Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Written by James Gunn
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillen, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter and Maria Bakalova
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.
Closing out a trilogy is a hard work on its own, but closing one out that falls in the middle of an entire cinematic universe is even harder. After a lot of behind the scenes drama and some major professional changes, James Gunn and company have returned to give the Guardians the send off they deserve.
I went into this film with both high hopes and trepidation because I knew it was going to be the end of this iteration of the team and I was reticent on seeing any of them go, but Gunn manages to craft a film that not only makes you appreciate the characters even more, but look forward to seeing them grow both together and on their own.
The Guardians have always held a unique place in the MCU. Beyond being a part of world and universe shattering events, the stories have always been personal for the characters. Whether it was creating a new family in the first film or learning to appreciate that found family in the second, the Guardians films have always been about the characters first. This film is no different and that makes me appreciate it more.
Gunn keeps the continuity of events intact with Peter (Pratt) still dealing with the loss of Gamora and the fact that the one that he shares a universe with doesn’t have any of the memories that made them close. That dynamic is brilliantly done between Pratt’s Peter Quill and Saldana’s Gamora. It could have been so easy to craft a story where they fall in love again, but Gunn evolves their characters by forcing Peter to face the reality of who this Gamora is while also showing Gamora has established her own found family in the Ravagers.
The film dives right into the action when Adam Warlock (Poulter) is dispatched to attack the Guardians, leaving Rocket (Cooper) critically injured. Unable to save him by conventional means, Peter and the others go looking for information on how to cure their friend, putting them in the path of Rocket’s creator, the High Evolutionary (Iwuji). Iwuji electrifies the screen as the movie’s villain in a role that lets you know throughout the film that this character has no moral compass or redeemable qualities. He is completely self serving and will destroy anything or anyone to get what he wants. It’s a nice change of pace from villains I am told that I need to sympathize with. Sometimes I want to see a bad guy get what’s coming to him.
There are a series of flashbacks in the film that showcase Rocket’s journey as well as the cruelty of the High Evolutionary and I love how his power and influence showed up in different places throughout the trilogy, especially the previous film. The movie does a great job of keeping the journey moving forward and even acknowledging more comedic moments like the Holiday Special.
Beyond the great characters and character moments, the movie has some of the most thrilling action I’ve seen recently. There’s a bigger scope to the action in the film and Gunn delivers on it as well as the emotional stakes that make you care about the characters. In a way, Gunn leaves everything on the field in his third outing for these characters.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a big, bombastic summer blockbuster that brilliantly mixes together intense action, great humor and some really intense character moments to create a fantastic send off for these characters. I found myself thoroughly entertained throughout the film and more importantly, satisfied with how it ended for the characters and their found family.
There are two scenes after the film. There is a mid credit scene and an after credits scene.