MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ — A Dark Movie That Wraps Up The Franchise Nicely

Joe Hogarty

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ — A Dark Movie That Wraps Up The Franchise Nicely

I loved the first “Guardians of The Galaxy” movie. What makes it so great is that James Gunn did more with less. Most people didn’t know who the Guardians of the Galaxy were, and it was a really hard sell. The movie got good reviews and positive word of mouth from audiences, and it became a surprise hit for Marvel. I liked the sequel too. It wasn’t as good as the first movie, but it was still fun and a very good follow-up. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” follows the trend of not being as good as the previous movie, but it has its moments and wraps up the franchise in a nice way.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

As much as I was looking forward to this movie, something felt off. It was missing the fun and humor from the previous movies. A big problem with this movie is that it is way too dark. And when I say dark, I mean both in its color palette and the overall story. The Guardians movies are known for colors that pop off of the screen, and you barely get any of that in this movie. And the overall story is just very dark and disturbing at times. I think some children may have nightmares after seeing this movie. There are a lot of violent deaths and some truly disturbing hybrid human/animal creatures.

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“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is Rocket’s movie. His origin is shown through flashbacks, and I think his story could have been told in either a solo Rocket movie or a Disney+ Special. And again, it is very dark and shows a lot of animal cruelty in the flashbacks. It’s all CGI but in a realistic style. Animal lovers and children may be disturbed by the sounds and images.

Rocket doesn’t really crack jokes in this one because he is going through such a difficult time in both the past and the present, and that is sorely missed. Guardians 3 needed to end on a high note with a good time for the audience, and you don’t necessarily get that here. It’s a nice ending and a bit fulfilling, but we could have used more levity throughout.

This movie is also very long, at 2 hours and 30 minutes. Certain characters and storylines were not needed. They could have easily knocked off a half hour of the film, and it would have probably been more enjoyable.

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What has always made the Guardians movies work in the past was the chemistry that the actors/characters share. The chemistry is still there, but most characters go through rough times during the movie. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is still dealing with the death of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). It affects his leadership, and the whole crew is worried about him. Gamora 2.0, or whatever you want to call her, is not the same girl that Peter fell in love with and doesn’t want anything to do with that previous relationship. Ever since The Holiday Special, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) has developed a temper and seems to scream at people a lot, which kind of ruins the character for me. Drax (Dave Bautista ) still does a good job with the comic relief, but he also grows emotionally throughout the journey. And Groot is Groot. 

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I always push for Disney and Marvel to give us good villains, and they knocked it out of the park with The High Evolutionary, played by Chukwudi Iwuji. Finally, we get an actual villain that is just a villain. The High Evolutionary is not misunderstood or a victim of circumstance. He is a man with a god complex and just plain evil, and he is OK with that. That is what makes him so great.

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One of my favorite Marvel comic book characters is Adam Warlock, and they absolutely ruin him in this film. In the comics, he comes across as wise and two steps ahead of everyone else. In this movie, Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) is a man-child who is mostly concerned about impressing his mother. That is a far cry from the character depicted in the comics. It’s sad because his design is pretty good, and when he uses his powers, it’s impressive. He lacks the confidence, wisdom, and intelligence that made the character so good in the comics. Either Gunn didn’t do his homework with the character, or he just didn’t like the character and wanted to make him look like an idiot. Also, James Gunn loves to push his brother (Sean Gunn) more and more in each film. When used in small doses, Kraglin is a fun character, but he doesn’t work as one of The Guardians. Thankfully he spends most of his time away from the main Guardians, but he still is given way too much screen time.

I have no idea how James Gunn chose the songs for this movie, but he must have been listening to a completely different radio station than I was back in the 70s and 80s. These songs are so obscure that I can’t even figure out who the band is. Sure, there are tunes from Heart and The Beastie Boys that most people will recognize, but the majority of these songs are not memorable at all.

There are two after credit scenes in this movie. They are not the best ones that Marvel has ever done, and it’s probably up to you whether they are worth sticking around for. One is just a few minutes after the end of the movie, but the other one will make you sit through all the credits. Neither are earth shattering, so I would look for them on the Internet when you get home.

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I was looking forward to Guardians 3 and hoping this would have been the perfect ending for the franchise. In some ways, it is, but I was still wanting more. At times, it’s a bit too dark for kids and some adults. The movie could have been shorter and a lot more fun. In the end, it was good to see the characters one last time, but I am still hoping that one day we get “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 4.”

I give “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3” a 7/10.

Guardians of the Galaxy at Disney Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

Guardians Cosmic Rewind dedication plaque 2

As some of the only Marvel characters that Disney can legally use at Walt Disney World, the Guardians are featured in EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The ride replaces Ellen’s Energy Adventure / Universe of Energy, utilizing the same façade for guests to enter the Wonders of Xandar pavilion.

For a limited time, you can find a Guardians of the Galaxy cookie and “Perfect Sovereign Waffle Bites” at EPCOT to celebrate “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

Disneyland Resort

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Sunset avengers campus dca stock

In California, Avengers Campus was constructed around Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, a reskin of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror that opened in 2017. You can also catch a dance-off, which is currently featuring Mantis for a limited time.

Check out more limited time “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” offerings at Disney California Adventure below:

International Parks

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Star-Lord and Gamora also host a dance-off at Avengers Campus in Disneyland Paris and at Tomorrowland / Stark Expo in Hong Kong Disneyland.

Avengers Campus at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris is also offering limited time food and beverages for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”

For the latest Disney Parks news and info, follow WDW News Today on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Author

  • Joe Hogarty

    Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at Joe@wdwnt.com.