Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is for the freaks, the geeks, the displaced, and the people who have felt unloved or different. James Gunn crafts a trilogy-ender that celebrates these characters we’ve grown to love in a heartbreaking and triumphant way. This space opera brings together the Guardians of the Galaxy against the High Evolutionary, their most evil foe yet.

All the cast from the previous films return including Chris Pratt as Starlord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Sean Gunn as Kraglin. In addition, the new cast includes Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, Maria Bakalova as Cosmo the Space Dog, and Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary.

The entire team might be here, but at the heart of it, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is about Rocket. It’s his movie. You get Rocket’s backstory and learn why he’s the way he is. It’s about time audiences get to pull down the walls he’s put up around himself mentally. Once you do learn about why Rocket is Rocket, it’s gutwrenching.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might be a fun space adventure, but James Gunn definitely ratchets up the emotion throughout the film, especially in the third act.

Emotion That Carries, But Does Lean A Bit Heavy

The emotional beats of GOTG VOL.3 are all hard-hitting and weighty, but they feel like the film leans a tiny bit too much into tugging on your heartstrings. For animal lovers, there might be some harder scenes to watch and hear than others. The film also goes deep into the various wounds and faults that each Guardian has, even Cosmo the Space Dog. Peter still has the previous emotional wounds of losing his mother and father. Now he has to deal with losing Gamora. Drax isn’t taken seriously by anyone, Mantis trusts people too much, Nebula finds fault in everything, and the list goes on all the way to Kraglin being unsure of himself after Yondu’s passing.

These are about as real and relatable as characters get on screen and it’s a testament to James Gunn and the writing he put in for this film. All that writing coalesces into a villain that you will immediately hate and root against, no matter how great of a performance Chukwudi Iwuji puts in. And a great performance it is.

On The High Evolutionary

This dude is one evil bastard.

He tests on animals, creates societies, and civilizations, destroys them, and keeps going in the name of “creating the perfect utopia”. Perfection in Evolution is the name of his game, and he wants Rocket for that reason. Through all of his experiments, there was something special about Rocket that stood out.

Iwuji brings an absolutely devilish portrayal here, and while he might not be a titanic threat like Thanos or a multiversal one like Kang, he’ll make you despise him all the more. His minions are also just as evil, and they almost make you feel bad for having to work under a guy like this. The High Evolutionary ends up as one of the better MCU villains we’ve had because he just does such an awesome job of being evil.

The Adam Warlock Question

The only thing I can see people getting violently angry about is Adam Warlock. He does take a bit of a character turn from his comic-book counterpart, but if you watch the movie, it makes sense. This is also Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, not the Adam Warlock movie. Will Poulter plays him excellently and is one of the funniest parts of the movie. However, his portion of the movie does feel like it gets swept under the rug a bit. He gets a massive emotional moment that doesn’t really get paid off besides something he does at the end of the film. And even then, in a movie where we see massive wounds and characters showing off something that changed them, he doesn’t get that luxury.

A Highlight For CG For Marvel

The CG, especially during fight scenes is all great. The creatures, monsters, Warlocks, and other forms of alternative life forms look great throughout the film. The care and love that went into the story and characters went into the CG imagery in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The seams don’t show with this one. Even when the action is frenetic, and spaceships are colliding with one another, you don’t see any jagged edges.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Is A Major Achievement

The action, the soundtrack, the emotion, and the way that it hooks you right away are all the best parts of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Immediately, the stakes are raised, the clock is ticking, and the story kicks off. The action, including one absolutely jaw-dropping set piece in a hallway near the end of the film, is all top-notch. That goes along with the soundtrack that ends up being a massive success (minus one eye-rolling, overused movie song). With tracks from bands like The Beastie Boys, Faith No More, Rainbow, and more, it’s the most rocking and diverse the soundtrack has been.

That soundtrack reflects the journey that the characters have been on. It’s not just the 70s and 80s now. There are tracks from across time. These songs aid the storytelling. The soundtrack might be all over the place, but the visual aesthetic is clearly inspired by early 70s and 60s culture. There are bright colors mixed with burning white backgrounds. At points, the film almost feels psychedelic with some of the imagery.

This is a film heavy with emotional beats that might be too much for some viewers, but it’s backed up with so much charm, love, and care for these characters. James Gunn doesn’t miss and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ends up as a triumphant entry in the series.

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