Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Is Human

Falcon Rating: 4.5/5

Demetrios Kotsopoulos, Contributing Writer

James Gunn rarely misses in his films, and the third and (probably) final installment of Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception. I’m aware that some have been disappointed with Marvel’s recent content, releasing big-budget films that simply don’t quite take one’s breath away like they used to. Due to this, I went into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 very skeptical, as I’m sure many did. I was afraid of the simplification of these complex icons, brought down upon by the old mouse Mickey. That, however, is not the case with James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In fact, despite being marketed as a Marvel/Disney movie, this film is probably the most focused film; it’s quite isolated, unlike most corporate Marvel films released. In my opinion, Guardians might be the best superhero film to come out this year, and also may be the best Marvel release since Avengers: Infinity War. But why? It’s not like it breaks the superhero mold. There’s a bad guy that the heroes must overcome, and, with a couple of setbacks, they do so and learn more about themselves and each other. No, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is not revolutionary or groundbreaking, but that was never the point. James Gunn rather intended to allow the audience to spend more time with these characters, these humans. This, in turn, makes the film much more vulnerable and immersive as it peeks into Rocket Raccoon’s backstory. Despite being a Guardians film (and we do get plenty of the Guardians), the focus of the movie is to help viewers and fans understand why Rocket is the way he is. James Gunn delivers an emotional gut punch and lets characters breathe, lets us breathe. Despite being rated PG-13, the film is at the very edge of that rating, with gory violence but also heavily emotional scenes that may be too much for certain audiences. In other words, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is what Puss and Boots: The Last Wish is with its PG rating. There are plenty of humorous moments in the film, including Marvel finally dropping their first ever F bomb in a stupidly comical scene. 

However, when watching Guardians, perfection shouldn’t be the thing you are looking for.

If I had any complaints, it would be that the film was a bit too packed with characters. I don’t want to talk about them too much so as not to spoil it, but there are definitely a good deal of characters, which sometimes felt overwhelming. However, when watching Guardians, perfection shouldn’t be the thing you are looking for. The thing that I look for is the humanity of these characters which is revealed to us as we begin to unearth their true selves, their backstories, and their desires. Frankly, I feel that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is what superhero films should be: a deep dive into our capacity for empathy and good.

This article also appears in our May/June 2023 print edition.