Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
It’s been nearly a decade since audiences have been introduced to the legendary Guardians of the Galaxy and a lot of things have happened in front of and behind the scenes on their journey. However, it is safe to say that this trilogy of movies – and a holiday special –is possibly the best trilogy of films Marvel has put out yet ever and has packed the most consistent fun and entertainment, even if the second entry was a little disappointng. With James Gunn behind the camera again, he gets to say his farewells to this incarnation of the Guardians (as he has said himself). The end result is something beautiful, bringing forth the Marvel Cinematic Universes strongest entry since Infinity War/Endgame, prepare for the emo$onal roller coaster of a life$me with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The Film focuses on Star-Lord (Chris Pra#) s$ll coming to terms with the loss of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) as she has no recollection of who he is or what their time together meant. However, when a new villain makes his entry in the form of The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) the guardians face their most difficult world saving adventure yet. While they have their hands full with The High Evolutionary, Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is also seriously injured when Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) enters the fray, and the Guardians must not only stop The High Evolutionary they also have to save Rocket before it’s too late.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an interesting and welcomed tonal change as the story is now focusing on the unsung hero of the Franchise thus far, Rocket Raccoon. So far the previous two movies and even the holiday special were very focused on Peter Quill/Star-Lord so to give us a final third movie in the Trilogy and let audiences explore the unsung hero in this fashion brings forth a much heavier emotional impact in the Franchise. With that also being said, it allows Bradley Cooper to shine throughout the Film more than he has been able to previously. He truly shows the heart and soul of Rocket and delivers it in an all-time great performance which at moments will leave the audience in an uncontrollable sob. Zoe Saldana also gets to hit the refresh button in a way on her character since the version of Gamora we have here is not the one that was on any of the guardians’ adventures and hasn’t had that chance to bond and create those relationships. It brings a new level of depth to her character as well and makes an interesting argument for nature vs nurture as well. Will Poulter as Adam Warlock is an interesting choice as the character work certainly needs to be hashed-out a litle more, and since he was awoken too early he’s still a ‘child’ which explains some of his character choices. What Poulter does next with the character is where audiences will see if he truly can encapsulate Adam Warlock. However, it is Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary that is downright terrifying, a completely unhinged performance by a character whose sole motivation is perfection at any cost thusly making him one of the most menacing MCU villains to date. There is no logic or reasoning to his destructin, he just wants his vision of perfection. With Chukwudi’s performance being so menacing and terrifying it perfectly captures the horrors that The High Evolutionary wants to carry out.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will probably be the last time we see this specific set of guardians on screen, and if that is the case it truly is the perfect send o: for this collec$on of a-holes. James Gunn managed to direct a nearly perfect ending to the Trilogy he set out to tell and crafts an emotional, yet hilarious and impactful conclusion to the trilogy for our beloved guardians.
With a fresh story and some incredible performances from new and old Cast members, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is hands down the best MCU entry since Infinity War/Endgame.
Marvel Studios Canada release GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 May 5, 2023.
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