Skip to content
Home » Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (2023) Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (2023) Review

This is a review for the 2023 movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3”. I saw this movie on Wednesday night, but have been delaying writing any review until now. I wanted to make sure that I still loved this movie, once a few days had passed. There was no need to be worried.

What is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 about?

The third Guardians of the Galaxy film sees the conclusion of the Guardians’ story. When an attack on their new home leaves one of their members critically injured, the team must explore Rocket’s (Bradley Cooper) past, to save their friend. What follows is an epic space opera, that takes us across multiple creative locations, navigating hilarious set-pieces. This is all interwoven with a flashback to Rocket’s origin story, as the movie explores why the raccoon is who he is – and the important people in his life.

Hot on the tale of the titular heroes is Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock and Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary. Warlock provides a great piece of comic relief in a movie that is not short of comic relief. While the High Evolutionary is one of the most menacing villains in the MCU – with a very strong performance from Iwuji.

As you can imagine, the movie carries strong themes of found family. However, there’s also another underlying theme of the sanctity of life and the beauties found in imperfection.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (2023) Review

Of all the Marvel films I’ve seen, this is my favourite by far. I would say it’s one of, if not the, my favourite movies of the year – if it didn’t feel incredibly embarrassing to hand Marvel a win right now. I can’t help but compare this movie to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Comparing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 with Ant-Man 3

The two most recent MCU films are both trilogy closers, both of lighter, comic-relief characters. They, also, both take on a more sci-fi approach – as the characters explore new worlds. However, these couldn’t be more different movies.

Ant-Man 3 fails because it doesn’t ever bother to be a movie. The movie exists to introduce Kang to the Marvel universe, so that he can be the big bad in a future Avengers movie. Story-wise, the movie is stale and has very little to offer. Even Kang, himself, is a bit lacklustre compared to the variant we saw at the end of the Loki TV show. The ultimate failure of this movie, however, was taking away all of the elements that made Ant-Man… Ant-Man. It made no sense to take him out of the small-scale, street-level action that made the first two movies so enjoyable. It was clear that Marvel needed a transition movie to introduce Kang and decided that they were willing to sacrifice the closure of the Ant-Man trilogy to do so.

Guardians 3, on the other hand, completes Gunn’s vision. If it weren’t for some shenanigans with Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) character in Infinity War and End Game – the trilogy would be completely self-contained. This movie doesn’t feel like it has to set future things up. Nor, does it feel like it is reliant on nostalgia for the past. The movie has a story to tell and it does a fantastic job at telling it. All the while, the movie ends and we’re still left with a feeling of excitement for what comes next.

Why does Guardians of the Galaxy 3 work?

The key part of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is the imagination. This movie is two hours and a half, but it wastes none of that. We visit so many different environments and meet so many new characters, all completely unique and interesting. This was the type of imagination I lamented as no longer existing in my re-watch of The Fifth Element. Whether it be an office made out of flesh, or a war pig – this movie has James Gunn written all over it.

As with any Guardians movie, there is a strong reliance on humour. Unlike other entries in the MCU, the humour really lands here. Jokes feel so much more natural when it’s between friends goofing off than the whole “he’s behind me, isn’t he?” shtick that the MCU has become synonymous with. It’s goofy and hilarious – but, most importantly, believable.

I haven’t even begun to talk about the emotions of this movie yet. I found myself in tears at multiple points during this movie, over multiple different characters. The heart of this movie, which the trailers have made clear, is through Rocket’s past. His relationship with an otter called Lylla (represent!) is, as you can imagine, heartbreakingly tragic and beautiful. Drax (Bautista) is another character who gets somewhat of an emotional pulse throughout this movie. There’s one line towards the end of the movie that culminates his character perfectly and broke me.

What’s next for the Guardians?

This is the last of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, or at least – the trilogy from James Gunn. We see the story arcs of Mantis, Drax, Star Lord, Gamora, Nebula, Rocket and Groot wrapped up nicely. Will it be the last that we see of them? For some of them, near certainly.

For others? The movie makes it quite clear that at least one of them will return (likely in an Avengers film). It also teases in the post-credits scene about the formation of a new Guardians of the Galaxy group. Whether or not we get any adventures with them on-screen is a question that remains to be seen. It also feels naïve to believe we’ve seen the last of Poulter’s Warlock.

Who should watch this movie?

It’s hard to recommend this movie, because it’s so wrapped up in the Marvel eco-system. To fully understand this movie, you have to have watched the original two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game. To understand those two movies fully, you need to have watched a lot more. You can probably still enjoy this movie without the Avengers context, but you’ll be extremely confused about what happened with Gamora and the over looming threat of Thanos.

If you enjoyed any of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, you’ll love this movie. Equally, if you’re a fun of fun, exploratory space operas – you’ll have a great time.

This was a review for the 2023 movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3”. Are Marvel’s dog days over or were you not a fan of this movie? Let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *