Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a befitting finale for Peter Quill’s ragtag team of spacefaring misfits. One that is bittersweet, introspective, and succinctly joyful.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Synopsis
Though severely depressed over (the alternate) Gamora not remembering their romance, Peter Quill still rises to the task when Rocket Raccoon is critically injured by Adam Warlock. In their quest to save their comrade, the Guardians quickly come into confrontation with the High Evolutionary too, a powerful geneticist obsessed with creating the perfect race. Meanwhile, in his catatonic state, Rocket relives the worst moments of his complex life.
I’ll begin with this. It’s been a while since I truly enjoyed an MCU movie. The last time it happened was No Way Home.
But throughout all, do you agree that there is a certain loss of direction? For all the talk and hype about the multiverse, you sense neither the presence nor threat nor purpose of it. You’re just told that it’s such a grand and dangerous place.
If not, the stories are character tributes or introductions. Each of these is engaging in a unique way but all also lack the sort of grand saga, emotional grip that identify the best MCU episodes. Or they struggle to correlate to some undefined, future crisis.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a character tribute too. Wait, I should say, a bundle of character tributes. What sets it apart from its immediate predecessors, though, is a straightforward determination to conclude the story arcs of the Guardians.
There is no looming cosmic threat. There is no burden to lay the foundations for future adventures.
Barely anything new is introduced with each Guardian too. Even though some, such as Quill and Nebula, might feel drastically different from when you last saw them. (That is, if you have not watched the Christmas special)
This streamlined objective creates wonders. Other than paving the way for an intimate story that is far more engaging compared to, say, Eternals, there is a marked expression of sincerity and love. James Gunn and his crew want you to remember their creations. They want you to know that you are entitled to share both the joy and sorrows of their creations too.
This formula has worked well for Marvel in its best movies but has been abandoned for over a year in the studio’s zealous fervour to create an even grander universe. It’s good to see Marvel finally remembers it has long owned this storytelling instrument in its bag.
Outside of the story approach, I give praise to the neurotic humour that still permeates the movie. Admittedly, some of the inane moments trend toward being too offbeat or long, or too obligatory, but the unique branding of the Guardians movies is preserved. As a huge fan of cinematic imaginary worlds, I must share my love for the Orgosphere chapter too. What a bizarre mini-world this is! So grotesque and macabre that every fleshy inch of it exerts an irresistible visual magnetism.
Lastly, I think Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary is hands-down one of the most sinister and megalomaniacal MCU ever. One of the most horrifying too.
I don’t dislike recent MCU villains like Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror or Christian Bale’s Gorr, but none unnerved me the way Iwuji’s eugenics-obsessed perfectionist did.
The evil that the Nigerian-British actor encapsulates will make even Thanos flinch.
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