Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ★★★★½

I Love You Guys...

Just when we all were losing our faith in Marvel, James Freaking Gunn has brought life back in this franchise (for now) in what is easily the Best Marvel Project since Avengers Endgame, if not since Logan! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is a sad, dramatic, traumatizing, yet also beautiful, emotional, heartwarming, and triumphant last hoorah with these lovable weirdos. Gunns expert storytelling carefully guides the audience through agonizingly intense moments only to gently return back to the warmth and love we have come to love about these characters. John Murphy's Score might actually be a top tier Marvel soundtrack due to its heavy impact in the dramatic scenes with each musical key implying vastly different emotional beats. I mean if THIS and THIS don't say enough I don't know what will. Despite what critics are saying, I can assure you this film is NOT the tonal mess Thor Love and Thunder was, where every attempt at drama was undercut for unfunny humor, or even the previous film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 which, while excellent, suffers from a few narrative and tonal inconsistencies. Instead, the film paces its humor in batches and allows breathing room for the more serious and somber moments, allowing for a more genuine response. I've also seen a decent amount of criticism for Awesome Mix Volume 3 as some are stating the musical choices are "distracting" and don't add anything to the film, and to that I say... 1. You clearly haven't watched the other films and 2. You watched a completely different film than I did because once again this soundtrack is a worthy addition to this franchise. Songs like "Creep", "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", and even "Dog Days Are Over" play a vital part as they set the tone of the scenes, just like the other films, this isn't a surprise people, and just because a song doesn't stick with you does not discredit its usage and inclusion. Any "problems" this film has aren't James Gunn problems, they're Marvel/ Kevin Feige problems. Adam Warlocks inclusion felt forced but Gunn weaves him in the plot best he can, the film has a few scenes that could've been resolved faster but again that's a Marvel problem, too focused on set up and misplaced humor than telling a mature story, but between this and Black Panther Wakanda Forever, it seems maybe Marvel is kind of learning to be more of a film studio, we'll have to see how the future plays out.

Animal Lovers beware as this film is a very hard PG-13 that contain some unsettling imagery yet the utilization of this darkness allows the MCU to somewhat burst from its shackles and feel more like a film studio rather than a tv production organization (which they also are). The entire cast shine, in particular Chris Pratt who potentially gives a career best performance here, but it is Bradley Coopers Rocket who not only steals the show, but gives one of the best performances in any marvel project to date. When you put it into perspective, the thing that I believe why most people, myself included, adore these weirdos, is because they're just like us... lost and imperfect. While in theory this trilogy is a wacky silly action joyride, if you dive deeper, these films are really about imperfect, broken individuals searching for meaning and hiding their strengths and weaknesses amongst a sea of pain and abuse in their lives. Whether it's Peter Quill's desire to find a family, Nebula longing for acceptance or Rocket just wanting to be loved for who he is, these silly, wacky, strange individuals display more humanity and gravitas than most modern day films nowadays, and it's so refreshing for a comic book film, instead of focusing on "saving the universe", Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is rather about saving ourselves and our loved ones, and that's to me more heroic and inspiring than a gargantuan cosmic threat. Just like Matt Reeves cinematic masterpiece "The Batman" last year, Volume 3 implies two beautiful themes: Hope & Herosim. Hope that even though we're imperfect and weird and have strange gifts, talents and habits, we're never unlovable, we can always find purpose and belonging in this world, maybe even a family out of it and Herosim can be found in every corner, in all of us, in any positive action, whether it's saving the universe from a world ending threat, or simply trying desperately to save a friend.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is as perfect of a finale as a trilogy can get! A beautifully somber yet perfect bookend to these loveable weirdos that ties everything together. What the Avengers lacked centrally has been made apparent in this trilogy; While The Avengers try to feel like family (and sometimes they do), the Guardians are FAMILY that would do anything for each other and it shows. Don't get me wrong, this isn't the Best Superhero Film Ever Made (Tho it's definitely up there), its the weirdest, wackiest and strangest and that's the point. James Gunns Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is about accepting who we are as individuals, acknowledging that we're all imperfect and there's nothing wrong with that, embracing who we are and not changing just to fit in. By the end, you'll feel so many emotions but i guarantee the first thing you'll wanna do is call someone you love and remind them you love them. I don't know how I am gonna go on with Marvel without them but to say I'm not completely satisfied with this ending would be an understatement. With James Gunn now moving to DC, Marvel has major competition and needs to up their game now if they wanna remain on top.

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