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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The most boring adventure of your life

  • Release year: 2023
  • Director: Todd Haynes.
  • Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Grant S. Johnson, Pamela Koffler, Tyler W. Konney, Sophie Mas, Natalie Portman and Christine Vachon.
  • Screenplay by: Samy Burch.
  • Cinematographer: Christopher Blauvelt.
  • Music by: Marcelo Zarvos.

Synopsis: Rocket gets fatally wounded. The guardians can’t save him unless they find the password to access his programming, so they go find his creator.

Shotgun Commentary: a nice, light adventure that quickly outstays its welcome to the point of annoyance and boredom.

The Guardians walking back home from a bar. Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 uncovers the mysterious and depressing backstory of Rocket. Showing the genetically-modified racoon’s background for about an hour that could have been five minutes without any loss of plot weight or value.

Comedic incompetence, again

Sadly, other narratives, not much better than that one. The Sovereign is the golden race that is sold to the spectators as super-powerful and intelligent in the second instalment. Only during that same feature, they behave like a bunch of losers with no brain for comedic purposes. In this third part of the Guardian’s adventures, they are revealed to be a bunch of losers with no brain made by The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) as a purely aesthetic experiment.

Adam (Will Poulter) and Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) in a spaceship.
Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

If you thought they were dumb in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, strap on to unveil a new level of stupidity when you meet Adam (Will Pouter), the golden boy. Adam, is a supposedly an ultra powerful and smart being. So, surprising no one, he becomes another comedic relief that leads nowhere. Much like Master Karja (Nathan Fillion), but way less likeable.

The plainest villain

The narrative of the villain is as moronic as can be. The High Evolutionary, maker of Rocket and the Sovereign, among other creatures, wants to create the perfect world. To achieve this goal, he mixes animals with electronic components and other strange fluids until they are icky as hell, Rocket excluded. Despite hating the way these creations look and… exist, really, he still believes for some reason that he is on the right track to his concept of perfection.

The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) and his lackeys. Source:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

Following this flawless logic, he recreates Earth, a place from whom he only liked the culture. He populates it with animal-people, and then gets surprised that they behave exactly like humans.

All in all, he is a repugnant guy with horrible attitude and crazy, absurd ideas that has all the resources in the world and thousands of people following his every command because… Oh yeah, they forgot to give any actually useful information about him.

When the well becomes dry

As for the main narrative, it is another Guardians of the Galaxy adventure. Sounds great, right? Think again. The concept of uncovering a character’s backstory in order to save them is fantastic. And definitely way more plausible than the “I just happen to bump into you” from the previous instalment.

Rocket before getting experimented on. Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
(James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

However, the third part of these heroes’ story reeks of scriptwriter’s block. An issue that reaches its peak with a cheap version of “Harry Potter and Dumbledore in the King’s Cross of the afterlife”, featuring Rocket and a character that you are supposed to care about even though it only says two sentences and doesn’t bring anything interesting or original to the film.

Remember those characters you used to like?

Everyone is the same or their most annoying selves. As a result of losing Gamora, Quill (Chris Pratt) is an alcoholic, despite having no hint of a drinking problem during the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (James Gunn, 2022).

Additionally, Nebula (Karen Gillian), in a display of affectionate behaviour that no one has seen before or can explain, suddenly takes care of all of them, even taking drunk Quill to his bed, while the audience pretends that there is no difference between Nebulas.

The Guardians on attack formation. Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
(James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

Regardless of this strange personality jump, it is delightful to see how far Nebula has come. Gillian has great acting skills and the fact that she has portrayed Nebula so well so far, only makes her display of emotions more moving in this last instalment. It is a delightful change and, quite honestly, the best part of the movie.

Another character whose development is gorgeous to watch is Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who finally begins to show her true self. She starts fighting for her voice to be heard in the team, as well as giving incredible advice to her teammates, and applying some of that advice to herself. The only flaw in Mantis was her inability to speak up, and seeing her bloom like that is incredibly satisfying.

The rest of the characters stay pretty much the same, except for Groot saying new words, which kinda defeats the purpose of his language. Then again, that moment is but one of a million desperate attempts to provoke any reaction in the audience by repeating the same strategy of all the previous films: puns, cuteness and repeating the same joke over and over.

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Peter (Chris Pratt). Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

Fool me once…

Quill grovels to an indifferent Gamora and Cosmo doesn’t like being called a “bad dog”, it was funny the first time, maybe the fourth time, but when the whole humour of the story is based on two jokes, the experience becomes tedious to the point of getting on your nerves.

Regrettably, milking nostalgia and feasting the viewers’ eyes with cute little animals and thingamajigs, while still effective from the emotional point of view, it doesn’t work as much to cover the obviously dry imagination of the writers. The flawless visual effects and stunning fight choreographies might have done the trick, if only there were more than one and half during the two and a half hours of the feature.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • A gaze of kits can make up for about 20 minutes of terrible content, any more than that requires a very adorable baby Groot, at least.
  • The grumpy characters will always be the best.
  • Kids, don’t try Quill’s stunts at home, you WILL DIE.
The Guardians discussing their plan. Source: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
(James Gunn, 2023). ©Disney

What’s your take? Have you watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? What did you think of the storytelling? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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