Star Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji & Sean Gunn
Director: James Gunn
What’s Good: There will be no Guardians without James Gunn (but there will be a Guardian! PS: Watch the film to get this reference)
What’s Bad: Marvel fans will badly miss the James Gunn school of filmmaking and how he dared not to follow the MCU formula and shaped his own ideas to create art that will be rejoiced for years to come
Loo Break: You can’t go 159 minutes without it, even if you’re watching The Wolf Of Wall Street! (Yea, yea, I had to quote a Martin Scorsese film during a Marvel review because there are some things you have to!)
Watch or Not?: You probably won’t need any advice if you’re a fan of the first two films; even if you aren’t a fan, you won’t need any advice!
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 159 Minutes
Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) is heartbroken and is drinking himself to escape the reality of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) being alive with no memory of ever being in love with him. Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) scoots in from space to ‘Knowhere’, a place where our beloved Guardians of the Galaxy reside with other celestial beings. In an attempt to take Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper and played in motion capture by Sean Gunn) back to his master, The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), Warlock seriously injures him so much so that Guardians only have 48 hours to save him.
For that, they need a source code from the High Evolutionary, who on his quest to make the world a ‘perfect place’, crosses all the limits of animal & human experimentation. How Star-Lord, Gamora, along with Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) & Mantis (Pom Klementieff) manage to save Rocket The Raccoon shattering the utopian philosophy of the baddie is the main crux of the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Movie Review: Script Analysis
James Gunn, in his last act at Marvel, does fan service in the most triumphal way possible, and I concluded that watching the critics’ screening along with die-hard Marvel fans/influencers who scream ‘Star Lordddddd’ like Puneet Superstar on the backseat of a bike (for my international readers, search ‘Puneet Superstar Scream’ on YouTube & you’ll get it). Gunn excludes this one from all the multiverse, post-Thanos chaos with no mention of anything Avengers. There’s no Kang The Destroyer, thanks to the otherworldly set-up of the film in another universe.
But all those plus points get burdened with how well the first two Guardians films were & how this one kind of hits the Diminishing Marginal Utility during some portions. The first one did its part to introduce us to all the Guardians, the second explored Peter Quill’s origin story, and now it’s time for the ever-quipping Raccoon to take the spotlight. James Gunn goes into the ‘DC zone’ highlighting the calamitous backstory of how an experiment-struck Raccoon turns into the pilot-cum-leader-cum-warrior Rocket. Though things do drag here as Gunn tries to take your heart and connect it with baby Rocket, his friends and their tragic story.
Henry Braham’s camera is quite shaky and brusque in its movements to capture some generic action sequences; a steadier approach would’ve been a better choice. Gunn retains the signature ‘team-up’ pose for two unexpected characters of the series, but I’m not complaining because it looked freakingly delicious. James Gunn’s verbose treatment of the narrative needed some kind of alteration by editors Fred Raskin & Greg D’Auria to stop the runtime from being extremely long, 159 minutes.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Movie Review: Star Performance
Chris Pratt did Parks & Recreation over a decade ago, so he can be chosen to play Star-Lord in Avengers. There couldn’t have been an apt casting for someone who could be a clown and wear the crown at the same time. Zoe Saldaña redeems Gamora in a big way by not only getting more screen space but also a proper character arc before saying goodbye to the trilogy.
Dave Bautista as Drax continues to prove why wrestlers could be great actors as well because that’s what they’ve been doing their entire lives (sarcasm intended!). Getting more emotionally inclined helps Dave to create a special connect for Drax. Vin Diesel as Groot finally gets his redeeming moment which I won’t spoil, but that’s when you realise why Marvel has been casting such an expensive actor to voice a tree.
Bradley Cooper as Rocket gets the maximum footage despite the Raccoon being down for more than half of the film. Sean Gunn’s masterfully acted-out gestures are captured in motion for Rocket which invites thundering applause from fans. Karen Gillan as Nebula & Pom Klementieff as Mantis, too, get their character-defining moments to close the chapter. Will Poulter is extremely adorable as the man-child in Adam Warlock; Chukwudi Iwuji holds no candle to the previous Marvel baddies and is a reminder of why Kang can destroy Phase 5. Sean Gunn gets a brilliant moment with one of the earlier characters, which will be received with the desired fanfare.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Movie Review: Direction, Music
James Gunn bids Marvel a goodbye his this (MCU) side of fans won’t ever forget. He came back, even if it was to say goodbye! As he moves to DC, he’ll surely take some fans with him post-packing up one of the loveliest sci-fi dramas Marvel has generated outside its Avengers-mania.
Starting with Radiohead’s Creep and continuing with classics from Spacehog, Beastie Boys and Earth Wind & Fire, music remains the soul of Guardians of the Galaxy. The Suicide Squad’s composer John Murphy replaced Tyler Bates (GOTG 1 & 2) to compose the soundtrack & he did okay. Giving Redbone’s ‘Come and Get Your Love’ a life-coming full circle treatment will always remain special.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, I asked AI to write a poem about this film for me, and a line from it said, “They have Mantis, the empathic alien… Who likes to touch and be a friend…” So, I decided not to rely on it and ask you to watch this ASAP if you’ve loved the first two instalments.
Three and a half stars!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Trailer
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releases on 04th May, 2023.
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For more recommendations, read our John Wick: Chapter 4 Movie Review here.
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