Published May 29, 2023
BY SARA EYJOLFSDOTTIR
Despite lacking a strong central plot, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” provides a satisfying ending to the successful, offbeat trilogy that could either indicate a positive turnaround for the current state of the Marvel cinematic universe or solidify the demise of the MCU.
Following the events of 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” this third installment of “Guardians of the Galaxy” blends past with present as the gang of intergalactic misfits goes up against a purple-clad antagonist known as the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), reminding one of another purple self-proclaimed altruist from Marvel…. With underdeveloped motives and a tendency toward genocide, the High Evolutionary, focused on creating his idea of a perfect world, is introduced far too late as the main antagonist, leaving the majority of the film without an overarching, galaxy-saving mission typically seen in this genre.
Amid controversy over offensive past tweets, director James Gunn was removed from production of “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” but eventually rehired in large part due to demands from cast members, which may have paid off as beautiful cinematography and editing along with top-notch dialogue manages to fill in where plot is lacking.
This star-studded cast blends classic characters with new, including the gilded, genetically engineered Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) whose eyebrows look stellar as ever. “Vol. 3” currently holds the world record for most prosthetics used in a film with the entire population of Counter-Earth, one of the High Evolutionary’s projects, showcasing excellent prosthetic makeup work on a large scale.
Animal lovers should proceed with caution as a first-time look into the backstory of Rocket, the beloved once-racoon genius, drives a large portion of the plot and is guaranteed to pull on the heartstrings.
This film can trigger tears of joy and sorrow, but whether these transitions between tragic storylines from the past and the comedic presence of characters such as Drax (Dave Bautista) and Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) are seamless or give viewers whiplash is debatable.
While rated PG-13, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” certainly pushes the limits with gore. The film is also the first Marvel project to drop an F-bomb, which properly follows the franchise’s trend of more explicit humor and bolder gore.
If there’s one thing this movie will leave you with, it’s that racoons deserve their fair share of love too.