Tripwire Reviews Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3

Jumping The Gunn

Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows casts his eye over Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3, out in UK cinemas now and in the US from tomorrow Friday 5 May. Warning: a few plot spoilers ahead…

The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3
Director: James Gunn
Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chukwudi Iwuji, Sylvester Stallone, Will Poulter

Nine years after the first Guardians Of The Galaxy surprised everyone and burst onto the big screen, and six years after the disappointing sequel, we have Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3, the film that wraps everything up. 

Ever since the end of the phase that concluded with Endgame, Marvel Studios has really been struggling to make films that come anywhere close to the level of enjoyment they have mostly failed. So GOTG Vol.3 is James Gunn’s swansong at Marvel as he has already decamped to DC to head up their film division.

Gunn is a canny director who most of the time knows what works on screen but this film is an overlong mess.

Gamora (Saldana) is back here but she’s an alternate version taken from the multiverse. The film opens with Rocket Raccoon at death’s door and so the Guardians have to find his creator, crazy god-like figure the High Evolutionary (played by Iwuji), who holds the key to his continued survival. 

The best thing about the film are the flashback sequences that show us how Rocket was the product of some pretty extreme scientific experiments conducted by the High Evolutionary. The problem is that we’ve seen crazy villains with aspirations of godhood so many times in the latest Marvel movie phase (Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Antman and The Wasp Quantumania, Gorr (Christian Bale) in Thor: Love and Thunder)) that is becoming a particularly tiresome trope. At least Thanos came closest to being a god even though he isn’t strictly speaking one.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3, from left: Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Groot (voice: Vin Diesel), Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, 2023. © Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

This film also introduces Will Poulter as Adam Warlock, who was teased at the end of this film’s predecessor, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2. But here Warlock is a powerful oaf unable to really harness his powers, a comedic device that veers dramatically from the comic iteration. Obviously we have to accept that some things which work in four-color may not translate to the big screen but Poulter’s Warlock is a truly annoying figure. So that feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity as he could have been a far more interesting figure rather than just a comedic cretin.

Iwuji plays a decent adversary here but he lacks the sheer preternatural power of someone like a Thanos and the portrayal of the planet controlled by him, Counter Earth, as a planet filled with human-animal hybrids just feels misconceived.

Then there is the running time. Two and a half hours is far too long and the end is far too protracted as well. Gunn is a director who believes that more is more and it really shows here. The first Guardians was a breath of fresh air as many people went in not knowing what to expect. The second film was a rather weak follow-up and this third effort is bloated and a test of viewers’ patience at times. It isn’t totally without its charms as Pratt’s Star-Lord still possesses that warmth that makes the character one of the most endearing of all of Marvel’s main protagonists and Rocket Raccoon offers the film an emotional heart that this film would be lacking. But the plot is flimsy and stupid and there are far too many characters on screen here. They do leave things open for further adventures with a retooled Guardians Of The Galaxy but it really feels like Marvel and Gunn have run out of steam with these characters. 

Underdogs can’t remain interesting when they become more credible and so the charm of the Guardians from when we were first introduced to them in the first film has diminished now. 

It does feel like Marvel Studios has run out of ideas with their big-screen films and the box office of their more recent efforts seems to have reflected this. 

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 is a poorly paced and weak conclusion to a very patchy trilogy of big budget superhero sci-fi films. It is just about worth watching but with quite a few reservations.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.3 is out now in UK cinemas and from Friday 5 May in the US.

The post Tripwire Reviews Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

Jumping The Gunn Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows casts his eye over Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3, out in UK cinemas now and in the US from tomorrow Friday 5 May. Warning: a few plot spoilers ahead… The Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 Director: James Gunn Stars: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel,
The post Tripwire Reviews Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.3 appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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