REVIEW: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ a triumphant, emotional end to trilogy

The Guardians’ last adventure together

An official poster of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.


An official poster of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”


I watched the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie on a whim in the summer of 2014. It ended up being my favorite movie, and the soundtrack blew my mind.

The Guardians team has made several appearances across the Marvel Cinematic Universe since, with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” capping off their last adventure as a team.

Although “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” still contains the fun soundtrack that was featured in the first two movies of the trilogy, the overall tone is much grimmer.

Chris Pratt’s character, Star-Lord, who was once a source of humor and optimism in the previous movies, has hit the bottle and is passed out drunk for the movie’s first scene.

The team has matured a lot since their last movie. They have set up their headquarters on planet Knowhere, formed a community with the people there and rebuilt society, but none of them seem particularly happy.

In a meme-worthy scene, Will Poulter’s character Adam Warlock is introduced flying through space, forced by the main antagonist of the movie to return Rocket after his escape (which is explained through flashbacks).

The excellent soundtrack is one constant throughout these movies, and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” delivers another one. The opening sequence included the acoustic version of “Creep” by Radiohead while focusing on Rocket.

While each of the Guardians has their moments of humor, Rocket could be argued as the biggest source of comic relief. So when he nearly dies in the first sequence of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” it is clear that the movie will not follow the upbeat nature that the team is used to.

A large portion of the movie is focused on Rocket’s past and how he became the jaded creature he is now.

Rocket’s story is realllllly sad, I was not ready for how emotional the movie was as a whole, but especially Rocket’s backstory. Throughout his time in the MCU, Rocket is a self-proclaimed “non-raccoon” who is sarcastic and snippy with everyone he interacts with, even his loved ones.

While I do not want to give too much of Rocket’s backstory away, the main antagonist for the movie, the High Evolutionary, experimented on animals, trying to make the “perfect life form.” After a bit of confrontation, Rocket escapes from the prison that the High Evolutionary kept him in.

The movie is told alternating between the current day and Rocket’s flashback, and it is a little bit confusing trying to figure out why the High Evolutionary waited years to try and recapture Rocket. The amount of time between Rocket’s escape and the current day is unclear.

I will omit the rest of the plot so you can experience it for yourself, but my analysis of the movie will continue below with spoilers.

The ending of this movie is extremely emotional; going into “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” there was an almost certain sense that one of the main characters was going to die. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time waiting and bracing myself for that to happen.

It never did. What happened was not what I expected; the team disbanded, and it was a very well-done touch that pulled at the heartstrings.

The scene at the end of the movie saw the Guardians on “Knowhere”, with everyone that they had saved throughout the course of the plot. I’ll admit that I choked up in the theater when “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine played as the group went their separate ways.

I appreciate that Marvel strayed further away from their normal recipe than they usually do. I really liked the emotional approach that was taken to this movie and I hope that it will be applied to future projects.

I know that superhero movies are supposed to be action-packed, but seeing thoughtful and introspective sides to these characters really helped create a good angle on them, as well as a good atmosphere.

The last few Marvel movies and TV shows have been slightly underwhelming, but I think “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will set the franchise back on course. It was a fantastic blend of funny and emotional, with plenty of action.

Although Marvel confirmed that there will not be any more movies in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” saga, the characters will return in future projects, which makes me happy.