In Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life—a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
What We Thought:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is pretty good and something I’d consider watching again at some point. I know that doesn’t sound like high praise, but it really is considering how the MCU has played out over the past few years. A lot of people think the MCU has gone down hill since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame and I didn’t think much of those two films in the first place. Because of not enjoying a lot that has come out since then, enjoying this was a nice surprise. It’s not as good as the first Guardians film, but it’s a decent enough send off for these lovable losers.
The biggest positives are the style, action and soundtrack. Even though he now runs the DCU, James Gunn wrote and directed Vol. 3 and if you are a fan of his, you can feel him all over the film. It has lots of one-liners, lots of fun characters played by James Gunn staples, lots of action and tons of music. There’s a new song played constantly and all kinds of creatures and characters. The action is mostly CGI-based, but so were the first two Guardians films. If you liked these characters especially in Gunn’s first two films, it’s a great return for them. They all appeared in the Avengers sequels, but these were Gunn’s babies first and you get them as he sees them in Vol. 3.
For me the biggest issue is the runtime. It’s too long. It’s around 2 and half hours and it shouldn’t be. It wanders at points and a character introduced was completely wasted. I should say, re-introduced because Adam Warlock has been hinted at for years. Will Poulter finally brings Adam Warlock fully into the MCU and he’s pretty much pointless. He’s barely a plot point doing very little and coming across as completely inept. The character in the comics has been around for decades and has played a vital role in many storylines including being a Guardian of the Galaxy. You could cut Adam Warlock from this film and still get to the same exact conclusion. That’s disappointing for such a powerful cosmic being in the books.
I also got tired of the “new” Gamora. Peter Quill pines over his Gamora who died in Endgame and this version is from a different timeline. It grew tiresome quickly. We’ve already seen these characters fall in love the first time despite their differences and here are those differences again along with this Gamora not even knowing Star-Lord. Gamora went from a fleshed out, important character to a one dimensional character that you really don’t care about.
That being said Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a nice return to form for the MCU. After the box office disaster that was Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at least Marvel can tell they have a hit on their hands. Rocket being wounded provides the main story of trying to save his life, but it also allows the audience to learn more about Rocket’s past and how all the characters feel about each other. It’s going to be the last version of these characters together under James Gunn and you feel it watching the film. These are characters we already enjoyed with very little new introductions beyond the wasted Adam Warlock. Where Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania introduced Kang and wanted to set the tone for Phase 5 of the MCU (and failed miserably), Vol. 3 feels like a Phase 2 or 3 film with characters we already like, a style of filmmaking and comedy we already like and a movie you should like.
Great review! I watched the film last night and had a great time. If you get a chance, check out my review: https://kieransmoviecorner.wordpress.com/2023/05/04/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-3-movie-review/