Not many would have expected Gunn’s Guardians to be the hit that they have been, but it’s a surprise that has sensationally won the hearts of comic book fans that have remained beating ever since their first appearance in 2014. Gunn gathers his team together with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Zoe Saldana – amongst many others to appear as part of this franchise throughout the years – returning for their roles in what could be one last journey for the space traversing superheroes.
The MCU has garnered a somewhat raggedy reputation in its post-Endgame progression, but Gunn’s gung-ho and glamorous threequel is precisely what was needed to bring this franchise back to pure popcorn popularity.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 shifts its focus to one of its members in particular. Rocket (Bradley Cooper). The film opens with Radiohead’s Creep as it follows our little furry friend around the spacecraft of ‘Knowhere’, with the lyrics playing out like a perfect metaphor for our misunderstood lead protagonist. Later offering a backstory to a character who we are already familiar with but told in a way which gives him a higher sense of purpose.
We are guided by the other members of the Guardians, who seek The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). A maniacal supervillain whose hatred for animals has Rocket’s rescuers looking to exact revenge.
If the Guardians’ involvement in the MCU so far still hasn’t grasped you, then this third (and possibly final) instalment in their story will be what’ll win you over. It has a lot of heart, a lot of comedy and Gunn demonstrates that maybe a little Rocket science is what’s required to keep these movie’s fresh moving forward.
The lukewarm reception to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Gunn’s initial release from future projects left this franchise in fragile state, but with his return we’ve been rewarded with one of the most heartfelt and charming entries in the MCU. The fact that their success comes from characters consisting of a talking tree, a rude raccoon and speaking Soviet space dog just makes it seem that much sweeter.
Gunn really pushes the boundaries and rating system with this latest entrant. An F-bomb and an awful lot of grotesque gore put this movie in a category of its own, but showcases the potential for comic book accurate adaptations of Deadpool and Blade which are both slated for release in the coming years. Applying his style to plenty of silly scenarios and sequences, and with another stellar soundtrack to accompany them, Gunn reminds us why he really is the only man for the job.
Guardians is host to a variety of goofy but memorable characters and juggling screentime between them all is a task that would trouble most. With the inclusion of this movie’s big bad, The High Evolutionary and highly anticipated Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) it often feels like there’s little room to squeeze them all in. The latter of which feels like an opportunity completely missed, being written up as another dumb alien and being forced out of many scenarios in the clumsiest of ways.
With this new changing of the guard within the MCU the future for Marvel and its characters seems uncertain, and with a surprisingly sentimental send-off for the Guardians, this could see the end for franchise favourites including Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
Consider this the momentum swing that Marvel so desperately needed and experience this wicked fun time on the biggest screen possible, because if one property in this ever expanding franchise deserves it, it would be them.
Good review! Have to agree with you on several points, including that Volume 3 was desperate win that the MCU needed to have in their corner. I felt that this movie was great because it was doing its own thing (not setting up within the Multiverse saga) and allowed Gunn to shape the movie towards his true vision.
Thank you! Yeah it felt like a win was very much needed, and I think they have one with GOTG 3. Yeah I’ve always liked that they’ve kind of had their own identity and Gunn has been given more creative control than most other directors in the MCU.