Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

Wednesday 3 May 2023

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.
Film: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Director: James Gunn

Writer: James Gunn

Starring: Chriss Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementeiff, Zoe Saldana

The latest and final instalment of James Gunn’s trilogy sees the Guardians going up against a new foe who is out to ‘perfect’ the universe, his journey to do so led to the creation of our favourite modified racoon, Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Peter (Chris Pratt) is still struggling with losing ‘his’ Gamora (Zoe Saldana) while the new Gamora wants nothing to do with him, but he and the rest of the team must put everything else aside in order to save Rocket when another new opponent, Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) comes crashing onto the scene.  

This film was a wild ride. Knowing that this was the last Guardians of the Galaxy film made every fight feel so much more dangerous, feeling like there was a real finality to every injury and near miss, had me on the edge of my seat for the whole two- and half-hour runtime. Unfortunately for my anxiety, there was so much action, the fight scenes in this instalment were bigger and better than ever, with the exception of maybe Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) arrow scene in the first movie, which is still one of my favourite MCU moments -that they do pay homage to in this film with Kraglin (Sean Gunn). 

While intense, you still have all the humour of the previous instalments and I found myself laughing moments after chasing away tears. The best of the comedy comes once against from the double act of Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who so effortlessly steal any scene they’re in together with Drax’s dry and very literal approach to jokes and Mantis’ desire to poke fun at her friend, makes for a very endearing dynamic and I would happily watch a buddy-cop style movie starring the two of them. I should also mention Nebula (Karen Gillan) here as her one-liners, much like Drax in delivery, are some of my most memorable quotes from the film. 

The only thing keeping the film from being a five-star watch for me is technically a spoiler, so I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that there were a couple of things that were foreshadowed that never came to pass, and I feel like we’ve been baited for months. That being said, there is still plenty of emotion to go around and if Rocket wasn’t already your favourite character, it’s likely he is now as this film really highlighted just how much he is the heart of the team and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was crying like a baby through one of his scenes in particular. 

We couldn’t do a Guardian’s review without a playlist check. I was a big fan of the soundtrack as always which included Creep by Radiohead, In The Meantime by Spacehog and Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine in that order (among others) so this time the soundtrack really spanned the generations and there was something poetic in that journey from the 70s to the 2010s and just the general variety of it, Peter using his not-iPod of hundreds of thousands of options, instead of the cassette player because he no longer needs the comfort of a set playlist. 

This wasn’t only the ending that the Guardians deserved, for me this was the Marvel resurgence I needed after not enjoying the last few chapters of the MCU. I’m sad to be saying goodbye to these characters but at least I feel like we’re going out on a high.

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