The third installment of the space cowboy epic, Guardians of the Galaxy, turns out to be James Gunn’s opus. This time he delves into the backstory of a fan favorite. As it turns out the gruffest toughest member of Peter Quill’s crew didn’t start out that way.
Though James keeps the audience laughing like in the first two volumes. He also has the audience witness the atrocities of the High Evolutionary’s experimentation. And it reveals a great deal about a few of the characters in the movie.
Rocket has a tough shell to protect his heart of gold. If the audience didn’t already know it from the first few volumes, then see Vol. 3. His friends mean everything to him, even though there have been times he would have us believe otherwise. Go by what people do and not what they say. Then we’ll see what’s important to a person or raccoon.
Peter Quill/Starlord is trying to get over the loss of Gamora. Her alternate universe version is even meaner than the original. But a hero picks up the pieces and does what heroes do: save the day.
Nebula has come full circle. She finally has the family she’s always wanted. She’s very protective and a major support to the team. It's amazing how someone can grow when they can step away from an uber-powerful, abusive parent that was hellbent on wiping out half of the universe.
The Mantis of old, raised by Ego to follow what he thought was best, is gone. The mature Mantis is strong. She has thoughts and opinions of her own. She doesn't hesitate to make them known. And she doesn't fail to stand up for herself and those she loves. She even learns to stand up to those who she cares the most deeply about—a feat that is sometimes the most difficult.
This Gamora is more violent than the original. And she seems to care more for money than altruism. In short, she's a different person than the Gamora that Peter lost. She lets him know in no uncertain terms.
Groot has grown, literally, in all the movies.
The High Evolutionary is a tremendous villain. That is saying something considering that audiences have seen many riveting villains already. But the High Evolutionary truly believes himself to be God. His disdain and disrespect for life are beyond reprehensible. In short, Chukwudi Iwuji understood the assignment.
This viewer couldn't discuss a Guardians of the Galaxy movie without mentioning the music. The soundtrack for Vol. 3 is the best yet. It spans the 90s through the early 2000s. And it is beyond fitting for the story being told. Anyone who has ever felt out of place at any point in their lives will really connect with one song in particular. But the soundtrack altogether seems like the summation of the Guardian's adventure together.
So the curtain closes. The big adventure is done. Bittersweet. But this viewer is glad that James Gunn and the Guardians allowed us to tag along.