HomeFilm‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ review

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ review

All good things must come to an end, and after almost a decade it looks like we are bidding a fond farewell to a fantastic Marvel institution. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ first burst onto the scene in 2014 and completely surprised and wowed audiences the world over with its fresh and funny approach to storytelling, giving us a brand-new super-team to easily champion. It’s safe to say most people didn’t know much about the ‘Guardians’ outside of the comic book world, but writer/director James Gunn took it upon himself to make them all household names and deliver (arguably) Marvel’s best singular trilogy in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) to date. Now ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ arrives to conclude a very entertaining chapter and delivers on every front to make one of Marvel’s most enjoyable films in years.

Star-Lord aka Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still struggling to get over the death of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and the emergence of an alternate version of her that has no history or romance with him. The Guardians are enjoying some downtime when a mysterious gold-being named Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) literally crashes into them, looking to take Rocket Raccoon (the voice of Bradley Cooper) as a prisoner. After the brutal attack, which leaves Rocket close to death, Peter and the Guardians including Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (the voice of Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) seek out help and turn to Gamora (Zoe Saldana). As Rocket’s life hangs in the balance, we learn that the Guardians must take on The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a madman who thinks he is a god, and who wants to dissect Rocket to help create his master race.

James Gunn has always known how to give his projects real purpose and emotional attachment. This is certainly the case with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, which tugs at your heartstrings right from the start, and that uses its characters to full effect to deliver a rich and rewarding story that completely captures your attention. The film packs an emotional punch throughout, whilst never backing down from delivering some jaw-dropping spectacle and amazing action set-pieces.

The strength of this franchise has always been with its characters, and its impressive ensemble once again proves that great writing coupled with astute casting always yields the best returns. The ‘Guardians’ ensemble has always been a fine blueprint for delivering mass-character stories on a big screen canvas, and thankfully ‘Vol. 3’ continues this trend. There are a lot of characters, but they all feel fleshed-out properly, and have something genuinely interesting to add to the overall narrative. Leading the way is Chris Pratt, who once again does a remarkable job as Star-Lord. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is ultimately his story, and his arc is explored well here. Pratt is always entertaining and has proved to be one of the best leading men in this genre.

Karen Gillan has really moulded Nebula into a fascinating and funny character. ‘Vol. 3’ really gives her a wonderful opportunity to showcase her talents and is one of the best characters of this third chapter. Dave Bautista continues to steal all of his scenes as Drax, and I’ll miss him the most. Bradley Cooper’s vocal work for Rocket is superb, with the furry raccoon being the main attraction of this movie. Rocket’s story is wonderfully realised, with Cooper delivering a heartfelt performance that resonates with the audience. Kudos to Sean Gunn, who not only plays Kraglin in the film, but who does the motion-capture work for young Rocket too, and Noa Raskin who voices Baby Rocket.

Linda Cardellini, Asim Chaudhry and Mikaela Hoover lend their voices to three very sweet new characters from Rocket’s past, Elizabeth Debicki returns as Ayesha, tasked with finding Rocket through her newly created son Adam. Will Poulter is funny in the role, however I was slightly surprised to see the character lean so heavily on the comedic element. Sylvester Stallone is great in his brief cameo, as are Nathan Fillion, Daniela Melchior and Maria Bakalova – who is hilarious as Cosmo the dog.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3’ is best viewed on a huge cinema screen to fully immerse yourself in the superb spectacle. IMAX has always been my preferred format choice for seeing such visceral blockbuster movies. ‘Guardians’ in IMAX Laser 3D adds something undeniably special to the movie-going experience, with crystal clear images and fully immersive 3D completely encapsulating the viewer into this world. After the recent boom in 3D died down, it’s nice to see it come back and used to good effect. In the past too many films came out in 3D that frankly didn’t need to be in the format. Now there seems to be a resurgence of 3D, but used for films that can actually benefit from the technology. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ is one of those films, and coupled with the supersized screens of IMAX, makes for a winning combination. If you can afford the price uplift from a standard ticket, then you won’t be disappointed.

After a lot of Marvel movies over the last 15+ years, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ stand out as one of Marvel’s greatest cinematic achievements. They have taken a relatively unknown team and made them firm family favourites with stories of excitement, adventure, and compassion. It is very sad to see these characters go off into the sunset, but hopefully when the time is right, perhaps they can return to our screens. That looks like it will be many years off – if at all – but in the meantime, let’s celebrate the fact that we have had three incredible movies, lots of cameos and even a festive holiday special to enjoy. And the music alone has been an utter joy to listen to. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ is a fitting finale and a very emotional journey that will stick with its audience for many years to come.

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, Maria Bakalova, Nathan Fillion, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, Linda Cardellini, Asim Chaudhry, Mikaela Hoover Director: James Gunn Writer: James Gunn Certificate: 12A Duration: 150 mins Released by: Disney Release date: 3rd May 2023

Jason Palmer
Jason Palmerhttp://www.entertainment-focus.com
Jason is a film contributor for Entertainment Focus (EF) bringing you the latest news and reviews from the movie world.

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All good things must come to an end, and after almost a decade it looks like we are bidding a fond farewell to a fantastic Marvel institution. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ first burst onto the scene in 2014 and completely surprised and wowed audiences...‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ review