Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review


After three years of waiting, Guardians of the Galaxy fans have finally  received the final film in their trilogy. This film, set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, is the second of phase five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Unlike the previous Guardians movies, this finale initially portrays a more heavy-hearted tone. 

Starting with a flashback to Rocket Racoon’s (Bradley Cooper) past — from which the film goes back and forth throughout the whole movie — the audience gets intel on the secrets behind Rocket’s upbringing and trauma. After this, we are brought back to the present, where the Guardians are currently occupying Knowhere, the head of an ancient Celestial that was first introduced in the original Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) movie. Within the first few minutes, the movie introduces a member of the Sovereign (a galactic race that appears in GOTG Vol. 2) who is looking for Rocket. From there, the Guardians go on a quest to find out more about Rocket’s past in order to save him, and they do so with help from an old friend.

The first and second movies in this trilogy are held in high regard in my mind; they have a perfect mix of retro music, comedy, and action, all wrapped in one. Naturally, I felt excited yet hesitant going into this third movie because of the recent decline in the overall popularity of superhero movies. However, my hopes were both met and exceeded by the strategic flashbacks about Rocket’s past, and the whole new list of catchy songs that remained stuck in my head. This movie was able to capture the magic that MCU movies had before Endgame, while also bringing about new, complex storylines to fit the new era of superheroes. On the contrary, I felt like the iconic interactions between the group were slightly lost due to the events from Avengers: Endgame. As we know, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) came ‘back to life’ in that movie, but in reality it was just a past version of herself. Subsequently, this meant the relationships built between her and the rest of the Guardians are completely dissolved in Vol. 3, with constant reminders that they are gone as if nothing had happened. 

Moving on, the music more than makes up for the small details. This soundtrack brought back the same mix of retro-space songs that make these movies so memorable. It opens with 90s rock song “Creep” by Radiohead, that resonates with Rocket’s character to illustrate to the audience how important he will be throughout this movie. 

In addition, this film has been called “an animal rights masterpiece” by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit that advocates for animal rights. They’ve recognized James Gunn (director of all three films), for the work he did with this movie to educate audiences on the mistreatment of animals, as portrayed through the scenes of Rocket’s past. The main villains in this movie are the people who experimented on Rocket and his friends, which sends a message about how organizations who test on animals should be viewed. 

Overall, I felt like this movie went above the standards that MCU movies have currently held. It was very enjoyable and brought back nostalgia from the first and second films that were so memorable to begin with.