“Vol. 3” is perfect end to franchise

Raegan Rains, Reporter

Spoilers in video and written review.

To preface, for the past few years I have become somewhat impartial to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, I would dare to say that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is the best film of Phase Four. No competition.

James Gunn delivered yet again with the third installment of this beloved series. As is the standard of these films, it balanced humor and serious tones exceptionally well. I don’t remember a moment in which a punchline didn’t feel timely. I laughed quite a bit and that’s much more than I can say for a handful of Marvel’s recent projects.

Aside from humor, the film’s serious moments felt grounded and real. When emotional beats hit, they hit hard. The tone always felt clear and the film knew how to take itself seriously at times.

And of course, what is a Guardians movie without a fun soundtrack? I thought the music was great, as always, though nothing will be as memorable as Star Lord’s introduction scene in the first Guardians movie. I particularly loved the song that played as the film ended.

Now, I’m going to get into spoilers, so if you haven’t watched it yet I recommend you do.

This film was an absolute breath of fresh air in regards to villains. The main antagonist, a man who calls himself the High Evolutionary, is downright evil and amoral. He aims to create the “perfect society” by genetically engineering beings based on Earth native fauna. 

It is revealed that Rocket is one of the Evolutionary’s experiments, however he had developed real intelligence–something the Evolutionary couldn’t perfect in other beings. The Evolutionary is shown to be obsessed with getting his hands on Rocket and finding the key to intelligence. The Evolutionary is shown to have explosive fits of mania and anger. He felt like a character rather than a simple tool to create conflict. 

However, the shining stars of this movie were the main cast: Star Lord/ Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel).

Within the MCU, the Guardians are my favorite bunch of characters. Their banter is always fun and it’s heartwarming to see how much they care for each other.

This film ends with the group disbanding–still a family but many of them want to begin pursuing their own lives. Peter, after finally coming to terms with the fact that the Gamora who lives now will never be the Gamora he knew, decides to head back to Earth to reconnect with his grandfather.

Mantis wants to pursue her own life and adventures, separate from the orders of others. Drax decides to stay on Knowhere and take care of the children they had rescued from the Evolutionary’s clutches. Nebula wants to stay on Knowhere as well, finding a community to contribute to. Gamora–who had been with the main cast because of a series of events in which she was stuck helping them–returns to her newfound Ravager family. Rocket and Groot assemble a new team to be the Guardians.

Though I am sad it is over, this film was a great closure to a beloved series.