Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Non-Spoiler) REVIEW: The Best MCU Trilogy Is Over
Updated: May 2
My favorite bunch of intergalactic misfits are back on the big screen to bring the trilogy to a closure with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which also marks James Gunn's departure from Marvel after being appointed as big boss of DC Films. In a way, this feels like James Gunn's swan song to some of the most lovable characters he ever created. Before the first movie came out in 2014, there was a lot of talk that this could be the first Marvel flop because nobody knew those characters... and almost a decade after the first film's release, the third film arrives in glorious fashion, creating one of the darkest MCU films so far.
Synopsis: "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."
It's a family affair, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a very James Gunn-esque emotional trip with meticulously crafted action, a lot of humor and heart wrapping up an excellent trilogy with brio. Gunn is delving into its horror roots to deliver some of the most daring MCU moments and is not afraid to take some risks to tell his story. It's the most mature entry of the trilogy in my opinion and it's so ironic saying this about a film that doesn't shy away from genuinely funny toilet jokes. It also goes to some dark places and might not be suitable for kids but it's a hell of a ride.
I often scoff when critics come back from a Marvel Cinematic Universe film and describe it as "one of the darkest in the MCU" since it's difficult to surpass the bleak ending of Infinity War. Nevertheless, without revealing any spoilers, I believe this film ventures into genuine, dark territory and manages to convey a meaningful message. A beautiful execution of drama, humour and action packed into 150 minutes blockbuster that flies by like a spaceship in hyperdrive.
The DNA of this trilogy is also rooted in its carefully selected soundtrack from James Gunn's collection. Awesome Mixtape Vol. 3 did not disappoint, and I'm glad I refrained from listening to the music prior to seeing the film. Although Gunn borrows from Tarantino's use of music and needle drops, I always saw it as an homage, much like Tarantino borrows from other films. Ultimately, the film's terrific style and contagious love of movies and music make it a must-see.
I won't get into spoilers but this all starts with the opening sequence and I feel like this will dictate whether you're going to be on board with this film or not. In terms of special effects there's a certain sense of details that goes behind every frame that made it so refreshing to watch. I remember James Gunn tweeting about a sequence that he planned with an absurd amount of pages of storyboards for this film. After seeing it I totally believe it. The way he moves the camera to either convey emotions or comedy is always on point. And then, there's the action sequences... I'll leave it there.
It's fair to say that those characters are so likeable that we all have our personal favorites. Whether you're a fan of Drax, Groot, Rocket, Mantis, Nebula, Peter, or Gamora, you will most likely be more than satisfied with their treatment. The movie isn't afraid to take risks, and there's no surprise there considering James Gunn is the captain of the ship. In some ways, its audacity is so refreshing, especially considering the importance of concluding this trilogy. In my opinion, it is the best trilogy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I don't even have to think about it. Every member of the team is being taken care of with surgical precision, and while the movie has its issues, I couldn't care about any of them by the end.
Initial Score: 9/10
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens in theaters on May 5th