Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

In 2014, director James Gunn brought some of Marvel’s lesser known heroes to the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy. The film showcased a level of comedy and space exploration that was desperately needed in the MCU. Fans loved the film (it grossed $773M worldwide) and this ragtag group of C-list characters became beloved heroes and critical pieces in the MCU’s Infinity Saga storyline – 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.

Ten years later, James Gunn’s Guardians series has come to an end. In true Guardians fashion, the group goes out with a big bang and lots of laughs in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.

The story picks up some time after the events in Endgame. The Guardians have settled on Knowhere and are establishing their new community. When Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is attacked by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), the rest of the team bands together to save him. To help Rocket, the team travels to Orgocorp in search of information to save Rocket. The mission is dangerous and causes the Guardians to cross paths with the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) – a man from Rocket’s past.

As the team works to save Rocket, we learn more about where Rocket came from and more about The High Evolutionary and his evil master plan.

In the growing world of comic book content, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 reminds us why these films are entertaining. It has everything you’d want from a comic book movie from the visually stunning action sequences to the side-splitting comedy. Vol 3 is underscored by some heavy emotional scenes. Those moments were unexpected but fit perfectly in this Guardians story. One scene will most certainly squeeze a few tears from moviegoers young and old.

The old cast brings back the chaotic humor fans love with Dave Bautista’s Drax leads the charge. The new cast members Cosmo (voiced by Maria Bakalova) and Adam Warlock add their blend of comedy and action along for the journey. Iwuji’s High Evolutionary is the most interesting and engaging of the new faces. The High Evolutionary’s singular focus is what makes him compelling and incredibly dangerous. Iwuji’s menacing performance stamped The High Evolutionary as one of the MCUs most fascinating villains – he’s not evil for the sake of being evil.

The film delivers the humor, action, and emotion fans loved in the first film. Vol 3 is what you expect when someone says they’re adapting a comic book. It looks and feels like you’re watching a comic book on screen. More importantly, the film is fun. It’s a fun time at the movies from beginning to end – 2 hours of pure escapism.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is one of the best marvel movies in years. James Gunn found a fitting way to end this saga. There is no alternate universe. It’s not point to some future IP Marvel Studios is showcasing in the next few months. There is no bigger villain looming over the story. There is no cliffhangers. It’s a straightforward action comedy with lovable heroes and a villain you love to hate. It’s a standalone film that ties a beautiful bow on the end of one of the best comic book trilogies.  

Grade: A-