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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is darker than its predecessors but the perfect finale one could hope for

James Gunn’s final Marvel film gives MCU the breath of fresh air it sorely needed

Chandreyee Chatterjee Calcutta Published 05.05.23, 05:50 PM

The first movie about a bunch of misfits, each more damaged than the other, came out of nowhere and won our hearts and the ragtag bunch of Peter Quill aka Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Drax (Dave Bautista) became our favourite space-travelling A-holes. The second Guardians of the Galaxy movie might have been a little underwhelming compared to the first but director James Gunn expanded the GOTG family and made us love each character even more.

Now, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn has given us the perfect film to cap off the journey of these characters. GOTG Vol. 3 is the darkest, most emotional and, perhaps, the strongest film in the trilogy, and it is definitely the film the Marvel Cinematic Universe needed in its current phase to breathe a little fresh air into the franchise. We can only say thank god James Gunn was back in the MCU to see off some of our favourite MCU characters.


Ask anyone who their favourite Guardian of the Galaxy is and you’ll get one of two answers — Rocket, the trigger-happy, cranky, cybernetically enhanced racoon, and the talking tree Groot.

It is Rocket, and his tragic past, that takes centrestage in this finale. And it is a grim tale fittingly begun with Rocket brooding to the acoustic version of Radiohead’s Creep. The Guardians, as we saw in the Winter Special, now live on Knowhere, which is attacked by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) leaving Rocket injured and in danger. This spurs the Guardians, who are joined by the new version of Gamora, to race headlong into danger to save Rocket’s life. It might not seem a large enough stake, but it is exactly what makes this film work.

The film goes deep into each of the characters and traces their growth. From Quill, who is still dealing with the loss of Gamora, to Drax who is more than the dumb guy, to Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and her strife to be herself and Nebula (Karen Gillan) learning to be more than what Thanos made her. Each of them are imperfect but willing to give up their lives for the others. The villain of the piece, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), a scientist with a god complex, who is hellbent on creating the perfect species, putting animals like Rocket through brutal surgeries, is therefore the perfect antagonist and Iwuji does a great job of it.

But just because the subject of the film is grim, doesn’t mean that all the colour, madness and humour we have always associated with the Guardians are done away with. With bizarre scenes like the Guardians in brightly coloured suits floating through space to enter an organic space station, a massive skull flying through space guns blazing, Gunn brings his signature style as does the script which still retains the snark and hilarity to balance out the sombre and the brutal.

It is not that the film doesn’t have its drawbacks — the whole bit about the Sovereign feels pointless and Adam Warlock is a complete waste in the film, only there seemingly to churn out spin offs. Some of the action sequences feel too hurried to even understand what’s going on. But when the hall breaks out into cheers as Rocket pulls off a fantastic move or Groot does something special or Drax says something Drax-like, you know the film has hit the right notes, and no, none of it is fan pandering.

We couldn’t have asked for a better resolution to the Guardians of the Galaxy with each of them facing their fears, finding their place and coming full circle. Boy are we glad that James Gunn was back at the helm of this final voyage.

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