Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It has been a long six years since the Guardians of the Galaxy graced the big screen. Fortunately the throngs of GOTG fans can savor the return of most of the principals for this third and final installment. From the beginning, it is clear that Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper) will be the central figure of this saga as the storyline returns to his origins as one of the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) laboratory animals. This unhinged scientist from Counter Earth is in the process of turning his experimental creatures into human-like subjects for a new Earth. Rocket’s brain implants are his latest triumph but the racoon escapes from his cage and pummels the HE for killing his friends, especially his girl, the otter Lylla (Linda Cardellini). Rocket arrives at the Guardian headquarters on Knowhere only to later be attacked and nearly killed by golden boy Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), the son of High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), a mortal enemy of the Guardians.
Guardians Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and Groot (Vin Diesel), accompanied by Gamora (Zoe Saldana) go on a mission to save the comatose Rocket. They travel to Orgocorp, the High Evolutionary’s company to find Rocket’s file and the override code that will save Rocket’s brain. Their search leads them to Counter Earth where Quill, Nebula and Groot find the Recorder Theel (Nico Santos) who has the override program literally locked into his brain. Nebula gets left behind with Rocket as Quill, Groot, Drax and Mantis get on board the High Evolutionary’s ship.
What ensues is a warp-speed adventure as the Guardians battle the High Evolutionary and his considerable forces, successfully wrest the memory-code from Theel and reunite on their ship where Quill brings Rocket back to life. As the Guardians find large groups of children imprisoned in the High Evolutionary’s vessel, along with numerous laboratory animals, they must somehow bridge the gap between this ship and their own spacecraft, a move that will require all of the telekinetic powers of Cosmos the wonder-dog (Maria Bakalova) if they are to succeed and survive.
Be warned that this film is longest of the trilogy and its storyline is often submerged in mind-blowing special effects. I could have done without the gratuitous stopover in Counter Earth and its animal-faced humans—the planet is destroyed anyway. But the rest of this outer space opera is well worth a trip to your local movie theater where the spectacle on the big screen is often overpowering. Chris Pratt’s feeble attempts to win back Gamora are offset by Rocket’s touching devotion in this life and in the hereafter to his Lylla. Dave Bautista puts in his expected stalwart turn as the sentimental hulk, while Vin Diesel’s reprise of Groot is spot-on. Karen Gillan delivers a far more sympathetic Nebula than she was in the previous film while Zoe Saldana gets stuck with the rather thankless role of an uncaring woman whose past memory has been ablated. Saving the best for last is Chukwudi Iwuji’s arch-villain whose performance is hiss-worthy at every turn.
Ending on a sentimental note that leaves little doubt this is the last rodeo for some of the Guardians, James Gunn has still managed to give his audiences what they come to the movies for—big-time action sequences, a traditional good versus evil plot, and plenty of thrills and spills. Highly recommended.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now showing in theaters
- Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence, some strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements.)
- Studios & Distributors: Marvel Studios | Film New Zealand | Marvel Entertainment | Quebec Film & TV Production Tax Credit | Troll Court Entertainment | Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
- Country: USA
- Language: English
- Run Time: 150 Mins.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
- Director: James Gunn
- Written By: James Gunn
- Street Date: 5 May 2023