An amazing sendoff for a spectacular trilogy

”Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” shines bright

Noah Cannon, Staff Writer

The best kinds of films are the ones that remind you of your childhood, that amplify your youthful fantasies to a much grander scale. Those are the films I remember the most and the ones I cherish the most. I was eleven years old when the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film was released, and I remember watching it on repeat for the next couple years. I had never seen a superhero movie like it before. It was one of those films that I loved a whole lot more than I thought I was going to. I still remember counting down the months, days and seconds until the sequel was released in 2017, and I loved that film too. 

I must admit, the MCU has been letting me down for years now, and there was a part of me worried that this particular film would fall into the mediocre category. However, I am pleased to admit that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is well worth the six year wait! 

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a spectacular adventure that cherishes the past while making way for the new. It’s a real love letter to the fans of these characters and a proper send off to the best trilogy in the entire MCU, written and directed by the best writer/director that the MCU has ever had. James Gunn isn’t afraid to take risks or to be himself. His characters feel real because of how flawed and relatable he makes them. They talk exactly how you and your college buddies might converse at home in the living room or in your mother’s basement. They joke, cry and mock each other in a way that feels personal and real. 

This is a film that is alive, full of heart, weight and personality. It doesn’t exist for the purpose of making money or setting up a future film, it exists because James Gunn cares about these lovable miscreants turned guardians, because he had a story to tell—a story to finish. 

All the arcs for each of the Guardians, the ones setup since the first film, come to satisfying closures. The Guardians are finally one hundred percent comfortable with each other. The actors all give their best performances in this film, probably because of how comfortable they’ve gotten with their roles over the past nine years. The cinematography is also a breath of fresh air. After writing, the second thing that has been holding the MCU back has been a great visual style. At last, things no longer look desaturated, blurry, or shot as a sitcom or on a green screen. Images are clear, shadows are present and the world feels as alive as the wonderful characters on screen. The use of real sets and costumes is commendable, and the production design is worthy of an academy award. 

Speaking of characters, the villain of the film, The High Evolutionary, is the best MCU villain since Scarlet Witch in “Doctor Strange 2.” For the first time in so long, the villain is menacing and deep. But, Rocket Racoon is the real star of the film. I was stunned by how gut wrenching, raw and dark his origin story was. It was so emotional and worked so well because James Gunn wasn’t afraid to hold back and be real and deep. I sincerely hope that the MCU continues down this path. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” should be a blueprint for the future of the Marvel franchise. It’s just that good! 

Of course, the film isn’t perfect. The majority of the humor took away the weight and tension of certain scenes. There were quite a few times where I felt myself sighing as an emotional moment was wiped away by a giant tissue that is “bathos.” More restraint on the humor would have made it all the more impactful, but I can hardly complain. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is a dream come true for all fans of the films, and especially for those who have been disappointed with the MCU. It’s fun, colorful, exciting, and absolutely heart-felt.