Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review

The Guardians of the Galaxy have become beloved household names due to their memorable appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After almost a decade, the Guardians team as we know them are saying their goodbyes. Is their latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a proper send off to these fan-favorite characters? Let’s explore all the out-of-this-world details to find out.

Light spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are ahead.

The Good

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is easily one of the most emotional films in the MCU. It’s hard not to tear up at certain moments throughout. The relationships between the characters are really felt as they’re explored, tragic backstory is explored, and the ending is the perfect example of the term “bittersweet.” Whether it’s fearing that a character may be lost along the way or saying goodbye to everyone at the end, this is one film audiences will get choked up over. 

Every member of the team experiences a fantastic amount of growth. This further adds to the already-emotional ride that is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as well as provides a feeling of satisfaction for those who have seen the characters come such a long way. Just about every single arc that was set up almost a decade prior comes full circle, and it’s all done so masterfully.

Each character also gets their time to shine, which is nice since a lot of movie sequels often forget about some characters or only focus on one or two. Everyone is able to show off their powers and abilities as well have great interactions with others and showcase their personalities and what fans love about them. There’s even a fight scene in which each Guardian uses their iconic weapons of choice that they’re known for despite using a wide variety of tech and weaponry throughout the film. It’s like a big celebration honoring each of them, which is impressive since there are so many of them.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t afraid to get dark. At times, it feels like the darkest movie in the MCU. Because of this, it’s extremely suspenseful and gripping. That being said, it’s all perfectly balanced with the usual fantastic humor the Guardians are known for. There are still hilarious lines of dialogue and witty banter between the characters. It knows when to be serious and when to be funny without anything ever feeling out of place.

Throughout the movie, there are brilliant themes of accepting one’s self. It’s seen with individual members of the Guardians of the Galaxy and with the primary antagonist, the High Evolutionary. The story touches on the idea of accepting yourself for who you are and accepting others for who they are instead of changing them or putting on a facade. For a group who was introduced to audiences as “just a bunch of a-holes,” it’s an important message. Even though this may be an intergalactic epic, it’s a message many audience members can relate to.

Just like the previous installments in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, the visuals are top notch. The CGI and traditional effects are both phenomenal. Aliens, talking animals, and mutant creatures all look life-like. The set pieces are just as impressive. The movie completely transports audiences to this galaxy as if it was real.

The action is positively electrifying. The wide variety of tech, weapons, and abilities work together to create some truly unique battle sequences. On top of that, how much the audience cares and worries for each character makes the action especially nail-biting. 

The High Evolutionary is easily one of the greatest villains in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and the MCU as a whole. He’s twisted and diabolical and is great at making you hate him. He feels like a true threat to the heroes and has some delightfully evil dialogue. A superhero flick is only as good as its villain, and the High Evolutionary is a phenomenal one.

The soundtrack filled with iconic hits is just as on-point as ever. Some films include plenty of jukebox tunes that are just plain distracting, but the Guardians films know how to use them perfectly. The music plays into the music and the action superbly and makes it that much more fun.

The Bad

There’s a moment when Gamora attempts to contact the Ravagers via communicator, but Ayesha the Sovereign High-Priestess, is the one who responds. Gamora blindly believes that Ayesha is one of the Ravagers despite clearly not sounding like any of them. This may be a different Gamora, but she’s not dumb. She would have been able to pick up on the fact that Ayesha isn’t a Ravager and wouldn’t have been so easily duped.

Speaking of Gamora having selective smarts, there’s a point when she doesn’t recognize Blurp even though he was the pet of one of the Ravagers she’s been hanging out with. She refers to the Ravagers as “her people” but acts like she’s never seen Blurp before, which doesn’t quite make sense.

There’s a scene in which Star-Lord attempts to use a hose with oxygen flowing from it to propel himself across a large gap in space. Doesn’t he usually wear a pair of rocket boots? The one time he isn’t wearing them is the one time he truly needs them? He’s used them in just about every other MCU appearance (except for maybe The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special), but here, when it means life or death, he’s not wearing them? That sounds a little unbelievable.

This may not be an actual issue with this movie per se, but it’s quite noticeable that Gamora had to be handled in a way that James Gunn and everyone else involved didn’t originally want. It is the fault of the folks who worked on Avengers: Infinity War, and this is definitely the best case scenario after that, but it’s still hard not to wonder about what could have been. This Gamora still receives a fantastic arc and develops quite well like everyone else does, and it all does work with this story, but she does feel like more like a newcomer as opposed to someone we’ve gotten to know over the years like the rest. In the movie that’s (potentially) meant to say goodbye to these characters, it’s a bummer that it’s a goodbye to a Gamora that also feels like a newer character. Perhaps things would have been a bit better if the Guardians weren’t as entangled in the MCU.

Conclusion

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an emotional and entertaining send off to characters that quickly became beloved household names while also fantastically setting up potential things to come. It masterfully blends drama, heart, and humor in an action-packed thrill ride that any Marvel fan must see. It’ll have audiences laughing, crying, and having a blast for years to come.

Rating: 9.5/10

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3 comments

  1. Great review. I have to agree with you about this movie. It was definitely a blast to watch and gave this particular franchise trilogy enough weight and emotion to make it feel like one last “hurrah” with this group of characters. It was very satisfying conclusion, which is kind of hard to pull nowadays with movies.

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  2. […] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 served as a perfect send off to the beloved MCU team. That being said, it did leave the door open for these characters to return if Disney and Marvel Studios wished. There’s plenty of room for follow-ups featuring the Guardians in future projects. Here are some potential movies or series that could have the Guardians return without undoing anything that happened in the latest film. […]

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