Once More with Feeling: A Review of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

The Guardians of the Galaxy return for one more wild ride across the universe, but how does it stack up to their previous success?


Marvel Studios

See Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 in theaters now!

Brady Crow, Staff Writer

The Guardians of the Galaxy are ready to rock and roll back into theaters for their third and final outing. And I couldn’t be happier to proclaim that the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 may be one of the best films in recent history.

James Gunn, director, has delivered yet another action-packed and hilarious adventure through the cosmos, complete with all of the witty banter and killer tunes that fans have come to know and love. If you’re looking for a good time at the movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is an out-of-this-world choice. So grab some popcorn, buckle up, and get ready to blast off into a whole new world of Marvel madness with Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillian), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). 

The plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is suspenseful and enjoyable.  The characters all shine in their own quirky ways. The villain known as The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) is a consistently terrifying force throughout the film. Oddly enough, a large portion of the movie takes place through flashback stories regarding The High Evolutionary and his past with Rocket Raccoon. It serves as a heartbreaking counter to the usually humorous Guardians of the Galaxy storyline. However, this mood shift is welcomed as its implementation is executed masterfully.

As for the other Guardians, they all have wonderful screen presence. The banter between Mantis, Drax, and Nebula is delightful. It also serves as a much-needed break from the tragic backstories and intense action. Star Lord, of course, proves to be an amazingly relatable and hilarious character once again.  His scenes with Gamora and Groot are not only memorable but fantastically shot and written.  

The highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 soundtrack doe not disappoint, featuring artists from Bruce Springsteen and the Beastie Boys to Radiohead and The Replacements. The series is renowned for its retro music from the 70’s and 80’s. Theater-goers, both young and old, can appreciate the wonderful usage of these songs across the span of the film.   

It’s no surprise that many of these songs have already infiltrated playlists. “Creep,” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” and “The Dog Days are Over” solidify themselves as the strongest tunes in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, but the rest of the soundtrack also contains some underrated masterpieces like “Reasons,”and “We Care a Lot.” 

Guardians of the Galaxy movies masterfully infuse these classic pieces with beautifully shot action sequences and humorous banter.  When it comes to action, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 delivers.  Every fight scene, mission, or narrow escape is made with the utmost creativity and quality.  The powers of each Guardian are explored in fun new ways in Volume 3,  while the combat scenes themselves are nothing short of art. The cinematography shines during even the most fast paced action sequences while the music flows through each scene melodically.

And of course, the final installment in the trilogy brings an immense amount of charm and emotion.  Every single character interaction is not only hilarious, but full of alluring wit that captivates all viewers.  Each joke in this movie lands wonderfully, playing on that particular character’s unique personality.  

This is also the darkest Guardians of the Galaxy movie by a long shot. It dives into the topics of genetic experimentation, torture, genocide, and trauma. Rocket Raccoon takes center stage for much of the movie as his friends and the audience discover the tragedy of his past. The grueling backstory of Rocket is an absolute gut punch to watch. Emotions ride higher in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 than any other Marvel movie in recent history. In addition to the aforementioned humor, it is a roller coaster of suspense, tears, and joyous surprise.  It’s an exhausting watch emotionally, but it’s also a “marvel” in filmmaking.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is not only a hit for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise but for Marvel as a whole.  Since Avengers: Endgame (2019), the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has had few well-reviewed movies. The MCU’s most recent installment prior to Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 was Ant Man and the Wasp Quantumania, a mediocre and somewhat disappointing movie.  This massive win translates to a potential revival for Marvel.

In 2014, no one assumed that a superhero movie about a talking tree and a raccoon accompanied by an 80’s soundtrack all set in space would ever take off. Here we are nine years later and the Guardians of the Galaxy still reign supreme in the sci-fi genre. With its dynasty of humor and charm coming to a close, we fans bid the Guardians of the Galaxy a very fond farewell… at least for now.

And be sure to stick around after the end credits this latest film. There’s one star from the series confirmed to make an appearance once again.

For avid Marvel fans and casual moviegoers alike, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is a shining star in the vast universe of bland and predictable action films. It’s the perfect take-off for summer movies. 

Save me an aisle seat.