Alyssa’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am so relieved by how good this was. Marvel has been so hit and miss since Endgame, and with Ant-Man 3 being their last film, I was seriously worried. However, Guardians fans are always safe in the hands of James Gunn, and he delivers an action-packed, hilarious, surprisingly dark and highly emotional conclusion to this beloved trilogy, and reminds us all why we fell in love with these characters.
The film utilises all those key ingredients that made the first two films so good. All the cosmic weirdness, humour, strong emotional core (even more so in this film), and of course the chemistry between the Guardians themselves. It’s sometimes rare in superhero movies, but these characters are all so beautifully fleshed out and bounce off each other so well. The dynamic between everyone is what holds it all together, and why these films resonate so much to larger audiences. The entire cast are at the top of their game and compliment one another perfectly.
I absolutely loved the decision to centre the conflict of this film around Rocket and his backstory, which is one of the most devastating things I have ever seen. It gets really, really dark, but it’s so well done and just made me appreciate Rocket, who was already one of my favourite characters, even more. While there are many heartbreaking and even disturbing moments, they are balanced out by the lightness and comedy we’ve come to expect from the Guardians.
The action is top-notch as always, with so many quirky and vibrant set pieces, as well as the needle-drops, particularly in the opening and closing scenes. The former perfectly sets the tone for what’s to follow, and the latter is a gorgeous and inspired choice for the film’s beautiful ending.
These characters have meant so much to me since their debut, and the MCU is probably going to be worse off without them. However, we’re lucky we got such a satisfying and memorable send off.