Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a worthy, a mostly satisfying and a supposedly final chapter to Marvel's sci-fi/action/comedy series that has given us three movies in nine years.
In 2014, the first Guardians was a nifty surprise out of left field that succeeded with its great combination of humor, special effects and bizarre yet endearing characters.
Vol. 2 took the story and the special effects to the next level and now Vol. 3 finds this motley crew led once again by Chris Pratt's Star Lord on their planet of Knowhere when it's attacked by a golden warrior named Adam (Will Poulter).
Soon Dave Bautista's Drax, Karen Gillian's Nebula, Pom Klementieff, Zoe Saldana's Gamora as well as the voices of Vin Diesel's Groot and Bradley Cooper's Rocket are joining him to find Adam.
This movie focuses a lot more on Rocket's backstory, in which he was the subject of a series of experiments. The one in charge of the experiments is a character known as the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), who wanted to blend hybrid creations into a new race. This character's motivations might be considered disturbing to some audiences as this movie decides to go into unexpectedly darker territory.
Rocket is knocked unconscious for most of the movie and his backstory is told in flashbacks. Meanwhile the rest of the Guardians arrive on the High Evolutionary's home planet called Counter-Earth which is a duplication of Earth itself. The Guardians are bent on finding both he and Adam and stopping their nefarious plots.
Despite some bumps in the road for the MCU, I'm somewhat surprised that this third entry left me with a lot of emotional investment that writer/director James Gunn is still manages to pull off. There are genuine stakes here as it relates to the characters and there's just enough story and development to both keep it afloat as well set up other scenarios in case this series decides to do spinoffs.
In a fundamental and indisputable perception, this is a movie that covers all its bases by giving us a worthwhile, serviceable conclusion. I don't think there's much more Gunn can concoct for a Vol. 4 if he decides to make one. I'm actually kind of delighted that this series finally seems to be over...for the time being anyway.
Unlike the comic books, these stories can't go on forever in film and they are inevitably rebooted or maybe Hollywood sometimes come to the dawning realization that audiences have had their fill and it's time to find something new. Maybe it's best to leave the characters at a portal and then allow our ideas to take over in our minds.
I was left entertained, roused, amused, and overall I was left stuffed.
(Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements.)