faces and stories.”

In the end, The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was the best ending we could have asked for. It’s a touching conclusion to one of the best trilogies from the MCU. Despite the fact, that this is a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie under Disney of all film companies, Gunn as always manages to maintain his own personal style and touch in the film.

He proves that MCU movies can be personal, that they do not have to be carbon copies, hopefully we can see more movies in the MCU with the quality of the Guardians. For all of this, I have to give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 a solid “Baby raccoon/10.”