Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 Movie Review: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper Steal the Show in James Gunn’s Emotionally Satisfying Last Hurrah for the MCU (LatestLY Exclusive)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 Movie Review: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper Steal the Show in James Gunn’s Emotionally Satisfying Last Hurrah for the MCU (LatestLY Exclusive)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 Movie Review: It’s been a long road for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. This group of ragtag friends first caught our attention in 2014, and they quickly won our hearts. Now, in 2022, they’re back for one final ride. James Gunn has developed a lot as a filmmaker during that time, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 feels like a reflection of that. It tells a mature story and provides the MCU with what it has been needing for a long time – closure. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review: James Gunn’s Marvel Presentation is a True Festive Cheer! (Fresh Headline Exclusive).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 begins on Knowhere, where our crew has taken over and is rebuilding the place. We discover Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) drinking himself to sleep as he grieves Gamora’s death, and the crew is in disarray since they don’t know what to do with him. Unfortunately, things worsen when Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) attacks Knowhere in search of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and mortally wounds him, leaving him with only 48 hours to live. Quill must then lead the squad once more and track down Rocket’s creator, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), in order to save him.

A Still From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (Photo Credits: Marvel Studios)

The plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 revolves mostly around Rocket. He gets the spotlight here, which provides an experience that genuinely moves forward the dynamic of the entire group. Found family is something that Gunn excels at, but how do you build on that previously formed foundation? That is what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 attempts and succeeds at. It’s interesting in a way that puts a lot of its characters forward rather than trying to build spectacle, and it seemed especially fresh in the midst of the current MCU’s overabundance of surface level stories.

Bradley Cooper completely crushes it as Rocket, delivering a heartbreaking performance that had me rooting for him the entire time. Rocket’s journey is told in flashbacks, which are placed randomly at times, but they are where the film’s heart is. Chris Pratt also knocks it out of the park as Peter Quill, capitalising on the desperation of his character where he only wants to try save his best friend. Pom Klementeiff’s Mantis, Karen Gillan’s Nebula and Dave Bautista’s Drax get a good amount of emotional depth as well, while Zoe Saldana’s Gamora is given a fitting story that fits the new version of the character. Also, Groot (Vin Diesel) is just adorable.

Watch the Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3:

Chukwudi Iwuji, who plays the High Evolutionary, is the new guy here, and I’ve never wanted to see a villain get smacked in the face more. The MCU has a tendency to make its villains sympathetic, but not the High Evolutionary – Iwuji’s brilliant portrayal of an utterly evil person was amazing. However, if I had one issue with the characters then it would be with Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock.

There is already so much going on in the film that Adam Warlock did not receive enough development. He appeared whenever the plot conveniently required him to, and the side-story with the Sovereign was, to say the least, unsatisfactory. Poulter’s man-child portrayal of the character works, but there isn’t enough time given to flesh him out here.

A Still From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (Photo Credits: Marvel Studios)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is also surprisingly grim. There are some hard-to-watch scenes involving animals, and some of the brutality is unexpected for an MCU film. Of course, we’ve all heard about Pratt’s popular F-bomb in the movie, but it was wild to see exactly how much they got away with – because, once again, it caught me off guard.

But, despite the grimness, it never loses sight of what makes the Guardians fun. The film retains Gunn’s sense of humour, which is unique to this bunch of heroes. The action is particularly impressive in terms of framing and enthusiasm, which bursts with energy. There is one scene near the end that will be an MCU all-timer, and I can’t wait to see it again on an IMAX screen.

A Still From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 (Photo Credits: Marvel Studios)

The film’s visuals are a significant improvement above anything the MCU has released in a long time. Rather to a wholly CGI set that looks like a Spy Kids display (*cough* *cough* Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania), Gunn opts for a more practical design that makes everything feel tangible. The makeup work in this film, particularly with the Humanimals, made for an unnerving viewing, and it added a level of personality that these kinds of films have lacked. And I can’t leave without mentioning Awesome Mix Volume 3, which features some spectacular songs from Radiohead to Florence + the Machine. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: Zoe Saldana Reaffirms She Will Not Reprise Her Role As Gamora in the MCU After Upcoming Film.

It all culminates in a stunning and deeply moving finale that had me sobbing in the theatre. It’s evident that James Gunn adores these characters, and he absolutely gives it his all in this film. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is so disconnected from the MCU product that if this is the last time we see these characters, I wouldn’t mind because it ends on an exceptionally high note.


A Sense of Finality

The Visuals


Character Work


Flashbacks Can Feel a Bit Randomly Placed

Adam Warlock

Final Thoughts

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is an emotionally rewarding watch that brings a sense of finality to these group of heroes. From the acting to the music, it brings a personality that is only distinct to this franchise in the MCU. It’s a sincere story told with a lot of heart, and James Gunn definitely will have you sobbing in theater by the time the credits hit. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 releases in theaters on May 5, 2023.

(The above story first appeared on Fresh Headline on May 04, 2023 11:01 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website