GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOLUME 3 Delivers a Satisfying Conclusion

Filmmaker James Gunn has completed his work within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now sets his sights on his contributions to all future DC/Warner Bros. products. As most movie fans know, Gunn has been chosen as one of the heads of WB/DC’s new studio and will write and probably direct a new Superman movie. That is not to say that James Gunn will not send off his motley crew of space heroes properly, and that is what he does with the final installment in his GOTG trilogy.

Following the events of the previous movies, and the Guardians’ contributions to other MCU movies, our beloved team of cosmic heroes has set up the home base on the rough and tumble world of Knowhere. However, there is much more to the background of the Sovereign, as they are one of many projects of a powerful and intelligent scientist known as The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). After pissing off the Sovereign Empress Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), she sends her latest creation, her superpowered son Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), to attack the Guardians and carry out her revenge.

The High Evolutionary is the creator of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), as we all know him. As this mad scientist obsesses over his continuing work to create advanced and supposedly evolved forms of life, he, too, has been searching for his one experiment, Rocket, which seems to be an exceptional example of all he has created.

Written and directed by James Gunn, the latest and supposedly final chapter of the Guardians of the Galaxy saga sheds much light upon Rocket’s backstory and how he became the likable but often troublesome creature who would become a hero in the MCU. As Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 devotes much focus to Peter Quill’s backstory, GOTG: Volume 3 tells Rocket’s story and does so in some incredible and powerful ways. This final movie in the trilogy is Gunn’s darkest and most disturbing entry, as it involves experimentation on various creatures and the abuses these lifeforms endure for the sake of science.

This installment is a very hard PG-13-rated movie, as Gunn pulls little punches in expressing his messages. That is not to say it isn’t a good time. Gunn manages to mix humor and thrills into the story very well. The movie does have its share of the expected Marvel beats, but these moments only partially derail the overall experience.

The movie delivers a good time but is not all fun and games when offering compelling and moving moments. The reality of everything presented is that life is not always fun and games and even the Guardians must face these realities. Now, even though there is much focus on Rocket, Gunn does well in developing the journeys of the other Guardians and everything that has affected them so far. As expected, the returning cast members perform wonderfully, but Chukwudi Iwuji stands out among the new actors as The High Evolutionary. The actor puts much heart and passion into his role as what could have been a cliche mad scientist but succeeds beyond this movie trope.

In a way, I am disappointed that Gunn will no longer make any more Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but at the same time, I am glad that he was able to make his movies on his terms, leaving at just the right time. I look forward to what he will contribute to the DC movies, as I know he will put much heart and soul into them, as he has done with his contributions to the MCU. Oh, and yes, the soundtrack is pure gold.

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