Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Maria Bakalova
Runtime: 2 hr 30 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Walt Disney
Opening Day: 4 May 2023
Synopsis: In Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are settling into life on Knowhere. But it isn’t long before their lives are upended by the echoes of Rocket’s turbulent past. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him on a dangerous mission to save Rocket’s life — a mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
“Once More With Feeling”, reads the tagline on one of the movie posters for the third and final movie in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. And what a load of feels this 32nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has. In fact, we haven’t felt so much for a MCU movie since we saw our favourite superheroes turn to dust in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) or the good guys coming together for the ultimate battle for the fate of Earth in Avengers: Endgame (2019).
After a few outings as part of the ensemble in other movies, the Guardians are back for their swansong. But when we first see them, things are not looking good. Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is listening to a melancholic rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep” and seems to be disturbed by something, while Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pine) is spending his days drunk and miserable. We don’t blame him, because his girlfriend Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) has died and the version that exists is from another timeline (thanks to the brilliant minds in Marvel Studios, this concept literally allows anything to happen) isn’t his biggest fan.
The rest of the gang Nebula (Karen Gillian), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), together with new members Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and Cosmo the Spacedog (voiced by Maria Bakalova) are just killing time in Knowhere, which also happens to be the decapitated head of a Celestial being.
The Guardians spring into action when Rocket is badly injured by a very powerful artificial being Adam Warlock (newcomer to the MCU Will Poulter), and they waste no time to embark on a mission to find the raccoon’s medical records in order to save his life. They eventually come face to face with the mad High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), who is obsessed about creating the perfect species with some very weird (and scary) lab technology.
We can’t imagine anyone else other than director James Gunn who is capable of bringing this truly hilarious, constantly engaging and surprisingly heartfelt movie to the big screen. Without giving away too much, who would have thought that one of the most touching scenes we’ve seen this year involves a group of
Gunn’s flair for visuals is evident in this 150 minute movie. He transports viewers to a few memorable galactic locations. There is a gooey satellite where the Guardians bounce around in their space suits inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Then the misfits find themselves in a town inhabited by anthropomorphised animals who talk in an unknown language and look like failed science experiments. The Guardians also face off other strange beings including one that expresses itself using emoticons and one with a carrot head. It’s all very bizarre but fun, and trust Gunn to carry this off without coming off as trying too hard.
That’s not the only thing on display in this Marvel movie, which stands out prominently from the slew of predictable flicks from the franchise. There’s also the storytelling, where we found ourselves truly caring for Rocket, whose story anchors the heart of the movie. It is almost heartbreaking to learn about his origins. The other Guardians also leave an impression and it makes you want to revisit their past adventures (that’s what Disney+ is for). The marketing campaign has teased that someone may die in the Guardian’s last outing together on the big screen. We aren’t giving any spoilers here, but we can guarantee that you will leave the cinema with lots of feels.
(The Guardians' last ride is full of feels, and thanks to James Gunn's brilliant mind, it is also a visual treat that is both weird and fun)
Review by John Li