Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn’t out of this world

May 21, 2023, 2:17 a.m. | By Maya Britto | 1 year, 1 month ago

New film gives fans what they should expect, but not a lot more

The long-awaited “threequel” to the first movie, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is finally here. In the third volume, director James Gunn gave fans exactly what they hoped for, in typical Marvel fashion—action and comedy, sprinkled with just the right amount of wholesome, fuzzy moments—but not much more in terms of plot development. 

Volume 3 opens with a somber tone following the events of "Avengers: Endgame", a heartbroken Starlord (Chris Pratt) is still reeling from the loss of the Gamora (Zoe Saldana) he once knew. Over the next two hours, viewers finally learn about Rocket’s disturbing past—something the character was very secretive about in the last two movies of the trilogy—as the Guardians combat the “High Evolutionary” (Chukwudi Iwuji). Responsible for the manufacturing of multiple species through bioengineering, this god of a supervillain is hellbent on retrieving Rocket (Bradley Cooper), one of the most intelligent specimens he ever created. 

Courtesy of Disney Photo courtesy of Maya Britto.

The film featured more than a couple “aww”-inspiring moments. Baby Rocket's interactions with his other furry friends were heart-warming, and it was pleasant to see a softer side of the sarcastic character. Drax and Mantis’ banter was as good as ever—just the right amount of awkwardness to provoke loads of laughter. As always, Gunn was able to include bits of comedy to make moments lighter, but never took away from the seriousness of major plot points. 

And that brings me to the plot. Though it was nice to focus on Rocket, the plot felt a bit too contrived. The Guardians movies have always delivered audiences with wholesome messages of the importance of family and connection. However, unlike the second movie, the plot of this movie was too straightforward. The bioethics question is still an important one, of course, but I have to admit to having way too many déjà vu moments throughout the film. I couldn’t help but think, “Haven’t they done this before?” There were no major twists, and everything occurred as expected. It was cute, but not necessarily the most captivating. Lilo and Stitch did it better. 

Guardians fans know to expect a killer mixtape, and they definitely got another with this latest installment. Some of my favorite tunes included Radiohead’s “Creep,” “Do You Realize” by the Flaming Lips, and “The Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. “Creep” was just the perfect sound for the gray beginning of the film, and Florence’s hit song radiated feelings of warmth and hope. 

As expected, the cinematography was on point throughout the film, supporting the humorous dialogue and wondrously displaying new locations in space. 

So, final thoughts: I enjoyed the movie because it was pleasant, but I was wrong to hope that the Guardians would be able to escape the curse of typical Marvel tropes. The Guardians movies have always stood out to me as different from the other Marvel flicks because of their quirky humor and sugary messaging, but this final installment leaned too much into those defining characteristics at the expense of plot development.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is rated PG-13 for intense Sequences of Violence, action, strong Language, suggestive/drug references, and thematic Elements. It is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Last updated: May 21, 2023, 2:19 a.m.

Tags: Movie Review Superhero Marvel

Maya Britto. Hey, I'm Maya (she/her) and this year, I am co-Editor-in-chief of SCO! I'm passionate about social justice, music, dance, food, quality time with my friends, ice cream (but strictly vanilla), and good bad jokes. Stay cool, y'all. :) More »

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