REVIEW: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3:” A perfect sendoff to the beloved Guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 released on May 5, 2023 to positive audience and critical reviews.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, via Wikipedia

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” released on May 5, 2023 to positive audience and critical reviews.

Kushi Maridu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which released on May 5, 2023, proved a fitting conclusion to one of the most treasured superhero duology due to its cinematography, acting and character development.

As a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the third installment of the Guardians franchise is already part of a bigger universe, with most of the characters appearing in many of the previous projects in the MCU.

Recently, the MCU has received a lot of backlash from fans and critics alike due to the flicks only being used to set up future movies, lacking creativity and using bad VFX. However, director James Gunn creates a visual wonder, addressing these issues with the film.

Gunn’s creative storytelling is showcased in the previous two films of the series and other projects, scoring him a job as the co-CEO of the DC Studios’ cinematic universe, DCU. Gunn carries his creativity over to this project for his final venture in the MCU.

In this film, the Guardians, superheroes that travel the galaxy to help those in need, go on a mission to rescue Rocket Racoon, played by Bradley Cooper, from the evil High Evolutionary, played by Chukwudi Iwuji. 

Multiple new characters get introduced such as Adam Warlock, Lylla the Otter, High Evolutionary and more. Introducing new characters and developing old ones is no easy feat but Gunn delivers it with ease. Through comedy and emotional scenes, Gunn clearly establishes most of the characters’ personalities. This characterization pays off as the audience root for the Guardians to succeed in their mission throughout the galaxy.

Even though the story centers around Rocket, all of the characters shine with their phenomenal acting prowess. Whether it be Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, who is constantly trying to find his love after the events of the previous two Avengers films, or Dave Bautista’s Drax, who has always been troubled since his family had been murdered, the actors continued to showcase their characters in a nuanced light. Even Iwuji’s character was developed enough to be hated by the audience as soon as his intentions were shed light.

Marvel fan and senior Khushi Mehta found the High Evolutionary highly hateable. “He was human, but he showed no ‘human’ traits. Some of the things he did were really graphic; this movie really pushed the PG-13 rating,” Mehta said. “His hatred against animals was just terrible and Iwuji’s acting to make me hate him was phenomenal.”

In addition to the characters, the music and the cinematography added to the tone of the film. As with the previous Guardians films, Gunn came with a playlist to accompany the new film. This playlist perfectly supplemented the movie along with the stylish shots of Gunn.

Another place where “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” excels is its immersive story and plot. The movie is fast paced, with flashbacks to show Rocket’s past and set up the rest of the movie. These flashbacks add more to the depth of both Rocket and the High Evolutionary, making the audience love one more and hate the other more. Although the stakes are less than the previous Guardians movies, a more personal story made the film more likable and purposeful.

The CGI has also drastically improved from the recent MCU projects, making the project more immersive. The film also showcased a lot more practical costumes and make ups rather than visual effects for most of the characters. 

Senior Tejus Kanathur found the better effects a huge plus for the movie. “The VFX for this movie was a breath of fresh air. For the recent projects, I was so tired of the bland and obviously unrealistic takes on these characters. I’m glad Gunn took the time to make this movie near perfect,” Kanathur shared.

Gunn romanticizes his last outing with the Guardians by including his signature elements of comedy and emotion, making the movie a bittersweet send off to the team. Throughout the movie, love is prevalent throughout the characters and the audience to the characters. The film’s emotional and comical scenes highlight the movie, proving hilarious and touching when necessary. All in all, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a perfect send off to the beloved Guardians through and emotional tale that will be hard to top for future films.