The GOTG trilogy we all know and love goes out with a bang.
James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy is coming to a close with Vol. 3. After the messy “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” here is an MCU threequel that knows the stakes. It’s funny, weird, and action-packed, but we were expecting that. But what we’re more impressed with is how emotionally complex the story is, like how it hinges on Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) who reflects on his cruel childhood when he was born an animal and transformed into the genetically engineered talking creature by the new villain, known as the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). He may be dying, and his fellow Guardians need to save him.
We all know what happened to Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Thanos murdered her, and the 2014 version comes to the present. In this subplot, Peter Quill A.K.A Star Lord (Chris Pratt) tries to convince her she is the Gamora he knows and loves, but to no avail. She remembers nothing of their romance or adventures, and fights him every step of the way.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” also reunites Karen Gillan as Nebula, who is now literally flexible and has a weapon for an arm, Dave Bautista as Drax, who is still big on brawn and low on brains, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, who matures quite well, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, who eventually decides to find the emotions within herself, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, who is still trying to figure out how he can improve on his whistling (if you catch my drift), and Maria Bakalova as the voice of Cosmo the Spacedog, who doesn’t like certain insults.
A returning villain is Ayesha (Elizabeth Dibicki), whose creation Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) comes to life to raise some Hell. He’s the kind of henchman to develop a stronger conscience than his maker.
The flashbacks with Rocket show him making some friends with other genetic animals, like the otter Lylla (voiced by Linda Cardellini), the walrus Teefs (voiced by Asim Chaudhry), and the rabbit Floor (voiced by Miriam Shor). Those aren’t their real names, but numbers for names don’t work. So, why not change them?
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” missed out on the opportunity to explore a strange and fascinating world of the Quantum Realm, whereas “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” takes its time to show us Rocket’s childhood and an altered Earth with animal hybrids. Running at 2 hours and 30 minutes allows us to see those weird, amazing, and sincere elements. There are many contradictions to how MCU films have struggled to connect to the glory days with “Iron Man” and “Black Panther,” and relied to commercialism to sell them to the public. But I really enjoyed this threequel because how it makes better options than the last MCU film and even DC’s “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.”
It makes no guarantees that Peter Quill and Gamora will get back together, given the circumstances, but it does guarantee that maybe he’ll find something he’s been missing all these years in space. When Pratt keeps his comedy and pathos in balance, he’s entertaining. When Gamora has to shout, Saldana shows off some powerful acting. When Cooper cuts back on Rocket’s rude behaviors, we’re able to see him give the raccoon a personal touch. But then again, he would probably be pissed I called him a raccoon, unless he sees others of his kind. When Cardellini adds a sweetness to the otter, she can be delightful, but she can also be wise. And when the high Evolutionary complains about imperfect worlds, Iwuji really explodes with great intensity.
Do I still understand all this space dialogue and gadgets? Not completely, because even at my age, I still don’t know what they’re talking about half the time. But that doesn’t mean I’m not able to see the opportunities the GOTG are taking. I like the way the soundtrack adds 90s and 2000s hits in its 70s-80s list, even though I might hear complaints that they play like music videos. That was the reaction I received in “Vol. 2” But you know what? I like a fresh blockbusters with a hot soundtrack, big laughs, and lots of vulnerabilities. And Gunn, in his first film since “The Suicide Squad,” knows a good ride when he sees it.