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Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
Once More With Feeling
Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
Thor may be my personal favorite MCU character, but the Guardians’ set of films are by far the most consistently I’ve really liked to love. Guardians Of The Galaxy is in contention for my all-time favorite movie from the behemoth franchise, and its second volume isn’t that far behind it.
But lately I haven’t been as enthused by the MCU as a whole. While I had an absolute blast with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Thor: Love And Thunder, I haven’t had that spark of fandom where I leave a screening ready to theorize about what comes next. So you can see why I came into Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 with hopes of that spark returning.
The movie does come with some flaws that bothered me. For one its a little too long, and the fact it attempts to juggle so many storylines at once doesn’t help make it feel any less bloated. And while the film succeeds as a bookend for this group of heroes, some choices at the end as to what to do with its characters’ arc completions left me wanting. There’s gonna’ be some folks out there who are underwhelmed by these elements and will probably be a big reason for some critical reviews being lower on this movie than I am.
But everything else was a home run for me. Visually its the best looking MCU film in some time. From the CGI to the set designs, I wish more movies from the franchise looked like this. James Gunn does a great job with his direction and once again achieves something that manages to be its own thing rather than more Easter eggs for upcoming MCU shows.
While the movie does have the typical fun times and comedic moments you’d expect from it, it may just be the darkest MCU addition to date. Out of the jumbled mess of too many storylines, Rocket’s stands out as the main driving plot and his backstory brought me to tears more than a few times. The villain could be the evilest yet from the rogue’s gallery of the franchise; I thought he made Thanos look like a saint in comparison. But don’t fret if you like the levity in these movies, there’s plenty of it still there during its runtime.
Overall I did not gain that spark of excitement back for the MCU from this, but nevertheless I did enjoy it a lot even with the bloat and long runtime bothering me. We’ll see how things play out in the near future and how this one ages with me, but it may be the last MCU entry that gets an initial (soft) A-tier grade from me in the years ahead.