It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been nearly 10 years since the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie released and here we are, in the final chapter of this trilogy. Much has changed due to the events seen in the Avengers movie and the greater MCU as well.
The story picks up with the Guardians becoming a legitimate group know in the galaxy as problem solvers. They are a refuge for many and to a degree life is good…except it isn’t. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still depressed because the Gamora he knew and loved is gone replaced by one that doesn’t know him at all because, in her mind, they never met. Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) is fully back to his original self, Drax, Mantis, and Nebula are bickering as always and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) has kind of settled into doing the good thing. But there is a sense of tension underlying this moment in time and it occurs when Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) strikes the Guardians’ HQ leaving Rocket Racoon critically injured. The Guardians rally together to save Rocket’s live but not before some serious soul searching is to be done.
I may be in the minority here but I feel that despite some of its flaws which I will get to soon, this movie was the strongest out of the trilogy. The first one was really good, the second one was boring but this one hits many high marks. We learn Rocket Racoon’s origin and let’s be real, this final chapter is mostly his story. We also get many beats about what makes family who they are, lessons on acceptance and change. Many of the messages are subtle but they are there. This last chapter was a thrilling ride that had moments that will make you laugh, think introspectively and maybe even tear up. One of the great things too is that someone new to the series, can watch this movie without necessarily having prior knowledge of the previous movies or the MCU as a whole either.
I was most impressed with Chukwudi Iwuji’s performance as the High Evolutionary. He practically ate the screen every time he appeared. He gave the character some depth that a lot of Marvel villains don’t typically get; he was driven and single minded in his goal he sought to achieve and to a degree many will feel his pain.
On the reverse side of things, you have Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord who makes a brief appearance. I was very unimpressed and even asked for the briefest of times he was on screen, why him? There are so many other actors that could have appeared. It almost felt like Sly just wanted to get his Marvel cred and phoned it in.
For some of us Marvel heads, Adam Warlock’s felt slightly wasted in his first outing. If some really wants to split hairs, he is about three or four movies too late being that he would have been perfect during the Infinity Gauntlet saga. He was an Infinity Gem holder after all,
I had a few other issues as well, one being that there were entirely too many shots where the camera would do these weird rotations and in the middle of some, the slow-motion hero walk. The slow motion attributed to my other issue is that I think that the movie ran a tad bit too long. As the story builds to a crescendo, there were too many times that we had unnecessary slow down through drawn out action sequences or story beats. If there were ways to shave some of it down to a solid two hours, I would rate this movie much higher.
Those issues notwithstanding, this was a good movie that really gets into the feels. The classic 80’s music is also a hit or miss but enjoyable. There is something here for everyone even if you can withstand the nearly 2.5 hour run time. Of course, stay afterwards for TWO endings both are pretty funny.
FINAL GRADE: B