Marvel Is Back in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
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Marvel Studios’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a breath of fresh air amidst the endless copy-and-paste superhero movies of the last few years. With its generous blend of humor, action, and drama, it is a perfect final installment that brings Marvel back to the basics, reassuring fans that there is still hope for the franchise.
Vol. 3 picks up right after the catastrophes of Avengers: Endgame (2019), with a disarrayed crew suffering from the death of one of its members, Gamora (Zoe Saldana). This loss is especially devastating for Gamora’s former boyfriend, Starlord (Chris Pratt), who spends his time drunk and depressed, effectively forcing Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) to take up the mantle as team leader. When Rockett is injured, however, the Guardians must enlist the help of a stoic alternate-universe Gamora to take down the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a powerful being who is seeking revenge. Director James Gunn ends the trilogy on a high note, diving into the group’s shifting dynamic and uncertain future.
Vol. 3 maintains the series’s childlike sense of humor through the banter between the eclectic characters, with personalities like the strong but stupid Drax (David Bautista), loyal yet clueless Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and narcissistic cyborg Nebula (Karen Gillen) clashing throughout the film. These comedic moments do not undermine the film’s more serious themes; even with its quippy dialogue, the film focuses on heart-wrenching storylines, delving into Rocket’s tragic past in an animal experimentation lab. Through this exploration of Rocket’s origin story, the character of the High Evolutionary is introduced. Crazed and obsessive, the High Evolutionary does whatever it takes to create the “perfect species.” He is a menacingly effective villain, and Iwuji imbues him with a proper maniacal and unhinged edge.
Vol. 3 keeps true to the musical roots of the trilogy, retaining the series’s infatuation with ‘70s and ‘80s music, a trend developed in the first two films through the frequent dance scenes and mixtape mash-ups. Vol. 3 features classics like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (1978) and the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (1986), whose uplifting nature often juxtaposes the somber undertones of the film. The film also features stunning visual effects, flawlessly portraying colorful new planets and aliens. The one area the film falls short is its pacing. Despite being a staple of superhero movies, the frequent scene changes and fast jumps into action become jarring, and often create a detachment from the storylines.
Vol. 3 concludes the story of the Guardians as we know them, but leaves doors open for solo adventures, as teased in the classic Marvel post-credit scenes. While many character
arcs are finalized, long-time fans can expect to see the crew pop into other Marvel films on the big screen. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a strong ending to the beloved trilogy, tying
up old storylines while leaving room for new ones.