Everything felt like it was coming to an end for the infamous Guardians of the Galaxy after many years of being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At least that’s how it felt in the marketing and various trailers for the latest outing of the galactic heroes. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is the third entry of the saga following this team, but it doesn’t end up being dramatic for this lineup of heroes. There’s a lot of fun action, funny moments, and dark turns for each member of the group, but the movie winds up being a mellow parting of ways, rather than an eventful change for the Guardians we’ve come to know all these years. Luckily, the soundtrack is still top-notch and the vibes along the way are as great as ever.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 begins with the team out in space on the dead celestial planet Knowhere, as they help fix things up for everyone and establish their HQ. But a random attack from the powerful Adam Warlock (played by Will Poulter) thrusts the team into conflict with a new foe called the High Evolutionary. Rocket is injured in the fight and the Guardians need to get a piece of data to help save their friend’s life, which puts them in direct conflict with the High Evolutionary and his deranged plans. Meanwhile, Rocket has a near-death experience that takes him back to his origins and his direct connection to the High Evolutionary, leading to a struggle against time that could lead to the death of a beloved friend.
While the stakes for the Guardians of the Galaxy are high in this third film, the way everything concludes feels like a subversion of expectations and a near lack of consequences. Many times in the film the story takes a turn that appears to be dire for different heroes, only for things to turn out just fine. Though it’s refreshing to see a much happier ending after a lot of conflicts, things are only somewhat bittersweet and steer away from really impacting the team in significant ways. When the action finally subsides, everyone is still able to walk away in some fashion and come back together with the rest of the group. For some, this will be good, while others will definitely feel the unwillingness to push boundaries in the same way the trailers said the movie would.
Despite that, everyone on the team gets moments to shine. Even characters like Groot who take a backseat to others still get a big action moment that lets them play a big role in everything going on with the story. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Pom Klementieff, Dave Batista, and Karen Gillan all return as their characters from previous films. Each of them is on their A-game in delivery and presence as the titular heroes, despite some of the plot being of less quality than the previous Guardians film. Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord has a great range of emotions and baggage to get into with everything that has happened for him from the previous Marvel films up to now, with some fallout from the last big Avengers movie being a big sticking point. Nebula, Mantis, and Drax all get more time to flex their muscles with scenes that showcase why people love them, with some great action sequences that do them justice in multiple ways.
From that group, Gamora is the only character that feels underserviced here, despite being given many scenes to interact with multiple characters. This version of Gamora isn’t the same we’ve come to know from the previous two Guardians of the Galaxy films, but instead the one we’ve met at the end of Avengers: End Game. So the romance that was built up between Star-Lord and Gamora is non-existent to her, leading to some awkward moments and funny exchanges. But as good as those moments are, we feel disconnected from Gamora in a pretty significant way, since it’s not the same person that we went on adventures with before.
At the same time, the movie doesn’t fully give time or a payoff to rebuilding this relationship between the two, only hinting at it becoming a thing once again by then end. For something that was such a big part of Star-Lord’s character and the dynamic of the Guardians of the Galaxy for more than two films, it’s a shame to see it come to this kind of conclusion that feels underwhelming. And with this possibly being the last film we get to see these two together, it would’ve been nice to see things unfold differently.
On the other side of this is the shallow inclusion of Adam Warlock. His appearance is a payoff from the ending of a previous Guardians film end credit scene, but what we get feels incredibly out of place and underwhelming. The buildup for the character finally showing up was done fairly well, especially since his race of people is connected to the High Evolutionary in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the man himself feels out of place. Will Poulter does his best to make the character interesting, but there’s not enough time to devote to really fleshing out his significance, at least not, in the same way, fans may have hoped his inevitable appearance would do so. Adam Warlock’s mother Ayesha, the leader of the Sovereign from the second film, makes an appearance working for the High Evolutionary. Their dynamic seems to be interesting at first but is cut short when some major things happen in the story. It’s nice to see her return one more time but it’s a shame she wasn’t more significant to the main plot or helping build up Adam Warlock more.But the bulk of the film focuses on Rocket Raccoon and his origins that are connected to the High Evolutionary. Rocket’s story is interesting and heartbreaking in multiple ways, putting on display why Rocket’s attitude was always harder and sharper towards those around him. But as good as ll of that is, the High Evolutionary ends up being a somewhat forgettable villain. Chukwudi Iwuji plays the character with a sense of sophistication and a god complex and comes off as incredibly evil once you see his attitude towards life and the communities he creates with his work in genetic manipulation.
But this villain ultimately turns into a screaming narcissist that gets moments that don’t always feel earned. He’s responsible for a lot of the pain Rocket has experienced throughout his life, including hurting him in ways that many thoughts were not possible, and yet doesn’t have the same presence as some of the MCU’s bigger villains. Chukwudi Iwuji does a good job with becoming the character, but the material he’s given just isn’t up to the task of making the High Evolutionary feel memorable or as big of a threat as we’ve seen up to this point.
The action in Guardians of the Galaxy movies is always fun and matched up to a great soundtrack. Luckily, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 follows suit with a new selection of music to pair up with the film’s bigger moments and make our heroes look good. The best action sequences are the ones where each member gets to show off their abilities and work together with other Guardians, which is done very well near the end of the film. But even in the mellow moments with each Guardian doing random tasks, the music that plays gives a vibe of listening to a good playlist or CD straight through.
Not every piece of music will hit well with everyone, but they match up very well to different points of the story as we see the group go through various things together. When the film comes to its end and we see where the group stands now, there’s a very nice callback to the first Guardians of the Galaxy movies, which makes things come around full circle musically.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is not the best movie about the intergalactic team of heroes, but it’s a good film that will work for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy. It doesn’t feel connected to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in any big way, outside of a few references from previous movies. That will definitely be disappointing to fans of the MCU, especially since the movie tries to present itself as an ending of sorts for this team. But if you just go along for the ride, you’ll be able to enjoy this last ride with this team for the Guardians of the Galaxy. It may not be as dramatic of an ending as we hoped, but not everything needs to end in a grim way to be good, sometimes things just come to an end in a more chill way. Whether that makes it a great conclusion or not will be different for everyone.
Are you going to be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 any time soon? Who is your favorite character from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and why? Post a comment down below and let us know!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
There are some great action sequences and a really solid soundtrack for the movie. But the movie does have some moments that feel undercooked and underwhelming, despite all the right pieces being in place. The bigger moments with these characters do work well, but a few missteps hold back what could be truly great. Won’t be what most were expecting, but will still be a fun watch for everyone overall.
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