Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3
review by Bobby Blakey
When the Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters back in 2014 I must admit that I didn’t expect it to work, but it came out of the gate full on badass and a ton of fun. From there I was all in and despite the follow up in 2017 not fully living up to the original, but it was still good. Now after seeing the gang show up in the Infinity War series and more recently their own Holiday Special we are finally ready to say goodbye with the final chapter in their saga aptly titled Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 follows our beloved band of misfits who are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
This new entry brings back the original cast along with some new additions including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova and James Gunn once again at the helm. With all the MCU trilogies there have been ups and downs, but have to say that all of the Guardians films have worked and managed to really do its own thing without the assistance of the rest of the Marvel franchise. If not for their inclusion in the Infinity Saga and connection to Thor they would have pretty much existed in their own end of the universe and that’s not a bad thing. Each of these movies has been uniquely them and this latest is no different.
This has been touted as the final chapter of the Guardians and it serves as
the perfect end piece for these characters while setting up more for the Guardians possibly in the future, whoever that may be. Gunn threw everything at this movie in the best possible way to not only wrap up everything that has come before, but also give us so much more that we didn’t even know we needed. This time around everyone gets their own time to shine per usual, but this is very much Rocket’s story on all levels. It is way more heartbreaking and deep than you might think with such a ridiculous character. I never would have thought they would have used him in anything prior to this series let alone think I would get this invested in his existence, but here we are.
The film picks up after the Holiday Special making it just as important as the previous films, which I loved and wastes no time diving right in. The highly anticipated addition of Adam Warlock kicks things off, but isn’t handled in the way I had hoped. As a fan of the character I am not a big fan of how they dealt with him here, but separating that aspect he works well to fit in the context of what has come before. He is not a prominent as I had hoped, but one that they clearly have it set up with the possible inclusion of him in the future. The same is said for the Ravagers we met in the previous film led by Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord aka Starhawk. They get a little more screen time this outing, but still not used for much other than to move the story along.
The entire original cast are all great bringing the usual banter and chemistry to the mix that makes them fan favorites. Sure the long rambling dialogue is often times useless, but it’s so fun to watch and listen to that you just don’t care. They all got to bring new levels of emotion and depth to their roles that really stepped these characters up. Seeing their growth while maintaining who they are is what makes them so great. Throwing in the new version of Gamora adds new issues and a place to dive into new areas for her to play with and in turn affects the rest of the team.
As with every entry into this series it is bright and vibrant with a look all its own. It pushes to the limits this time around taking us into all new locals, universes and more alien species than a Tatooine Cantina. It all just makes this adventure all the more fun to experience and often times silly as well in all the right places. They really stepped up the action throughout with one insanely awesome hall fight featuring all the Guardians in action at once and is a site to behold. The main villain, The High Evolutionary played to insane levels by Chukwudi Iwuji might be the most unhinged villain we have seen in the MCU to date while still not being the most fearsome. I like the direction they went with him and the connection the bigger story, but it also felt like it wasn’t near as big as they had hoped.
In the end the ending to this underdog franchise has once again proven that it deserves its place in the MCU. It has everything you could want and then some while making you love and care about these people even more before they give them a proper send-off worthy of their legacy. Throughout the film there are call backs to numerous characters and elements of everything the Guardians hve been a part of including an end worthy of their legend. As usual stay through the credits for two scenes that might not be pushing the MCU forward, but it adds more love and laughs to this particular franchise.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and numerous featurettes bringing this final chapter to life. Return for one last adventure when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on August 1st from Marvel Studios.