Movie Review: Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3


Jonathan Gibson, Staff Writer

Star-Lord and his group of loveable misfits are back for one last time to save the Galaxy in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. Written and directed by James Gunn, the acclaimed director leaves Marvel with a bang, showcasing his unique humor, quirky music taste, and skill for making completing and exciting characters. The movie follows in the vastly successful footsteps of the first two Guardians movies, with each movie having accumulated over 700 million dollars at the box office.

Although the initial plot is a bit slow-paced, the movie interlaces the overarching story with flashbacks of Rocket Racoon’s past. These flashbacks serve as some of the best parts of the movie and are beautifully written and directed, albeit grim in nature. An aspect of this movie I really enjoyed was the lack of unnecessary cameos references to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. A viewer could easily go into this movie having only seen the previous two Guardians movies, Avengers: Endgame, and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, and still easily understand the plot without having to have done “homework” beforehand. Despite this essentially being an ensemble movie, every character gets their moment to shine, and their unique character and areas of expertise are highlighted. 

Moving on to the individual characters, Chris Pratt continues to remain charismatic as ever, providing an enjoyable main character role. Rocket is easily the most compelling character in this movie, with both Bradley Cooper and Sean Gunn (Who voiced young Rocket) delivering excellent, emotion-filled performances. Pom Klementieff really developed as Mantis in this movie, going from a naïve girl in the first movie to now becoming the heart of the team in this movie. Chukwudi Iquji is perfect for the manic, intense, High Evolutionary, but he is really hindered by a lack of screen time. Nebula, played by Karen Gillan, comes into her own in this movie as a more active and present member of the team. Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), and Groot (Vin Diesel) all fill their roles well but aren’t particularly notable in the story. James Gunn also continues the trend of bringing his friends with him once again, with Nathan Fillion, in particular, being very humorous. On the other hand, Dave Bautisa’s Drax retains his humor, but none of his usefulness in the story, essentially being a blatant liability to the Guardians and becoming slightly annoying by the middle of the movie. Zoe Saldana as Gamora is also a weak performance, seemingly unable to capture the demeanor that made her a fan favorite in previous movies.

Another minor critique I have is the music choice. While choosing pop culture music does make for an enjoyable reference, the lack of a produced score hinders the movie, making for awkward scenes where the music doesn’t exactly fit the scene. The climax is also weak, not feeling nearly as intense as the earlier parts of the movie. There is, however, one moment at the very end of the climax that is quite possibly my favorite moment in the movie.

However, the overall movie is very enjoyable and is the first Marvel movie that I have actually found funny recently. In my opinion, this movie is my second favorite movie Post-Endgame, only behind Spiderman: No Way Home. The future of The Guardians is very much in the air as of now, with writer and director James Gunn leaving to be Creative Head for Marvel’s direct rival, DC.  Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a funny, action-packed movie filled with heart that makes for a very enjoyable experience.