Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: I sobbed like a baby and so will you



Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 3: the movie poster. A beautiful depiction of my new favorite found family.

With four of the top 10 lifetime-grossing movies and six of the top 15, the Marvel franchise has been a significant name in the world of cinema for several decades. From Iron Man 1 to Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has taken the world by storm.

However, since Avengers: Endgame and the conclusion of the Infinity Saga—the storyline comprised of the first 23 films in the MCU—many fans will argue that the quality of the newest Marvel releases has declined significantly.

There have been several hits, namely Spiderman: No Way Home, but there have also been several flops, including The Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder.

Some fans, including myself, argue that all of the new films are necessary to set up the new overarching storyline—the Multiverse Saga—and each has its own valuable contributions to the MCU. Other fans, those less driven by the bigger picture, have seen many of the newer movies as unnecessary.

Despite all of this discourse, though, the newest movie in the franchise is indisputably an incredible addition to both the overall plot and as an individual film: something fans have not seen since the aforementioned Spiderman: No Way Home.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was hilarious, heartwarming, and heartbreaking, and, as always, was accompanied by an incredible soundtrack. From the iconic and memorable cast to the original storyline, this movie was definitely worth watching.

First, the story focused on a character that the audience knows less about: Rocket Raccoon. This lack of knowledge was obviously purposeful, which becomes clear as the movie displays the tragedy of his backstory and his reluctance to talk or even think about it.

The whole team’s love for Rocket and each other just made every tense, suspenseful moment so much more excruciating.

The present-day plot of the movie follows the guardians as they race through the galaxy to save Rocket, who has been mortally wounded by a strange golden man attempting to collect him and return him to his previous owner. As Rocket lay unconscious, though, we see him reliving his experiences with the man who is attempting to retrieve him: the High Evolutionary.

Rocket’s past experiences are extremely traumatic and heart-wrenching to watch, but so is the desperation of his friends as they race to find the key that will allow them to operate on his wounds without the “tamper switch” that was embedded in him by the High Evolutionary killing him.

The guardians displayed their familial bonds strongly throughout the movie, and, as a rule, I personally am a sucker for found families. The whole team’s love for Rocket and each other just made every tense, suspenseful moment so much more excruciating.

The animals in this movie were one of the best aspects. A Russian dog in a space suit, a strange, furry, but extremely lovable space creature, and an otter, a walrus, and a rabbit that I can’t talk much about added mounds of love.

Another reason for the huge amount of love I hold for this movie is the introduction of new characters, the reintroduction of characters we haven’t seen in a while, and the development of familiar characters.

Adam Warlock, the strange golden man mentioned above, is a completely new character in this movie. He is played by Will Poulter, known for his much earlier role in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This character is interesting because he is both an obvious villain in the story and can easily be pitied by the audience. He has no true sense of self as he was created by the High Evolutionary for the sole purpose of battle and retrieval.

The High Priestess, played by Elizabeth Debicki, made a return in this movie after her brief appearance in Guardians Vol. 2. She is also an evil figure in this movie, assisting Warlock—her son, who is in his hunt for Rocket—but also can be seen as a pitiful figure as she is only doing this because the High Evolutionary has threatened to wipe out her entire civilization.

We also see Gamora, who has experienced a mind-bending web of death, time travel, and possibly resurrection—even I, adept at unraveling Marvel’s intricate timelines, find her path mind-boggling—reenter the story with no memories of her past with the guardians. She is not a completely willing participant in the events of the movie, but she earns her payoff and returns to her new family, the Ravagers, by the end of the film.

The characters, and all those that we have known throughout the Guardians series, are what truly make this movie so great. Quill’s irreverence, humor, and extreme love, Nebula’s reluctance and eventual acceptance of her new family, and Rocket’s complete dedication to the whole group create the love that binds this story.

The double end scenes and the classic but vague “The legendary Star-Lord will return” are the cherry on the top of a stunning movie, another hit by the Marvel franchise.

I personally will be watching this film at least once more while it is still in theaters and so should any Marvel fan looking to bawl in public.