Saturday, May 27, 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3

The Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3

The Director: James Gunn

The Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Maria Bakalova

The Story: Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own - a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful.

The Review:
James Gunn's original Guardians of the Galaxy movie is to this day stil considered one of the peaks of the entire MCU series and also one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. The Guardians themselves became integral and essential characters throughout the MCU with major appearances in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame all while their own stories continued to play out. And now here we are at the conclusion of a trilogy which I believe will be looked at as the best MCU trilogy, the best superhero trilogy, and maybe one of the best overall movie trilogies ever made.

Yes, that's a big statement, but the way Gunn has woven each character's journey into the fabric of the overall story while maintaining a very unique tone and style, there is just really no comparison for how well each film fits together and complements each other while also doing the same within the overall MCU structure. I did have some concerns going into this final installment, but right from the beginning, Gunn steps on the gas and lets the audience know this is going to be something special and I basically just got lost in that world with all of my concerns quickly forgotten.

One of the things I have loved about this team of heroes is the bond they share and how the aspect of family plays out here much better than in another big time Hollywood franchise that hangs its hat on the same idea. You really believe that Peter, Drax, Nebula, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Kraglin, and Gamora really and truly care about each other and will do anything to have each other's backs, to the point that the cast members themselves must have a similar type of bond after all these years of working together.

It's also really fun to see each of the characters' story arcs get a strong payoff that makes this multi year and multi movie journey such a satisfying experience while also providing some serious emotional punches throughout the entire film. There is so much going on here, the big space adventure and high flying action, the brash brand of comedy we've come to expect from this crew, the high stakes drama brought on by one of the best MCU villains ever, and even with all of that going on, Gunn gives us a very well thought out story that hits all the right emotional notes.

Speaking of the villain, we all know that a super hero movie works best with a strong antagonist and I have to say that Chukwudi Iwuji gives us one of the MCU's best and maybe scariest as The High Evolutionary. I don't mean scary like make you jump out of your seat but scary because he is so casually ruthless and has a true disregard and lack of respect for all forms of life. The things he does in the movie are just cold and he makes it easy to want the Guardians to take him down once and for all.

Marvel has had some complaints recently about the quality of the special effects which for me, really wasn't an issue for this film. Whether this came from James Gunn having a high level of quality control in that department or Marvel itself hearing the message and making sure this film was put together properly, it seems like the issues have been solved. At least for this film. Everything about this movie visually gives you that epic space adventure feeling that is a hallmark of the franchise and one of the things that makes it such a special theatrical experience.

Overall, there is just so much to like about this movie, I could probably type out several paragraphs on each character but since I don't like to go too far into deep dives with my reviews, I'll let you watch the movie and experience all the fun for yourself. This is definitely the type of movie you will want to see more than once, at least I do, and of course it does set things up for future Guardians of the Galaxy adventures even if the original core is no longer intact. There has been a lot of speculation about who dies and who lives and of course I won't spoil anything here, but I will say I was a little surprised with how everything played out and what it leaves the team with moving forward.

The Verdict:
Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3 is top tier MCU and one of the best super hero movies to come out in some time. Thank you James Gunn for giving us such an amazing trilogy of films and a roster of characters that we have grown to know and fall in love with over the years.

Oh and yes, there are multiple mid and post credit scenes so stay in your seat until it's all said and done.

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