the_ruck’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's not the best MCU movie since Endgame!
It's the best MCU movie since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1!
Well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was the only Marvel movie I was really looking forward to. Because so far James Gunn has never let me down, while the MCU has been hitting rock bottom after rock bottom for me lately. Which is why I was also worried that this low point could also affect the Guardians. I had a few worries, especially when I saw the Holiday Special.
First and foremost, I was wondering if everything that happened in Endgame could really be resolved well. After all, Gamora is dead, which James Gunn apparently hadn't planned for his trilogy or didn't even knew at first.
Also, I was worried that when Peter comes to earth, it might affect the soundtrack. Because I couldn't think of anything worse than if Vol. 3 was filled with some pop songs. Luckily James has good taste in music and knows where the really good music comes from and we can trust in him. Because he just knows what he's doing. He knows his characters and he knows their stories. Which is why you can also trust that he will give them a worthy finale. A final that really has it all.
The first scene alone is so characteristic of this film. Surely everyone still remembers the intro sequence in the first part where Star Lord dances to "Come and get your love". And surely you still remember the intro sequence of the second Guardians part. Groot dances while the rest of the Guardians face off against a huge monster. Loud music sounds and we see the opening credits. We have exactly such a scene here as the first scene, just very different from what you imagine. Because it's playing Creep by Radiohead and everything appears in a completely different tone. A tone that is characteristic of this film, is very ponderous and emotional. Equally emotional as Endgame in places, but not so much to erupt in an emotional orgy. However, I can promise one thing ... the film will definitely shed a tear or two, although it doesn't necessarily happen in the way many assume.
Crazy On You
But nonetheless, the film retains the aspects that make the Guardians films so special. First and foremost we have the humor here. Because, as we all know, James Gunn has a unique sense of humor that is sometimes a bit bold and weird but also lovable. Well, you probably have to like the humor, but if you do, you'll definitely get a laugh. Because while it's probably the MCU's saddest movie, it might also be one of the funniest. I know that maybe these are mutually exclusive and somehow they can't go together, but it does. Because an emotional scene is followed by a funny one. But it never feels out of place. It feels right. It feels like the end of a journey. A long journey that now comes to an end with all the well-known elements. So that the humor still plays a decisive role, even if it has receded somewhat into the background. But despite this, Groot or Drax still provide a lot of weird scenes and other weird moments that just make you laugh.
No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Another successful point are the action scenes in the film. Surprisingly, while we're all getting fed up with the CGI of the Marvel movies, this movie looks really good. Maybe the money just needs to be put in the right hands. But if you compare the galaxy of the Guardians with that strange Quantum-World of Ant-Man Quantumania, for example, then this one looks worlds better. Because Quantumania simply had no structure, which cannot be said of Guardians of the Galaxy. Because everything there is somehow coherent and makes sense in a way.
But actually I wanted to talk about the action and this one is just great. The first action scene alone is just terrific, but it's topped by the halway sequence. Whereby you really notice that there is not only a lot of work and training behind it, but also that a lot is at stake. Because as we all know, this is the last Guardians part. So anyone can die! Of course not everyone is going to die, because after all it's Marvel and after all it's Disney. Nevertheless, some actors have already announced in advance that they are slowly getting tired of their roles. Which doesn't have to mean anything, but everything simply points to characters dying. Which just gives the action scenes a lot more scope, because nobody is safe. And so, as a spectator, you get a lot more excited. So this part is also really successful. In addition, James Gunn shows again that he dares a lot again. The last scene alone, in which the High Evolutionary can be seen, is really not suitable for children either. So Marvel clearly trusts in James Gunn and so he can hold on to it when it's asked for.
I´m Always Chasing Rainbows
Well, what would a Guardians film be without its music. As I mentioned before, I was concerned that James Gunn would use pop songs instead of rock from the 70's and 80's. But thankfully James Gunn didn't disappoint. Because the soundtrack is once again fantastic, even if there are a few songs that are more modern but still fit. From Radiohead to Heart to the Beastie Boys to Alice Cooper we have a great mix here again. What is special for me is that I already knew some of the songs. Because the music of the Guardians films has shaped my taste in music in a certain way and so it feels particularly good that the music seems familiar to me.
Do You Realize??
But the film gets more things right. Vol. 3 gets something right that James Gunn had to learn after the first two parts. Because like the Guardians, James Gunn has grown with them and you can clearly see that. Probably best on the antagonist. Because Ronan was by no means a good antagonist and Ego was quite nice, but basically just a crazy guy who wanted to dominate everything. But now we have an antagonist here namely the High Evolutionary, that is basically just insane, but also so much more. Because he has a connection to Rocket and thus also to the Guardians. Which makes the antagonist a much more interesting and approachable villain. In addition, his extraverted and quirky nature is also really unique and so is his design. In fact, I have to say that in a way he's one of my favorite Marvel villains.
The Boys Are Back in Town
Last but not least, there are of course the actors who give the film the rest and bring the unique characters to life. Chris Pratt as Star Lord is just perfect for the role. Or was it Patrick Swayze? In any case, he's just tailor-made for this role and after all that he gets a really nice farewell.
Even if this film is primarily dedicated to one character, namely Rocket. His story was already built up in the first two parts, but here it is expanded and completed. Well, what can you say other than that his story is really emotional. It might sound strange, but somehow the deepest character in the MCU is a raccoon. That's no exaggeration. No, it's a fact. Because we're seeing the story of Rocket here, and coupled with James Gunn's love of animals, it was clear that something poignant had to come out of this. And of course Bradley Cooper's voice acting is completely convincing again.
Unfortunately I have to say that Gamora doesn't get the worthy conclusion she deserves. At least my only real criticism of the film is that her story was reset to 0 (and the ending also a bit). But that's not because of her or James Gunn, it's because of what happened in Endgame. Should we now blame James Gunn for having to straighten that out? I don't really know. But in any case, it's clear that Zoe Saldaña is fantastic in the role again. Even if it's a bit annoying that it was just reset to 0.But we still have enough old characters like Drax for that. Dave Bautista may have had enough of the role, but of course he's coming back. Even if it's only on condition that James Gunn directs. But honestly, the film would never have turned out so well if James Gunn hadn't led his Guardians anywhere. Be that as it may, Drax will of course be there again and of course provide a lot of entertainment.
Just like Mantis, who I didn't particularly like in the second part, but meanwhile I've also grown fond of her. While Pom Klementieff is really fantastic in the role.
Just like Chukwudi Iwuji, whom most of you should hopefully know from Peacemaker. And if not, then ... what are you waiting for? Check out this series! But in any case, Iwuji plays the role flawlessly and completely convincingly. His over-the-top style is just perfect and he's totally convincing in every scene.
Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter, is also a new pretty good character. Well, the casting couldn't be more inappropriate. At least that's what I thought at first, but he really gave everything for the role, even if it's short. But in the time in which he appears, he can definitely convince.Well, there's really only one thing missing, namely Groot. I wasn't too keen on its new design at first, but I've gotten used to it. But still I think he deserves a little more attention in that part. Because he's more of a marginal figure, which is a bit of a shame. After all, it's Groot!
Oh, and did you notice that Nathan Fillion had a whopping two roles in the Guardians trilogy?
Since You Been Gone (Spoilers)
In any case, of course, I also have to talk about the end and what happened there. So here is a spoiler warning!
Because I just have to talk about what happened in the end. Or rather, what did not happen there. Because it was announced in advance that we will not be prepared for this Guardians final and that it will be emotional. In addition, actors like Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldaña have announced that they will be leaving. So I guess everyone assumed characters were going to die, because that's what James Gunn is like, after all. But in fact none of our Guardians dies, although it is announced so often in the film. I mean the Guardians get shot so many times and come close to death so many times it's hard to count on one hand. So James Gunn is really having fun with it and actually I was really annoyed by it at first.Because that's how James Gunn plays with our expectations, only to not meet them in the end, even though it was hinted at so often. In a way, it's also reminiscent of Rian Johnson. But the more I think about it, I have to say that in a way it's a good thing.
Because an end doesn't always mean that someone has to die. Likewise, it can also be an end that simply represents the end of an era. And an era can also end with a farewell. A farewell and a happy ending. A conclusion, which is actually even nice. After two hours of cheering over who's going to die, we get a conclusion that's positive for all Guardians. And somehow that's also characteristic of James Gunn. Because don't we deserve a happy ending too?
Well, from that point of view, the end is really successful and damn emotional. When everyone has their new path and everyone is dancing while Florence + the Machine runs in the background, that's just great. Because Peter somehow turned the other Guardians into dancers too (well … Gamora dancing would be even better). We are also getting a new team and all of that has really worked out.
I have to say that I had different expectations when it came to the ending, but in a way it works. Although it's a little weird that they let the High Evolutionary live. Because it works like this: We let him live. Even if he's on a ship that's about to explode with a stab wound in his chest. But we let him live. Well, that was a bit weird.
It was also a bit strange that Peter, as a normal person, can still survive in space for so long. And that moment was really mean because of course everyone thought they were going to die and everything pointed to it. But no, he is saved at the last moment.
Oh, and then there are the first real words from Groot. And here I really have to say that this is not a good idea. Here they just wanted to repeat the moment from Vol. 1, only "I love you guys" just doesn't work that well. Also, it doesn't make much sense that he only knows three words and then all of a sudden he knows whole new words. So I have mixed feelings about that. Because if he said, for example: "We are family", then it would somehow be more appropriate. Even if it sounds too much like F&F. But anyway, I don't find his first real words that appropriate.
So I took the ending rather mixed, although I'm basically happy with it.
Dog Days Are Over
An ending that isn't perfect, but still the best the MCU has delivered in a long time. A trilogy that takes up so many themes, but at its core is still only about one thing, namely family. In the first part we learned that family can be anywhere and anyone can become that family, whether you are a tree or a raccoon. In the second part we learned that family doesn't always have good days and conflicts do happen. But in the third part we learned that family is always there for you. It doesn't matter if you're having a bad day. Family stands up for each other and does everything for each other. Even if they part ways, they will always be there for each other.
Family may not be perfect, but it's always there when you need it, just like this terrific trilogy. A trilogy that ends here and, at least for me, is definitely not only the best trilogy in the MCU, but also one of the best trilogies of all time.So that in the end there is only one thing left to say. We are Groot!