Max at the movies: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will be the last MCU film that James Gunn will make, as he has now moved over to Warner Bros. as the official co-CEO of DC Studios.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

James Gunn came back for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” after being fired and then re-hired by Marvel. With such controversies surrounding the movie, many wonder: Does this sequel have what it takes to close out the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy?

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was written and directed by James Gunn. The film stars Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen GIllian as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary and Will Poulter as Adam Warlock. 

The movie tells the story of Peter Quill, who while in the process of mourning the loss of Gamora, rallies the Guardians of the Galaxy to defend the universe and protect one of their own against a next level threat. If their mission isn’t successful, it could lead to the end of the Guardians as we know it. 

The best thing about this film is that this was a satisfying and emotional conclusion to the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. James Gunn was first brought into the MCU writing and directing the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” released back in 2014, as well as the sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” released in 2017. With this film, James Gunn gave it his all into making this the most satisfying ending for these characters, and I would say he was extremely successful. 

Another aspect of this film I particularly enjoyed is that James Gunn took mostly unknown C-List level characters and found relatability in every single one of them, whether that be characters such as a talking tree or a talking raccoon. 

The chemistry between each of the Guardians is greater than it has ever been. Each character gets their moment in the spotlight in several different sequences throughout the film. Adding to that, The High Evolutionary was one of the best villains presented in the entire MCU. He is a villain that has ties to one of the members of the Guardians, as well as posing an urgent and immediate threat to them. The audience wants to see him defeated as he’s not someone who was given a tragic backstory for us to sympathize with. James Gunn wisely focuses on making him a condescending villain, and for me that’s what made him work so well. 

As for aspects of this film that didn’t work as well, the character of Adam Warlock comes to mind. I didn’t think that Will Poulter did a bad job in the role, however, he felt like a glorified henchman, rather than an actual antagonist. His purpose was only to serve his mother and follow directions, which felt like a weak trait for a character that has such popularity in the comics. 

This, however, did not detract from my enjoyment of the film, nor would I say it is a large criticism of the movie. Still, the film did nothing for me to get me excited for the future of the MCU. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” told such a wonderful standalone story that focused solely on closing out the trilogy, that after I watched the film, I remembered how little I care about what the MCU is actually building towards as a whole. 

While the MCU has mostly fallen flat for me, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” was easily the best MCU movie since “Avengers: Endgame.” The film reminded me of how much I love these characters. This movie was a huge improvement compared to  “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” but I don’t think it is quite as good as the original “Guardians of the Galaxy.” With that being said, I still think this is a top 10 MCU movie, and a definite must watch for fans of the franchise.