A few years ago it seemed that the final part of the adventures of Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, Groot, Drax and Mantis was not going to come true. In 2018, The US far-right used old James Gunn tweets taken out of context to convince Disney to fire the writer-director. Thanks to the pressure of his friends, Disney realized she was manipulated and rehired him. Finally, Gunn was able to offer us what in this review we consider one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.
It was necessary to remember those events because of the influence they had on the production of the film. It’s impossible not to see Gunn himself reflected in the story when it’s about a group of friends coming together to save a team member they’re in danger of losing.
The plot of the movie revolves around Rocket. In the previous appearances of the Guardians, this character was reluctant to talk about his past and now we understand why. The tortures he suffered at the hands of The High Evolutionary they left him with enormous trauma and now that past has returned to leave him at death’s door. His friends immediately leave everything behind to find a way to save his life.
But this movie isn’t just about the furriest member of the team. During the mission to save him, the relationship between all the members of this family evolves. Each one discovers important things about himself and his companions. This is the last time we see the Guardians of the Galaxy in movies with this lineup and is a wonderful farewell to some of the most beloved characters in the space fantasy genre..
In previous films, some of the team members were relegated to a purely comedic role. Drax and Mantis, for example, hadn’t had much emotional depth in the previous stories, not even when they starred in their own adventure together. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 keeps up the hilarious personality clashes between them but finally delves into what they really think of each other. Nebula finds herself in an unofficial leadership position in which she must learn to better value her and Groot’s companions… well, Groot is still the link that binds them all.
Peter Quill and Gamora deserve a special mention. It is no secret that we are not big fans of the Star-Lord from the movies —curious, since the one from the video game like a lot—and that has nothing to do with how troublesome actor Chris Pratt can be. We considered him selfish and self centered even when he was being a hero. So we feared the worst from this movie in her relationship with Gamora and imagined him trying to force her to love him like the variant that died in Infinity War did. In fact, things start more or less like this. But surprisingly there comes a point where the two characters evolve and the perspective they have of each other changes for the better.
This is a general thing. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 begins by showing the worst in each of the team members, but then gradually reveals the best in them until it reaches a cathartic ending full of self-discovery. James Gunn knows how to fill his works with humanity and this is possibly the most emotional of his films. Prepare to cry, especially if you are an animal lover.
This is a good point to stop and give a content warning. The scenes of animal abuse in this film can be quite disturbing.. They do not show the worst and it is more than clear that all the creatures are CGI, but there are those who may not be able to tolerate them.
The cause of Rocket’s suffering is The High Evolutionary, which can be the cruelest and irredeemable villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the past, villains like Loki, Killmonger, and even Thanos himself have had elements that elicit some sympathy or even side with them, but this man is utterly despicable. Nigerian actor Chukwudi Iwuji (Murn in the Peacemaker series) plays him as an obsessive man with a god complex. He manages to arouse an unusual hatred for villains in this kind of movie and that makes him something special.
The other villain in the film is Adam Warlock and we have no doubt that it is going to be quite controversial. Although he is very powerful, this is not the cosmic entity from the comics. He’s more of a comedic character and for a good part of the movie we thought he was just here as filler and as a link to one of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credit scenes. But at the end of this story it becomes clear what his purpose was. and it fits very well with the themes of not only this film, but the trilogy. Even so, we know that there are those who are going to strongly oppose the little that is reminiscent of the original character and the absence of his Magus counterpart.
We’ve been talking about the story, themes, and characters for a long time in this review, and we haven’t even touched on one of the strongest aspects of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: its visual style. In previous films we’ve already noticed how much Gunn was inspired by ’50s pulp’ science fiction, but here that influence comes out in full force. The settings are increasingly colorful and bizarre, almost grotesque. Our favorite is Orgocorp’s Orgosphere, a completely organic space station that’s as fascinating as it is disgusting and full of fun and highly original visual details.
The quality of the CGI or computer generated images is also excellent. Some of the recent Marvel movies have been heavily criticized for lowering the visual quality and while some of these criticisms are exaggerated, there is some truth to them. Fortunately, this film looks incredible in all its aspects and although we love when it resorts to practical effects – not surprisingly, James Gunn began his career in Troma – the CGI characters look more realistic than ever. It’s impossible not to fall in love with young Rocket and his animal friends.It doesn’t matter if they are «false».
There are few bad things we can say about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 in this review. We would have liked to have seen more of Kraglin and Cosmo, that Adam Warlock’s character had been better developed earlier, and that some scenes had more natural editing. Apart from that, it is excellent in all its aspects including its soundtrack, this time made up mainly of great 90s rock classics.
The Guardians of the Galaxy are one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We know we’ll see Chris Pratt as Star-Lord again and I’m sure the others will eventually reappear as well. But if it wasn’t like that and this is actually the last appearance of him, we can’t imagine a better farewell.
We are all Groots.