Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: a character-driven masterpiece


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The final film of the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 wraps up the story with equal humor and heart.

   Guardians Of The Galaxy is tied with the Spider-Man franchise as my favorite Marvel franchise. The killer soundtrack, the lovable characters, the humor, and most of all, the heart put Guardians above the rest.

   I watched the first Guardians of the Galaxy when I was eight years old. It was the second Marvel film I had ever seen and the first that actually made me an active enjoyer of the Marvel franchise. And now, nine years, five films, and a super fun roller coaster in Disney World later, the final film in the trilogy is out in theaters.

   This review will have spoilers. 

   Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 follows the titular characters as they try to save Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), who is critically injured thanks to Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). The gang has to go to “Counter-Earth” to find Rocket’s medical records and a passkey that can override his controls implanted by the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuj)in order to save his life. 

   Vol 3. is very character driven, majorly focusing on backstory and character development for the characters we know and love. Some may think a step away from the narrative would make for a lackluster film, but this is not the case. In fact, it enhanced the emotional core of the story.

   Rocket Raccoon’s backstory is a principal aspect of the film, and was absolutely heartbreaking. Seeing Rocket as a baby raccoon, forced to be experimented on with the promise of being brought to an amazing new world. He becomes friends with the people he is quartered with—an otter named Lylla (Linda Cardellini), a walrus named Teefs (Asim Chaudhury), and a bunny named Floor (Mikaela Hoover). They become quick friends and plan their future together—only for the High Evolutionary to massacre them once Rocket tells them they are lambs to the slaughter. Their deaths were to be expected, but the way it was tackled and put onto the screen was gut-wrenching.

   The film further develops Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), as he deals with the loss of his girlfriend Gamora(Zoe Saldana). His determination to save Rocket, not wanting to lose yet another loved one, gave his character much more depth. Pratt’s acting in this film was honestly his most emotionally impactful yet. 

   The humor in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 was on-point as ever. In the scenes where I wasn’t crying, I was laughing at the running gags and well-done jokes. I’m going to miss the group’s dynamic, with the hilarious bickering of this family. 

   The film’s visual effects were also better than the majority of Marvel’s recent fare. It was clear that Marvel didn’t rush the film as it has others, leading to a MUCH better final product. It seems that Marvel puts more time and budgetary resources into franchises that are most beloved by audiences (Guardians, Black Panther, Spider-Man).

   Guardians Of The Galaxy is known for its killer soundtrack, and Vol. 3 does not disappoint. With hits like “Creep” by Radiohead, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys, and “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine, the soundtrack is easily on the same level of its predecessors. Each song is carefully picked to match the tone of the scene, and it is impeccably crafted. 

   Most of all, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 has the most heart out of the trilogy. The audience has gone on so many adventures with this dynamic cast, getting to know them as they came together into a lovable found family. I sobbed multiple times during this film, and while it was bittersweet seeing the group go their own ways, it was a heartwarming ending to an incredible trilogy. If you are a fan of this franchise, you will not be disappointed by Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3.