Being able to complete a trilogy of films is a dream for a filmmaker but also a daunting task. We have been following this crazy group of heroes since their first appearance in 2014. James Gunn, director & writer of all three Guardians Of The Galaxy films, had to deliver an ending worthy of The Guardians. This journey was as important to him as it was for us to see it completed, as you can see here. I think it’s safe to say he accomplished this task on multiple levels. Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is the film to remind us what the MCU is capable of.
It’s Rocket’s Story
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is an emotional journey centered around Rocket Racoon. As expected, the film also has excellent humor and some big moments that will make fans happy where our heroes end up when the credits roll. We get several critical flashbacks to Rocket’s origins that made me tear up. Gunn doesn’t hold back on these essential moments, as it further develops Rocket and makes the audience see him differently. Telling Rocket’s origin was smart now. If this were told in an earlier film, it wouldn’t have the impact it does. Some stories work better with more time spent with characters, and Gunn chose the right one with this one being told now. Bradley Cooper, as always, voiced Rocket to perfection here.
Star-Lord & Gamora
This being Rocket’s story doesn’t mean the other heroes don’t get a chance to shine. Everyone gets their moment to shine in the film, especially in the third act. One action scene, in particular, is easily one of the best ones in the Guardians franchise. Chris Pratt as Star-Lord has a lot of emotional baggage from the loss of Gamora, and another version from Avengers: Endgame is now in her place. Their dynamic, or lack thereof, is another vital piece to the puzzle of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. Pratt conveys deep emotion when interacting with Zoe Saldana’s Gamora. Some comedic moments between the two as well helps not make this storyline uncomfortable as they both are in different places from each other.
All The Guardians Serve A Purpose
Dave Bautista as Drax is once again a personal highlight. Bautista plays Drax like no one else could. His comedic timing has improved, and his jokes land as I expected. The other side of Drax, the caring side, is also seen in crucial moments. When I think about each character, they genuinely shine for who they are. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 works because of each character’s contribution to the story. If Pom Klementieff as Mantis weren’t, for some reason, present in this film, it wouldn’t have felt the same. Klementieff brings levity to scenes and her comedy that only Mantis can bring. The same can be said about all the main cast; their dynamic worked so well and effortlessly.
New Faces In Guardians Vol. 3
Adam Warlock is a new addition to the film, and Will Poulter is excellent casting for the role. Poulter plays an iconic role in the comics, and Adam is here to stay within the MCU. With that said, I felt underwhelmed with how much his character was involved in the story. I expected more of a presence throughout the journey, but sadly this isn’t the case. Unfortunately, for his character to get more screen time means cutting back on others, which would be a disservice to the story. It’s a double-edged sword, and Gunn did establish him enough for audiences to anticipate the character’s future. Still, maybe he would have benefited from being introduced somewhere else first.
Chukwudi Iwuji, as The High Evolutionary, stands out in a big way in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. Iwuji plays each scene subtly and in sheer rage as well, MCU villains are hit-or-miss for the most part, but Gunn gives us one to hate for more than one reason truly. The High Evolutionary being the creator of Rocket Racoon is one reason to be against this character, but its other moments in the film make the hatred you feel grow towards him. He is ruthless, and Iwuji doesn’t hold back the performance.
Music Means So Much
The soundtrack for the Guardians’ films always stands out. That is also true here, with various classic songs that feel right at home with our heroes. At first, the acoustic version of Creep felt strange when it started, but it works for the scene it plays over. No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Since You Been Gone, and others feel right in line with previous songs in the trilogy. This isn’t my favorite collection of songs from the trilogy, but it worked for this film tonally.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is a satisfying conclusion, and thankfully, Gunn could conclude the story he started in 2014. It wouldn’t have been the same if anyone else took over the director role and possibly wrote the script. Gunn had to be the one to finish this out, but don’t worry. The MCU will continue, and the chance of seeing our heroes again is always possible.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is in theaters now.