Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 review: James Gunn bids an emotional goodbye to the MCU

As the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise evolves, so do its characters, each undergoing significant transformations over the past decade. Star-Lord’s journey sees him confront the complexities of his lineage, while Gamora navigates her resurrection and identity crisis. Groot experiences multiple life cycles, Drax finds solace in his newfound family, and Nebula redefines her purpose beyond her father’s influence. Mantis learns the power of empathy, rounding out the team’s emotional growth.

However, it’s Rocket’s turn to shine in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as he takes center stage with a poignant backstory. Flashbacks reveal his origins as an experiment of the High Evolutionary, an intergalactic geneticist striving for a utopian society. Despite being a mere test subject, Rocket’s cunning surpasses his creator’s expectations, leading to a pursuit fueled by vengeance and redemption. Determined to prevent others from suffering as he did, Rocket embarks on a quest to thwart the High Evolutionary’s sinister plans.

The film’s CGI-rendered flashbacks breathe life into Rocket’s origin story, showcasing Disney’s technical prowess. Yet, the depiction of Rocket’s traumatic past may unsettle younger audiences, serving as a cautionary note for parents considering a family viewing experience.

(L-R): Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ventures into territory reminiscent of X-Men films, championing diversity and the value of every individual in the face of the High Evolutionary’s exclusionary ideals. The film underscores the essence of superhero narratives — the preservation of life — a theme underscored by celebratory moments that extend even to non-verbal, non-human characters. Yet, amidst this ethos, inconsistencies arise, as the protagonists veer from their stated principles in the heat of action.

Director James Gunn’s departure from the Guardians franchise marks the end of an era, leaving behind a legacy of transforming lesser-known Marvel characters into cultural icons. Gunn’s unique imprint, characterized by eclectic soundtracks and cosmic aesthetics, has left an indelible mark on the series. While the future of the Guardians remains uncertain, Gunn’s influence ensures that his distinctive style and narrative flourishes will resonate throughout this final chapter of his sci-fi trilogy.

Will Poulter as Adam Warlock in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'

In the latest installment, a new addition to the cast shakes things up. Adam Warlock (played by Will Poulter) finally makes his appearance after being teased in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Warlock’s character embodies a fusion of the overwhelming power seen in Zack Snyder’s Superman and the adolescent naivete of Kid Miracleman. Created by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and notably characterized by Jim Starlin, Warlock holds significance as the originator of the Infinity Stones narrative.

However, in the post-Infinity Saga MCU, Warlock’s portrayal by Poulter feels somewhat directionless. His character, with an unexplained gem on his forehead, lacks the depth of the brooding cosmic wanderer from Starlin’s comics. Instead, he exudes a boyish innocence and attempts at humor, deviating from the source material’s existentialist tone. As a result, Warlock struggles to find his footing amidst the larger emotional arcs of more established characters, oscillating between antagonist and potential hero without clear direction.

(L-R): Miriam Shor as Recorder Vim, Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary, and Nico Santos as Recorder Theel in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo by Jessica Miglio. © 2023 MARVEL.

Iwuji makes a striking debut as the High Evolutionary, the intergalactic geneticist responsible for transforming Rocket into the skilled pilot and engineer we know. Unlike many Marvel villains driven by relatable motives, the High Evolutionary is portrayed as a pure megalomaniac, relentless in his pursuit of power. Unencumbered by the burden of becoming the MCU’s central antagonist, Iwuji’s performance captures the character’s refusal to accept the futility of his ambitions, persisting through repeated failures.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 draws parallels with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania through its infusion of Rick & Morty-inspired non-human characters with eccentric names. While this quirky approach feels more at home in the Guardians universe, the film occasionally lacks the visual panache of its predecessors. Nevertheless, standout moments, like an intense battle scene, provide thrilling highlights amidst quieter moments of character interaction.

As the franchise bids farewell to an era, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 offers a refreshing departure from recent MCU entries. By reconnecting audiences with beloved characters, the film delivers an emotional resonance missing from recent installments. While it may be some time before the MCU recaptures this level of emotional depth, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 serves as a satisfying culmination of the beloved franchise.

Trả lời

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *