Director: James Gun | Script: James Gun | Cast: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (Rocket, Stem), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth Debicki (Ayesha), Chukwudi Iwuji (The High evolutionary), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), ea | Time to play: 149 minutes | Year: 2023
The first guardiansMarvel considered the 2014 film a risky project with a questionable chance of success. Not very strange, because who would have imagined that an ensemble film about a group of irregulars, including a foul-mouthed CGI raccoon and a verbally constrained living tree, could lead to such success. However, writer-director James Gunn believed in his team of misfits from the start, and it’s only fitting that, after a somewhat controversial firing by Disney, he’s allowed to return to conclude his epic space saga with a bang.
As seen in the Christmas special, the Guardians have settled in Knowhere, trying to shape their lives after the loss of Gamora. Kevin Bacon is now safe on Earth and everything is going relatively well, until the penniless golden priestess Ayesha comes looking for her gram of the second part of her. Her perfect fighting machine, Adam Warlock, attacks Knowhere and Rocket is severely injured in the process. To save his life, the Guardians must find out what the genetically modified raccoon looks like, by digging into his past.
Rocket, or experiment 89P13, turns out to be a creation of the High Evolutionary; a Josef Mengele-style scientist who has set himself the goal of creating the perfect race and the perfect society. The self-proclaimed Messiah takes many victims, including innocent animals, and this makes him by far the most evil Marvel villain yet. The antagonist, strongly played by Chukwudi, holds the key to Rocket’s recovery, but the mad scientist prefers to see the anthropomorphic rodent on his autopsy table.
The movie clearly takes a darker turn than its predecessors. The loaded opening tune illustrates this perfectly. This time it’s not the usual upbeat tune, but an acoustic version of Radiohead’s lugubrious Creep. guardians of the galaxy vol. 3 It’s definitely still a wacky sci-fi action comedy, but the emotional depth and somewhat heavier themes make it a more mature movie. The caption on the movie poster says it all: ‘once again with feeling’.
The plot consists of two stories that come together at the end in an exciting finale. Packed with all the action and humor, the main story follows the Guardians on their beautifully crafted, wacky space adventure, which includes pitting a copy of our Earth and an entire organic space station against the High Evolutionary’s genetically engineered scoundrels. The subplot serves as an emotional counterbalance and tells the bitter and moving, but also a bit melodramatic story of Rocket’s genesis.
James Gunn deftly switches between the two well-written, if somewhat messy stories, alternating dramatic gravitas with goofy humor and CGI action spectacle with story and character development. With a balanced phase, he holds the attention firmly from start to finish and with his once again phenomenally composed playlist, from which he personally selected all the songs, it adds a lot of color to the film.
The highlights of the film are the perfect and imperfect characters. All Guardians have their flaws and that’s what makes them so interesting. His noble actions are motivated in part by a desire for redemption from an often dark past. This provides the team of misfits with an accessible humanity. All the characters are brought to life with great inspiration and as Peter fades into the background, the rest have more room to shine.
Now a full-fledged, fun Guardian, Nebula is finally beginning to thaw, while Gamora, who has returned to the past and has no memory, takes her place as the pessimist of the group. It’s a cool move to have the sisters of color switch roles because with the new group dynamic, Gunn avoids duplicating moves. Audience favorite Groot is literally in the prime of his life and the always dry and tasteless Drax, along with Peter’s half-sister Mantis, provide the film’s comedic moments.
Like our eccentric heroes, the movie isn’t perfect. For example, the High Evolutionary character remains very flat because his motivations are not explained at all and Gamora’s return is not developed enough either. The action scenes with Gunn’s portrayal of a childish Adam Warlock, which will divide opinion, sometimes feel like forced twists in the story and some of the jokes, especially between Nebula and Peter, are very bland and predictable. But this is picky about what the movie does well.
From the special effects to the beautiful sets and from the makeup and costumes to the phenomenal soundtrack and amazing cast, everything is top notch. What makes the movie really special though is that you feel everything the story is working towards a conclusion. Everyone seems to realize that our beloved anti-heroes will never return in this capacity and this creates a tense atmosphere. guardians of the galaxy vol. 3 it’s funny, touching, a bit silly and cluttered, but most of all ‘I am Groot’, which can be roughly translated as: a spectacular conclusion to a genius space epic.