Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Director: James Gunn
Date Created: 2023-05-05 20:10
Before explaining how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is good but exhausting, it’s important that I confess something to you.
In preparation for this third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy saga, I rewatched Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2 because my memory is trash.
By the time I got to the second movie, I noticed that my mind started fogging up, I was constantly having to reign in my thoughts from wandering off so far, and I’m ashamed to say but… I even rolled my eyes at one point. I know — *gasp!*
This is not the first time that I’ve experienced these symptoms, so I know what I’m dealing with. My siblings and I once had a 72-hour weekend Marvel marathon and I think running a physical marathon would have been less exhausting than watching the same formula on repeat for hours.
So I knew what I was experiencing was true – Marvel Fatigue.
Marvel Fatigue with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel Fatigue (noun): 1. extreme exhaustion due to an oversaturation of Marvel entertainment 2. a weakened emotional response caused by viewing repeated variations of the same Marvel movie formula
With Ant-Man 3 just released less than 3 months ago, The Marvels coming out in 6 months, not to mention the Secret Invasion series coming out just next month, Marvel doesn’t give viewers any time to miss them.
The Guardians’ article on Marvel fatigue words it perfectly, “[How can these movies] feel fresh or exciting when they’re arriving at a pace to rival the clockwork release of their comic-book source material?”
As a casual fan, I don’t think I can keep up as much as I want to. And it’s important that you understand the mental context in which I write this GOTG3 review because it is not a clear-minded, emotionally invested one.
I came down with the strong and debilitating symptoms of Marvel Fatigue the day before going into the theater for Volume 3 and to be honest with you, I was not very excited to watch this movie at all.
I was suffering terribly from the ‘tigue but it is my duty to my country and to the 3 people who will read this to write a review of this movie so help me God!
So I marched on through the fog in my mind. And though this movie still was a lot, it had moments that pierced through the haze, beautifully rounded out focal characters, and created a heartwarming conclusion to the Guardians’ journey while still leaving the hope of opportunities to see these beloved characters on new adventures in the future.
With all that in mind, let’s get into the review.
Why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Is Good
The opening scene to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 introduces us to Rocket’s origin story, something we as an audience never got much insight into in the beginning.
An innocent, endearing, and intelligent creature, Rocket is plunged into the world of unethical scientific animal experimentation done with the intention of creating the “perfect species.”
The movie’s main villain, The High Evolutionary, whose mission is to create a perfect society is now hunting for Rocket again, in real-time, and has employed Adam Warlock, AKA ‘golden boy’ in my mind, to retrieve Rocket so that High Evolutionary can get vital information from his brain.
In the process of trying to capture Rocket for the High Evolutionary’s purposes, Rocket ends up severely injured and the rest of the journey in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is focused primarily on trying to save Rocket’s life by retrieving the code needed to turn off the kill switch to his heart.
Throughout this journey of saving Rocket, we get flashbacks of the friendships he made while in experimental captivity, the hardships he had to endure, and the reasons behind his callous, go-getter, and somewhat insecure tendencies that we have grown to know him for in past GOTG movies.
Though this film spends most of its time primarily making the audience fall deeply in love with Rocket as a multi-layered character, the rest of the crew is not neglected.
We see Quill transform from a drunken, heartbroken, hopeless guy into someone who begins to notice and place value on the wonderful relationships that he’s surrounded by.
Drax, who provides boatloads of comedic relief throughout the film, grows into more than a matter-of-fact meathead and we see other nurturing and emotionally intelligent sides of him.
Mantis steps deeper into her power and individuality.
Kraglin learns how to hone his telepathic arrow abilities without accidental casualties.
And Groot, we have had the pleasure of seeing Groot in all stages of maturity, from adult Groot in the first film, to the most adorable baby Groot in the second film, and now we get buff young adult Groot. As per usual, he always has something insightful to say. Despite experiencing many different levels of physical maturity, Groot’s core as the loyal, fearless, and fiercely lovable overgrown “houseplant” remains the same.
This movie had people crying in the theatre.
Not me, because I was emotionally detached from the movie, but it was helpful to see how the movie’s intention to move people was effective. You could feel a palpable energy shift in the room.
Marvel crafts some particularly tense moments in the film where characters are hanging in suspense between life and death, creating fear in viewers that they may lose a character they’ve spent several hours investing in.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 balances heavy emotional moments with humorous moments of levity quite well, all the while creating intense, action-packed fight scenes.
Near the end of the film, there is one particular full-crew fight scene that is done from a first-person point of view, as if the viewer is the one taking on the adversaries.
Combined with upbeat music and perfectly timed slow-motion, this scene is a masterclass in bad*ssery.
The film’s soundtrack is expertly chosen with a final number that raises your spirits and gives you hope for the future of each character’s new chapter.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 intends to make you laugh, make you cry, and maybe even make you marvel.
Why Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Is Exhausting
Too Many Missions
This movie was just giving a lot.
We start off with the initial mission to find the code to help save Rocket’s life, but while on that quest, several other missions arise and intersect.
It’s easy to lose track of where the Guardians’ are in time and space and why they’re there.
The Villain is Underwhelming
There are a few villains in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, starting off with golden boy, I mean Adam Warlock (they should change his name), who harms Rocket in his mission to capture him for the High Evolutionary.
His motivations seem mainly to please his Golden Mother, Ayeesha the High Priestess, who we’ve seen in past Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Quite menacing this guy…
Somehow more threatening than Adam Warlock is the main villain, High Evolutionary, whose mission is to create the perfect society.
“There is no god, that’s why I stepped in!”The High Evolutionary
His motives seem very selfish, self-serving, and power-hungry, but his power seems awfully overrated and underdefined.
He holds out his hands and pushes people with an invisible force similar to what Kang is able to do in Ant-Man 3. Are we running out of supervillain power ideas or something?
He’s not convincing as a high-powered villain. His henchmen seem to be the ones doing most of the dirty work for him.
There is no substance to him, no backstory, no family to fight for, or enemies on which to inflict vengeance. He’s just a psychopath.
Furthermore, the Guardians prove in the film that it is possible to subdue him.
He’s definitely one of the weaker villains in my book.
With this movie, you’re juggling so many characters with additional characters being added to the mix, overstuffed CGI visuals, new planets, lasers, armies, and force fields, all happening simultaneously —
It can get very overwhelming. I had to zone out mentally a few times because there was just a lot happening.
There didn’t feel like enough time to recover from one high-energy moment before being doused in another one.
With all of the details and everything being pieced on top of each other, it’s a bit of mental acrobatics to keep up with everything. It becomes a bit of an exhausting movie to watch.
Again, this could totally just be me since I was dealing with the ‘tigue.
And to be clear, there are slow and focused moments in the film that are beautifully done, but once the action kicks in, it just doesn’t stop.
Although the 2 hours and 30 minutes runtime doesn’t grow stale, it could have paced itself a little better so as not to leave viewers out of breath at particularly dense pockets of the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is good and a satisfying conclusion to the GOTG saga. It builds a new admiration and respect for the crew members and expertly mixes in the signature light humor of this saga with heavy themes.
Objectively, a good movie, it is true that too much of a good thing can turn sour. With the repetitive Marvel shots and overuse of super-CGI moments, multiple overlapping storylines and motives, and repetitive fight scenes, it can become somehow both overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time.
I want to say that if this was my first Marvel movie, maybe I would love this film to the extent that it has been beloved by others, but it’s become quite difficult to understand the narrative, characters, and concept of a singular Marvel movie without the context of the 50 Marvel Movies before it, consequently, leading to Marvel fatigue.
When you’re so used to a formula, you no longer need to check in with the recipe periodically, you can kinda just bake the cake absent-mindedly.
A reliable and delicious recipe, yes, but I’m yearning for some new flavors.
What are your thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Let me know in the comments below!
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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,