Monday, September 25, 2023

Movie Review: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”

MosaicMovie Review: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”

Staff Writer

One of my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film series, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” has always created fantastic yet dreary worlds. The combination of colorful and bizarre backdrops with even stranger characters has always been the highlight of the MCU for me. Although most of the characters are aliens, they are written with human characteristics and personalities that anyone could relate to. I recently was able to see the franchise’s newest film, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” in theaters and it did not disappoint. 

The Sovereign, a race of golden-skinned aliens with superiority complexes, have returned. They are working for a crazy scientist, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), who experimented on the Guardians’ raccoon mechanic, Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper). These experiments gave Rocket his extreme intelligence and human-like physique while also traumatizing him through cruel treatment and rigorous tests. The High Evolutionary now wants to reclaim his “property.” Flashbacks are used in the film to reveal that he has done much worse and is the sole reason why Rocket alienates everyone – that is, everyone except Rocket’s adopted son, Groot, a bulky and adorable tree-like alien who loves to dance (voiced by Vin Diesel). 

The remainder of the film consists of the team trying to remove a kill switch they find inside Rocket so that they can operate on the injuries that he acquires during Adam Warlock’s attack. Warlock (Will Poulter) is a superpowered being that was sent to destroy the Guardians by the Sovereign and retrieve Rocket for the High Evolutionary. During this portion of the film, there’s also romance, action and creative new worlds that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats. 

In the previous films, Rocket goes on tangents, attacking his fellow crew members and having a fascination with taking people’s prosthetics. Before this movie came out, I always thought of Rocket as a mean-spirited jerk, but that has now changed. Looking back to the first film, Rocket and Drax (a fellow Guardian) have an argument that escalates into a fight.

“He thinks I’m some stupid thing!” Rocket Raccoon says during the fight. “He does … Well, I didn’t ask to get made! I didn’t ask to be torn apart and put back together over and over and turned into some little monster!”

Rocket admits he resents the experiments being conducted on him and tends to snap at anyone who calls him anything along the lines of rodent, vermin or raccoon. It has become apparent that the pain this character feels about being called a rodent is moreso a feeling of self-hatred than insult. 

This film directly handles serious topics such as alcoholism, trauma, death, imprisonment and abuse. It also provides interesting commentary on whether or not it is ethical to experiment on both people and animals by choosing to make the High Evolutionary the villain of Rocket’s story. 

With that said, there are still really fun moments to balance the movie out. There’s a scene where Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Nebula (Karen Gillian) have to drive a car to get to the High Evolutionary’s ship, but Quill doesn’t know how to drive Earth cars since he hasn’t been on Earth since he was a young child. In the same scene, Nebula can’t tell the difference between a keyhole and the door button, causing Quill to drop an expletive. This scene made history by utilizing the F-bomb for the first time in the MCU. The amount of cursing in the film would have Captain America yelling “Language!” the whole film. 

In regard to mutilations that occur in the film, this movie becomes disturbing yet creative with its special effects. There was a strange focus on using organic flesh textures and anatomy to create the facilities of the High Evolutionary’s company. Due to his dabbling in biomodification, the planet his company is on is fully organic and gross-looking, I might add. My friend was squirming the entirety of the scene in which the Guardians infiltrate the facilities. I do need to warn you that if you are squeamish, go into this film with caution. The special effects really push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating (a bigger discussion for another time).

The Guardians of the Galaxy are so relatable because in some capacity, most of us have gone through the pain that the characters have encountered. Many of us have experienced loss, whether it be that of a loved one or of a dream we once had. Just like the Guardians, most of us seek to achieve some sort of peace. Over the three films, the Guardians were able to accomplish this by finding a sort of family in one another. And, like family, they often end up getting on each other’s nerves in scenarios that the audience can reflect on and laugh at.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” keeps the fun of the previous two films but adds a deeper and horror-inspired layer to the story. I rate this film a 10/10.




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