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.
THE GOOD STUFF
ROCKET RACOON – To hear that James Gunn actually stated that the main reason that he wanted to direct this movie was to complete the story of Rocket Raccoon they have sounded pretty weird, considering that Rocket wasn’t necessarily a primary character of any Marvel studio film that he was in. However, when you think about it, there were a lot of questions that were left unanswered when it came to his backstory and why he was the way that he was when we first met him.
This turns out to be an out-and-out beautiful way to close this trilogy with these characters. Rocket’s story is brutal and captivating. It gives this film a lot more heart than it already had…which was plenty.
IRRATIONAL VILLAINY – Finally! A temple movie that gives me a villain without any sight of empathy. A full-blown sneering, jeering, somewhat rampaging psychopath that has to be stopped at all costs. I would never complain about villains like Killmonger, Thanos, or Gorr the Butcher, but the MCU was starting to have a problem with these relatable villains who have a point.
Sometimes you just don’t want to root for someone. Sometimes it really adds to the story to have somebody that you don’t relate to because of a backstory and that you really want to see lose. Chukwudi Iwuji does a pretty good job with his portrayal, although his backstory is so well done that he probably could have been a flat-out mute character, and you would still hate his guts, given his backstory.
THE TUNNEL SEQUENCE – There’s not much I can speak of about the action sequence that takes place near the end of the film. What I can say is that it was in watching that sequence that it really hit me that I was going to miss seeing these characters together.
It is here where you see the individual stylings of each character all in one little 2 to 3-minute barrage. Unlike the Avengers, who are all fighting in individualistic styles simultaneously, the Guardians of the Galaxy kind of work like the dwarves did in those Hobbit movies. They pass things to one another, send signals to each other, move in sync, and have their own fighting style.
This was the scene in the movie that temporarily put the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard on full tilt for about 30 seconds or so.
THE BAD STUFF
Gamora stuff – First things first. Zoe Saldana is amazing in this film, as she is in practically everything that she does. Her performance is absolutely, positively not the problem.
The Star-Lord/Gamora thing really had no other place to go. However, even though the change of the character does make sense, the character is a lot less fun, and it seems as if the character has a lot less to do. In contrast, Nebula is such a key character in this film in a multitude of ways that Gamora doesn’t seem to be.
I understand why Zoe Saldana is billed pretty high. She is one of the biggest stars in the world, but if we are going, to be honest here… she’s probably the 5th or 6th most prominent character in this film. And that’s just really weird to me, considering how important she’s been to the MCU thus far.
The Warlock – It seems like almost everything I can talk about when it comes to Adam Warlock’s character is full-blown spoiler territory, so I would just keep it very, very simple…
After you watch this film, just ask yourself this question: Did this character really need to be here? Everything he does in this film can be justifiably done by other means. It’s a superfluous character to add to this story, and you probably could have cut the runtime down by excluding everything involving ALL of the golden people in this film.
THE UGLY STUFF
In the midst of the firestorm of criticism that comes with every move the MCU makes these days, we have to give credit to consistency. It is enough to acknowledge that along with the Spider-Man films, the three Guardians of the Galaxy movies that have been released are the most consistent thing that the MCU does outside of Avengers movies.
Think about the good movies in the trilogies that the MCU has had so far:
IRON MAN trilogy- One out of three (IRON MAN 3 was subpar, and you know it)
CAPTAIN AMERICA trilogy- two out of three
ANT-MAN trilogy- one and a half out of three (and that’s being kind)
THOR tetralogy- One out of four. (I know it’s not a trilogy, but I’m trying to prove a point here)
MCU struck gold with this series. This cast, this aesthetic, the soundtracks, and the change of pace that was different from the oh-so-serious other films should all be very much appreciated. Consistency is key.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 3 is in theaters now.