Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Caps A Trilogy

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. © 2023 MARVEL.

It’s never easy saying goodbye to a beloved team but all good things must end as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 caps a trilogy.

Please stay until the end of the credits as there are two scenes. There is imagery of body horror so please keep this in mind.

That’s not to say that everyone is saying goodbye here. We knew going into the film that a number of cast members would be departing from the franchise. Writer-director James Gunn is heading over to DC as he is set to run DC Films with Peter Safran. In the meantime, this is a film that leaves audiences in good place. Emotional, sure, but it also manages to tie up a story that started in 2014 while answering some questions along the way. What will happen with this franchise going forward is now in the hands of Kevin Feige.

While the film runs two and a half hours, it does not feel that long. It runs at a rather quick pace and certainly works on that part. All the emotional beats definitely pay off. I went in knowing very little outside of the first trailer so I wasn’t fully sure what to expect on that end. That said, if you have not yet seen The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, you need to rectify this immediately.

I’ll have a lot more to say under the photo.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
(L-R): Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

When we last saw the Guardians of the Galaxy, they were celebrating the holidays on Knowhere after abducting Kevin Bacon. What happens here is that Rocket’s past finally catches up to him. With Rocket’s life on the line, the Guardians set off on a rescue mission or risk the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m not going to spoil any of the particulars but they certainly play with our emotions in the process.

To say that this is Rocket’s film would not be an understatement. His story is what drives this film and everyone rallies around him. It’s how Gamora (Zoe Saldana) also re-enters the picture. There were major questions in Avengers: Endgame and we now have some answers in where did Gamora go at the end of the film. Will this version of her ever come around and feel the same way about Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)? That’s where one must watch the film for themselves.

The capper of a trilogy usually has a lot going for it. All of the previous storylines must get tied up lest the audience be left asking more questions. Everything about this film is bigger. It’s so big that the sets were too big to utilize the ILM Virtual Stagecraft technology! In any event, this film is quite the roller coaster, both visually and emotionally speaking. If you thought Avengers: Endgame got emotional, prepare to have your emotions toyed with once again! There are times where one is laughing and then holding back tears the very next minute. I cannot tell you just how many times I found myself wondering if someone was getting killed off. But again, it speaks to how this film is more of a finale than anything else.

Regarding the body horror, it’s with regard to Nebula’s enhancements. After all those years of torture from Thanos, she received some upgrades thanks to Rocket. Suffice it to say, there are things that happen in this film that one’s body should never do. Meanwhile, it goes without saying that there are animals that are harmed in this film. Like I said, this film deals with Rocket’s origin story and how his past has come back to bite him in the tuchas.

I haven’t even gotten into the music yet. Once again, the third film features an amazing soundtrack. It’ll be hard to avoid not getting up to dance. Or sing along, too, for that matter. I mean, we’ve got the likes of Bruce Springsteen showing up with “Badlands.” The music is one of the best parts about these movies and it does not disappoint.

It’ll probably be some time before the Guardians get back into the picture as Kevin Feige still has to bring both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men into the mix. It is a vast universe to say the least. The other thing, on the Marvel end, is that they’re slowing things down so as to not lead to franchise fatigue. Thankfully, one does not need to do too much to prepare for this film. Nobody needs to watch a gazillion TV series and that’s for the best. The nice thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy is that they’re contained to three films, a special, and two Avengers movies. That’s it. Other films require even more TV and movie viewing!

The Guardians of the Galaxy have always been a family and in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, we see the lengths in which family will go to save one of their own. Writer-director James Gunn caps his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy with the right emotional tone, roller coaster and all.

CAST: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Maria Bakalova, and Sylvester Stallone

Marvel Studios will release Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in theaters on May 5, 2023. Grade: 4.5/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.