Los Angeles — “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is the third film entry that completes the trilogy of the cosmic series. The Guardians franchise is part of the larger universe or more accurately, multiverse from Marvel Studios, set to release on Friday.
The Guardians, notably Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Nebula (Karen Gillan), struggle dealing with having to befriend and gain the trust of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), who, post “Avengers: Endgame,” ran away and becomes the leader of the galactic crime syndicate known as The Ravagers.
The movie’s drama and sorrowful tone is akin to Shakespeare. The drama is needed and compelling as many believed the second film was too dependent on the jokes. In this third volume we dig deeper into the history of the pivotal character, Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper). Rocket, the rough and rowdy raccoon is in a melancholic state as he reflects upon his past. Vol 3. explores Rocket’s origins with scenes of him as a young raccoon, and his creator the main antagonist, The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).
In many of the marketing materials for the film, Rocket Raccoon is the focal point, which follows into the movie as his conflict with The High Evolutionary is the catalyst for the action. Iwuji may be the most frightening villain in MCU as he is unabashedly soulless and ruthless in his pursuits. Delivering some of the most bone-chilling and unsettling quotes in MCU’s history, expect to have goosebumps and one’s jaw to drop nearly each time he is on screen. He is outwardly more evil than major Avengers villains, Kang and Thanos combined.
Vol. 3 gives expanded roles to minor characters — Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and Cosmo (Maria Bakalova) — who are now officially part of the Guardians, giving a great blend of more comedic diversity to the group.
A major new addition to the series is Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), the secondary antagonist who is an overwhelmingly powerful artificial creation by Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), the High Priestess and ruler of the Sovereign who first appeared in Vol. 2.
Due to the wide span of decades that director/writer James Gunn could use for the soundtrack due to Peter’s zune, the music selection for this film continues to elevate the story in somber, wholesome, hilarious and heartwarming ways. The soundtrack does not disappoint and literally hits all the right notes.
Guardians Vol. 3 is the darkest of the three films. Many dark topics have been posed in these films, but this one takes the themes of loss, grief, and anger to the next level. These characters each explore their trauma in different ways, either through violence or masking them through humor, making them feel human even though some of them are literal flora and fauna.
Bradley Cooper’s portrayal as Rocket must also be commended as he gives depth to this character who has gone through many cathartic experiences throughout his life. While many cynical people may consider Rocket to be a marketing vehicle to sell fuzzy toys, to James Gunn, he is a full fledged and realized character that deserves just as much, if not more respect than the others.
5 out of 5. Be sure to stay for the two post credit scenes.