Well, this is definitely a return to form for the MCU, I know with some of the previous releases people were claiming that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dead, but I think we can safely say that there is life in the old girl, whether or not future projects can help bring that life out is the big question. Still, as far as The Guardians of the Galaxy are concerned I think we can safely say that the three movies, and one TV special, that we got show that Marvel can be consistently good with their releases.
Warning – Spoilers Ahead
I do not know how James Gunn did it, but everyone on the team had something to do. Drax and Mantis both had to figure out that their own personal kind of intelligence was just as important as Nebula or Rockets. And this in turn would lead the two of them to go off and do their own things. Meanwhile, Nebula had to finish out her arc by going from murderous assassin to peacetime leader – I guess seeing the High Evolutionary abuse his “children” resonated with her, especially since she herself is a child of abuse. And by the way huge props to Karen Gillan who went from C – Tier character in the first movie to one of the most important players in Volume Three.
Simultaneous to all this we have Starlord and Gamora who have a lot of baggage to deal with. Starlord starts off the film being all mopey and pathetic. In fact, I found his behavior to be downright toxic, understandable but still toxic. There he is pining to Gamora about the fact that another version of her used to love him. Again this cannot be easy for anyone and I do understand where he was coming from. And by the end of the movie he has accepted that the woman he loved is gone and parts ways with this new Gamora on rather good terms. Gamora on the other hand maybe just briefly see’s Starlord for the man he truly is and not only grows to respect him but also comes to accept that this team of misfits probably did love her. This in turn allows her to move on without any hostility towards the family of her now-deceased counterpart.
And then there is Rocket, the true star of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. We get an answer to why he has this tough exterior, why he is a kleptomaniac, why he pushes people away, why he will go to hell and back for those he comes to love, and why he never talks about his past. He truly suffered at the hands of his maker and he spent a lifetime running from him. And by the end of this movie, he has matured enough that he is happy to defeat the High Evolutionary, without outright killing him. This all cumulates in a Rocket who is able to lead his own team – something he assumed he could do way back in Infinity War.
I think the key to making these films work is the constant emotional growth of the team. We are past the petulant outbursts of the first two films and are now saddled with a team of heroes who consider each other family, they have grown together and shared some serious highs, and a few lows. And the lows are genuinely important here as the team started out emotionally scarred, even Peter in the first film famously said:
“I look around at us, you know what I see? Losers. I mean like, folks who have lost stuff. And we have, man, we have, all of us.”
And from the start of the movie, you can see the cracks have already started to appear. But by the end, they have all found the strength to move on and face their demons, which again further shows the growth of the team.
Now what good would our heroes be without a fantastic villain to overcome?
One of my biggest criticisms of Marvel Films is that they are always way too quick to kill their antagonists off. This my friends is the first time I have actively rooted for our heroes to go after the big bad with extreme prejudice. I think that is down to the fact that James Gunn helped bring out a truly unlikeable version of the High Evolutionary and Chukwudi Iwuji managed to bring a lot of depth to the character. Am I a little annoyed that we did not see the original pink armor from the comics, maybe a little but was I pleased with the final design, very much so.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 does leave us with a new team who I am looking forward to seeing in action. Especially Cosmo and Adam Warlock, both of who were used sparingly but wonderfully throughout this movie. Cosmo might step into the role of on the team that Rocket originally filled and Adam Warlock looks to be our new Drax, but both are distinct enough that in the hands of the right writer, they won’t come off as a rehash of the characters they are set to replace. (Also Cosmo most definitely is a good dog)
Now if I was to give any criticism of the film it would be the soundtrack, which is mental because I loved every song used in this film. It is just I did not feel it was as coherent a mix as the first two films were.
1. “Creep” (acoustic) Radiohead4:19
2. “Crazy on You” Heart 4:53
3. “Since Youve Been Gone”Rainbow 3:17
4. “In the Meantime” Spacehog 5:00
5. “Reasons” Earth, Wind & Fire 4:59
6. “Do You Realize??” The Flaming Lips 3:33
7. “We Care a Lot” Faith No More 4:04
8. “Koinu no Carnival” (From “Minute Waltz”) EHAMIC 3:10
9. “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” Alice Cooper 2:08
10. “San Francisco” The Mowgli’s 2:53
11. “Poor Girl” John Doe and Exene Cervenka X 2:54
12. “This Is the Day” The The 4:57
13. “No Sleep till Brooklyn” Beastie Boys 4:07
14. “Dog Days Are Over” Florence and the Machine 4:12
15. “Badlands” Bruce Springsteen 4:02
16. “I Will Dare” P The Replacements 3:17
17. “Come and Get Your Love” Redbone 3:28
And yes I am listening to the soundtrack as I type up this article, if you are unfamiliar with the Mowgils go check them out they are so underrated.
In the end, I will say it was a great movie that I cannot wait to see again, but if you have not seen it you may want to avoid bringing your kids to see it. This one is a very violent movie but Oh my God is it a fun watch, well when it is not pulling on your heartstrings.
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