Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 Review

I remember back in 2014 I attended a sneak peek for Guardians of the Galaxy. I was unsure about this movie because I knew a little about the comic but wondered how it would translate on the screen. I mean two of the members were a talking tree and a raccoon. How could this possibly work? As I sat in the darkened theater and watched the prison break scene I felt like I was watching the beginning of something great. The movie had heart, humor, and a good amount of action and revolved around the theme of family and finding your people in this wide galaxy.

I was excited to see Volume 2 but I did not expect to be as moved as I was with the relationship between Peter and Yondu. The theme of family was relevant again like in the first movie and it still carried the same amount of heart, humor, and action. While Vol 2 did not surpass the original it kept the same tone and amount of humor that made you want to hang out with these characters and see where their next adventure will take them. As much as we cared for the Guardians, we all did turn on Peter when his anger got the best of him and snapped Thanos out of his hypnotic state preventing Peter Parker and Tony Stark from taking off the Infinity Gauntlet. He does speak about that moment in this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 starts off with the crew settling into life on Knowhere. This film takes place after the Holiday Special. If you have not seen it check it out for it answers a few questions that might pop into your head while watching this. We see Rocket singing along to an acoustic version of “Creep” by Radiohead. He finds a drunk Peter in a bar and had Nebula help take him home when “Boom!” Adam Warlock appears! The action begins right away and we see the Guardians live up to their namesake while they all try to fight Adam. During the melee Rocket gets severely injured and a device is found inside him that will self-destruct if removed. This is one of the main plots of the movie.

(L-R): Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

As the story progresses, we get flashbacks that show us Rocket’s backstory. These scenes are heartwarming and emotional and pack a punch to the gut. The animation for Rocket has improved tremendously since we first saw Rocket in the first Guardians. Seeing Rocket and his friends is such a joy and makes you forget that you are staring at computer-generated characters. The audience gets a great insight as to why Rocket is the person he is in this movie through these flashbacks.

Another plot point is the disappearance of Gamora. Yes, she is in the movie but this Gamora is the version that we saw at the end of Endgame. She has no memory of Peter and is now part of a new crew. The two eventually team up again to find a cure for Rocket and there are some great moments between them that are pathetic (for Peter) and hilarious. It’s also great to see the entire team together again. Although the team is together, their dynamic is different due to how Gamora sees them. She is a little rougher around the edges than the Gamora from previous films. The family is together again…or are they?

Speaking of family, we know that Ron Howard has his brother Clint in all of his movies. J.J. Abrams has his best friend, Greg Grunberg in all of his projects and if you were in one Adam Sandler movie, chances are you will be cast in the next one. So it should come as no surprise that not only has Sean Gunn been in all of the Guardian movies, he plays Kraglin and is the on-set motion-capture actor for Rocket, but we see all of the James Gunn regulars in the movie. From Nathan Fillion, Lloyd Kaufman, Jennifer Holland, and Daniela Melchior. Some of these cameos are easy to spot and some might be distracting for viewers.

One thing that is not distracting is the music. James Gunn has a knack for using the right songs at the right time in this series and the music in Volume 3 does not disappoint. From the use of “Creep” by Radiohead, “Do You Realize??” by The Flaming Lips, to “Crazy on You” by Heart, each song amplifies the scenes and the action that is taking place. While many of these songs will probably be added to viewers’ playlists after watching this movie one song that stood out in a fantastic scene was by The Beastie Boys. I won’t say the song because I want you to feel the way I felt when watching that scene.

The big bad in this movie is the High Evolutionary, played perfectly by Chukwudi Iwuji. His role in the movie is trying to get Rocket back and use him to create the perfect being. The High Evolutionary is a character that goes from 1 to 11 in mere seconds and Iwuji does it so effortlessly. Within his perfect world, we see parallels to our own world. I wonder if this is meant to be a message to the viewers about obtaining perfection and how using animals for experiments is not the right thing to do. The use of animals for experiments might be triggering for some viewers but it serves a purpose in the story that Gunn is trying to tell.

James Gunn has given us a trilogy of movies with the Guardians of the Galaxy that puts it up there with the Original Star Wars trilogy. In comparison to other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this series has moved right up there with the Captain America movies for me. The cohesiveness of all the movies makes them a trilogy that makes you want to watch them all over again. You can see all of the effort and love James Gunn put into the movie from the script to the fantastic scenery and images displayed on the screen. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a great journey that will not be repeated again and I am glad that James Gunn included us all on this trip.

Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Final Thoughts: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a fantastic continuation of the Guardians trilogy. James Gunn gave us characters that we cared about and kept the same tone throughout all of the movies that made our care turn into love. Volume 3 gives us Rocket’s story through a series of flashbacks that can only be described as heartbreaking. As with the previous Volumes, the theme of family is strong in this one and really shows us that family is what we make of it and not always about blood ties. Make sure you stay for the two after-credit stingers.

Kid-Friendly: Like the previous Guardians movie, there is a good amount of bad words said throughout. Volume 3 is the first Marvel Studios movie to drop the F-bomb. While it is humourous when used, it might not be something that parents do not want their younger kids to hear. There are a lot of emotional moments here and during the screening I attended, a young girl was crying a few seats away from me. I’ll admit I was crying a few times during the movie and I was not expecting to be gut-punched as much as I was.

Violence: If your kids have seen the other Volumes of Guardians of the Galaxy they will not see anything new in this one. The fantasy violence is similar to other Marvel Studio movies with one scene that is a little darker than what we have seen before. We see what an angry Rocket can do and it is not pretty.

In Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them. The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova. James Gunn is the director and also wrote the screenplay. Kevin Feige produces with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nikolas Korda, Sara Smith, and Simon Hatt serving as executive producers.

The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova. Director James Gunn wrote the screenplay, and Kevin Feige produces with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nikolas Korda, Simon Hatt and Sara Smith serving as executive producers.

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