Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 Is An Emotional Rollercoaster

The Stream: It takes a bit to take off and then drags on a bit.

The Big Screen: Good character development, campy to the max, good action sequences

The Final Bill: A long movie full of character development, giggles, fights and hope for personal change

Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements
Runtime: 2 hours 23 minutes
Production Companies: Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Troll Court Entertainment,
Platform: In theaters May 5, 2023
Notable Trailers: The Little Mermaid, Fast X, Gran Turismo, The Flash, Dune Part 2, The Marvels, Elemental, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds

What’s up, Streamers! The summer movie season has arrived early with this weekend’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. Audiences are lined up to see how Peter Quill and the gang deal with the fallout from the whatever happened in those Avenger movies.

James Gunn returns to write and direct this third installment of Marvel’s Guardians saga. He brings his typical humor, irreverence and fun to this new adventure. In Vol. 3, Peter (Chris Pratt) is grieving the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) while the rest of the Guardians are settling back into life on Knowhere until Adam (Will Poulter) attacks them on a mission from the High Evolutionary. In the attack, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) gets mortally wounded, and the remainder of the Guardians have to rally to save his life. Galaxy-hopping hijinks ensue.

Obviously, this is a big Marvel movie that demands to be seen in the theaters. Is it worth nighttime money? Yeah, probably. Will you be satisfied with matinee dollars? Absolutely. Really, it’s a must-see that should be pleasantly surprising for some and may be a let down for others. I’d say MCU fans can probably go either way. Vol. 3 has the full Guardians of the Galaxy essence to it, including: cameos, banter, action, etc. However, it is kind of doing the exact same thing as the previous movies and Christmas special. I completely can see how fans may not be overcome with enthusiasm because it might feel done before.

It’s not all the same in Vol. 3 as this movie explores character development in a major way. Many of these characters may be seen as one dimensional but after this episode that will be no more. It’s actually quite impressive to think how James Gunn managed to do that in one movie for like 6 characters. On the other hand, the movie is a bit too long and drones on. Actually, it felt like the movie took too long to get really get going. Although there is an initial bang to the movie, the plot doesn’t really kick in until about 35 minutes in. I might feel differently on a second watch, but who knows. There are scenes that that should have been edited better and some that could have been cut altogether, but ultimately it culminated in a solid product.

Speaking of culminating, the final fight sequence is one to behold. I don’t feel like there was much action or fighting in this flick, but each sequence is hard-hitting and fresh for the MCU. I would have wanted more of these scenes, but I don’t think we really need a 3-hour movie. Lastly, the part of the movie that was most confusing was the comedy. To me, the movie began way too campy even for Guardian of the Galaxy and the jokes weren’t landing. Towards the middle of the movie, I think the jokes got better but a lot of the jokes just felt the exact same as before. It’s like really, this again? We’ve done this before. Maybe that’s what I was feeling. If you were new to these movies, maybe you’d think it was really funny. Many of the cameos were very solid. Speaking of solid, the main villain in this movie was more than solid. He was intense, vicious, manic, strong and vulnerable all at the same time. Chukwudi Iwuji really did his thing in this movie and I hope to see more of him in other roles across the movie spectrum.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Long story short, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is obviously something that must be seen in the theaters. You’ll be fine spending big bucks, but you’ll be even happier with the matinee. There is a compelling storyline and the cast works together quite well. The flick is a bit too long and corny at times, but it’s still very watchable. MCU fans may not love this movie, but everyone new to the film will think the movie is a top rollercoaster of emotions. Grab as much popcorn as you can find and see Vol. 3!