I will be spoiling Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3, if you haven’t seen it consider this a warning.
Didn’t I say I was sick of Marvel
Well yes, that is true. The cinematic universe in my book has been played to death and it really doesn’t interest me anymore. This isn’t to say that the MCU doesn’t entertain, it does by the bucket load. To me, it feels like a never ending story that is in need of a massive refresh.
Then along comes Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 to fix that.
First Impressions of Guardians
In an unusual twist, this third film manages to destroy the previous entry in the series. As good as Vol: 2 was, Vol: 3 manages to improve on just about everything. The animation and soundtrack are superior in everyway, character development is smashed out the park and story.. let me tell you about the story.
Straightaway the tone of the film is set with the first four minutes setting up the current state of the gang. Despite Creep being a fantastic song, I would have stuck with the original version rather than the acoustic. A great fan of acoustic versions of songs I am not. However, it does set the tone and ties in well with the story being told.
Remember Artax, Atryu’s horse that sinks in the mud? It was a highly traumatic scene that anyone who watched the Neverending Story won’t forget. Guardians Vol: 3 is a new generations version of this exact moment. It was a concern that the film could have just been trauma after trauma however, the humour we expect is still there. It’s worth noting that without the trauma, this film would certainly feel mediocre at best.
Guardians Vol: 3 is Rockets origin story and what tale of woe it is. Animal testing, genetic mutation, abuse and eventually death of his first friends will test your resolve. Without spoiling it too much, you are a hardened beast of a human if you don’t get a chill at Rocket cry screaming.
So what exactly is the story
Remember that spoiler warning, it really does apply now.
Adam Warlock arrives on the scene nearly killing Rocket, this opens up a new can of worms when it comes to saving him. Rocket is proprietary technology and if you aren’t the owner, you aren’t fixing him. The film splits in two at this point with half being where Rocket came from and the other half, his friends trying to save his life.
Rockets origin is simple and to save reading time here, I’ll give you the quick version. Picked as a baby, Rocket is tested upon in the most foul and evil ways. It’s here that he makes his first friends – an Otter, Rabbit and Walrus but don’t get too attached. As a result of this testing, the High Evolutionary (our protagonist) is able to move forward with creating the perfect race. You may have guessed but our animal friends aren’t part of this plan leading to Rocket escaping and the most upsetting scene of the film. Rocket however, is special and is the only creation that has managed to improve himself where as every other creation regurgitates what is taught. Being that special puts a price on his head and the High Evolutionary wants him back.
The Guardians Story
While all of this is going on as back story, the remaining Guardians battle to save their friend. Visiting a genetically grown space station is the first stop. Gamora makes her way back on the scene but is now a Ravager much to Quills upset. She still doesn’t love him and that’s not changing. The High Evolutionary minions have already been making the visit pointless, they have to confront the main man himself.
Landing on a clone of Earth but with animal citizens, something isn’t quite right. No matter though, the mission is the same. Queue Adam Warlock turning up again, things going wrong and the planet being destroyed for it’s failings. Turns out the High Evolutionary is a turd and he still hasn’t managed to make a race who can learn from their own mistakes etc.
The final battle ensues and Rocket is with us, saved thanks to Quill getting what was needed. Unfortunately, lots of innocent people need rescuing from a now insane protagonist, hell bent on getting Rocket back. Knowhere turns up, everyone is rescued including all the little animals.
Finally, the guardians disband each with their own reason leaving Rocket to lead the new team.
Wait, no one died
Oof, I got caught on this too. Every trailer and advert you see suggests that Rocket, Quill or Drax dies and in one way or another, they do. It’s just not the end of their lives. Quill accepts that he has lost Gamora oh and nearly dies in the expanse of space. Rocket as we know survives but is pretty much dead most of the film. Drax gets shot on the space station leaving you with a few minutes of ‘oh my god he’s dead’ but also dies a little inside when he realises everyone thinks he’s dumb.
Damn you James Gunn and a well done fake out.
Final thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 3
Before I give you my final thoughts can we just highlight what a good character arc Nebula had? From the hard arsed bitch she started as to then team player and friend she becomes. I absolutely love every part of her story.
What a film and a truly fantastic way to end the series. I’ll be seeing this at the cinema at least once more and I cannot wait. The story is well paced, well thought out and powerful, I can’t see a way they could have improved it. A complete move away from some of the poorer films we’ve had from Marvel in recent years.