From obscure characters to the saviors of the MCU: A Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 review
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is back to kick off the summer with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The film released a few days ago and now that we’ve gotten a chance to sit down and watch, how was it?
I think before we talk about the film itself, We’ve got to mention the poorly CGI’d elephant in the room: Over their last few projects, Marvel Studios has categorically failed in creating good and engaging stories. It’s all twitter talks about these days. Bad CGI, bad writing, bad acting, bad comedy, and so on. While I did find things to like in each of the phase 4 and 5 movies, some more than others, I generally agree with this notion that Marvel Studios has taken a major downturn in quality since Infinity War.
To be fair, it needs to be said that the issue is not that Marvel Studios is no longer capable of making the same films that made them popular. In fact, in spite of all the moaning and groaning about how bad the new movies are, they’re still making more money than any of us will ever see in our combined lives. The issue is that the MCU itself has grown so large that there are simply too many characters to keep up with. And that’s true for both the audience and the studio itself. Simply put, Marvel Studios has spread themselves too thin in attempts to release projects every couple of months (despite pleas from fans to slow down release windows)
Luckily, the soulless feeling that comes from not spending enough time on their projects is nowhere to be found in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. As a matter of fact, I along with everyone in the theater I could overhear thought this iteration of the Guardians is not only the best, but also makes for one of the best marvel movies period.
The film is an absolute masterclass in how to respond to fan feedback. Nearly every aspect of the Guardians that was underdeveloped or annoying was addressed. Each character has several hero moments, several heartfelt lines of dialogue, and not an ounce of the weird “comedy” present in phase 4 films.
Matter of fact, this film has the one thing that all of phase 4 lacked in my opinion: Emotion. This movie is absolutely hilarious, genuinely heartbreaking, and heartwarming. Even further, these emotions never clash with each other. Serious moments aren’t undercut with comedy, and the heartwarming moments felt earned and genuine.
Another aspect that sets this film apart is a return to form when it comes to action and violence. The characters fight together with noticeably better choreography, certain characters actually get injured pretty seriously at times, and there are certain moments that are so violent they barely escape an R rating.
Finally, I want to mention the villain. It is hard to describe the feeling this character gives, especially without spoilers, but I can say this. Not only does the villain have screen time, but he actually feels menacing, unhinged, and powerful. Genuinely engaging Villains are few and far between in this franchise, and seeing a good villain on screen is a breath of fresh air after the criminal under usage of Christian Bale’s character in Thor 4: More Thor.
I came into this film ready to hate it. I have been continually disappointed by Marvel films as of late, even the ones that I moderately enjoyed. I am very excited to say that if you’re feeling fatigued with superheroes, angry with Marvel’s recent content, or just want another reminder of why James Gunn is far and away the best superhero movie director alive, see this movie.