Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3

While it's not as tightly woven a story as it could have been, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 3 is a lot of cheeky fun.
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan
James Gunn
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Superhero
Release Date
May 5, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Rating Summary
With brutally fun action, more slow-mo group walking scenes than all of the John Wu films, and a ton of chemistry in front of and behind the camera, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is a ton of fast-paced high-octane fun that leaves politics, identity politics, and woke BS to other movies. It's an 80s movie with modern effects and quality actors.

As a study in screen writing, it’s a bit of a mess. However, as a piece of pure entertainment, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 is a mostly satisfying conclusion for the characters that we’ve come to know and enjoy since the summer of 2014.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Set 2 to 3 years after the events of Avengers: Endgame, and a few months after the Christmas Special, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 chronicles the final adventure of Peter, Rocket, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Nebula, and it does it with style. Once again, James Gunn proves that he has the creative vision to combine fantastical elements like a giant dead god’s skull in space that is now a home to hundreds and thousands of aliens, and he can do it with heart.

Guardians isn’t a perfect movie, often relying on expedient coincidence, magic techno-MacGuffins, and convenienty forgotten abilities to move the story forward in lieu of something less contrived and more thoughtful, but it does it with such aplomb that it’s hard to fault it. Sure Drax and Mantis just so happen to make a decision that just so happens to get them to the next set piece just in time, but the plucky dialogue and amazing chemistry between the leads more than makes up for any lack in logic.

Once again everyone in the main cast is perfectly invested in every over the top and ridiculous moment. Chris Pratt could charisma his was through Peter Quill with one blaster behind his back, while Batista, Saldana, et al squeeze every bit of sincerity and charm out of lines that most wouldn’t be able to say with a straight face. Moreover, they do it while dressed in ridiculous costumes and under pounds of prosthetics and makeup.

In what is another boon for the film and unlike virtually every Marvel movie and series, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 3 doesn’t rely on a villain that is the dark copy of the protagonists. Instead, the primary plot is driven by the Guardians’ need to beat the clock and save their friend, and the villain, played to over-the-top mustache-twirling perfection by Chukwudi Iwuji, serves to throw barriers in the heroes’ way.

All of this is brought together by the schmaltzy-yet-touching flashbacks to Rocket’s origin. The animation, the voice-acting, and the general conflict mix together in such a way, that only those with hearts of stone won’t be a little moved (I mean baby raccoons looking sad). Add to this, The Guardians dogged and ardent pursuit of a way to save one of their own, and you’ve got a winning formula.

Of course there are some moments in which the shear onslaught of new and legacy characters can be a bit overwhelming, and as a result many of the secondary characters get lost in the mix. Furthermore, and in what is the film’s biggest failing, Gunn and company have no idea what to do with Post-Endgame Gamora, and she is relegated to the status of underused secondary character.

This is to say nothing of the inundation of underdeveloped subplots, yet Gunn and company manages to keep the pacing up and the interruptions from the Disney-mandated-introduction-to-the-next-Marvel-product to a minimum. By the same token, the action is so frenetic that in less capable hands, it would be impossible to know what was going on, however Gunn manages to perform some magic and your attention never strays from where it’s supposed to be.

Unfortunately, as a result of too many underdeveloped subplots and a bloated secondary cast, the film’s  conclusion feels unearned. Although there are some attempts to foreshadow the events leading up to it, they feel artificial and unnaturally inserted as afterthoughts. That being said, thanks to a killer soundtrack (though not as good as the first two), a healthy dose of childish humor, and loads of chemistry and charm none of this detracts too much from the overall film (as long as you don’t ask too many questions), and what we are left with is a fun adventure that asks little from its audience. Now, let’s see what Gunn can do with Superman.


There is a case to be made that the men often get dunked on by a snarky Nebula and Gamora but everyone gives as good as they get. The cast does a such a wonderful job of portraying what seems like genuine affection for one another that the bickering always feels more like that between brothers and sisters than that of a superior douché of a woman to a caricature of a man. Moreover, the men are allowed to shine as often, if not more often than the women, and everyone has fairly equal footing.

See Leftist douché nozzles, I have no problem with strong female characters when they aren’t written at the expense of the male leads for the sake of identity politics.


James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.


  • Mombie

    May 22, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Glad this was a good one. I will definitely catch it in theaters. Always looking for a fun flick the whole family can enjoy. And now that my kids are teens that opens up the playing field a bit.
    Getting sick of the ultra feminist trop and though I like a strong female character, it doesn’t have to come at the cost of every male characters integrity.



      • Robert Fornefeld

        June 21, 2023 at 5:26 pm

        What about Deadpool? There was plenty of spicy language in that. I know its supposed to be another universe but still…
        Oh, Deadpool is my favorite from Marvel.


  • Yo daddy

    May 31, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    When they jumped out they were in a rainbow space suits. I think that counts as woke b.s. so giving it 100% on the lack of women was scale is a little misleading



    • John

      August 3, 2023 at 11:15 pm

      I don’t think that was woke. I felt like that was a nod to the game “Among Us”.


  • DC

    May 31, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    1: This movie is not for kids
    2: The volume level was through the roof
    3: The ‘story’ was unrelentingly violent with little meaning other than shock value
    4: Phony attempts at heartstring tugging at the very end
    5: It lazily recycled GOTG II plot line with merely different characters but virtually identical purposes
    6: Sure, it’s not woke. The blood spatter level is the only thing that exceeds the volume level
    7: If this is any indication of where his (Gunn’s) head is at, DC is in for a big surprise



  • Rohan

    June 1, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    Excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3! Can’t wait to see


  • Just Some Nut

    June 2, 2023 at 12:23 am

    Great coverage for this film, thanks. I have a lot of similar feelings with the film. There is one bit though that is worth mentioning that was missed. The Russian dog, Cosmo, is originally male in the comics, but they did a gender-swap in the film. Director-writer James Gunn said this decision was made to honor the first dog that was sent to space, which was female. It could be considered woke at face value, especially since Marvel’s gender-swapped characters before for the MCU, but the fact that it was done for a reason deeper than for an inclusion agenda has me thinking. Just thought it was worth mentioning.


  • Bert Saraco

    June 2, 2023 at 11:09 am

    This was a really good (but maybe not great) action superhero film. I DO wish the unnecessary occasional profanity (which could be easily eliminated and not missed) didn’t intrude on the movie. The humor was also sometimes intrusive and not always as sharp as in the previous films. Overall, a very good project – certainly better than the recent Thor and Ant Man efforts – but it could have been GREAT had they followed the original comic book versions of Adam Warlock and the High Evolutionary. Now THAT would be a stunning idea!


  • Devin Bacon

    June 17, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    You left out 1 thing that wasn’t exactly ‘Woke’, but it’s at least worth pointing out.
    To get past security on an enemy base, Mantis uses her powers to make a man fall in love with Drax (another man).
    However, the scene is purely humor-based, rather than pushing a narrative. It doesn’t come across at all as woke, and instead just humorous.


    • James Carrick

      June 17, 2023 at 11:53 pm

      Yeah, I didn’t include for that reason. It’s mocking the idea of a man being attracted to Drax. I consider that the opposite of woke. It’s the same reason that I didn’t ding the cross dressing in Mario Bros.


  • gmk2311

    July 2, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    I don’t see how anyone can deny that guardians 2 was the worst film so far in marvels New millenia collection.
    After that, paying to see guardians 3 is a non starter.
    I’m not as impressed with Gunn as everyone else seems to be and in fact, am glad he’s leaving the Marvel universe for the ill-fated DC universe. IMO, they both belong together.
    Now I can ignore both of them. 😂


    • Kim Tern

      July 8, 2023 at 10:26 pm

      The movie was fantastic. As far as Gunn is concerned, he can take a flying leap off a cliff – anybody else remember his pedophilic tweets (thousands of them!?!)?




  • Joseph

    August 2, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for the review. It’s crazy that I now have to make sure that Disney movies aren’t full of gay stuff before I watch them with my preteen. I’m glad you’re filling the gap though!


  • Adjutant_reflex

    August 28, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    5 out of 5

    I dunno. I’m not even big on the Guardians franchise but I think it might be the most anti-woke Marvel movie in a while.

    The fact that villain’s motives are disgust at earth’s “bigotry and ignorance” and how he “doesn’t want to make things perfect, [he] just hated the way things were,” causing him to LITERALLY recreate earth but just race-swapped seems an AWFUL lot like what Hollywood/Disney are doing with art.


  • Dan

    November 10, 2023 at 3:09 am

    5 out of 5

    Don’t forget, and I’m surprised not many caught this, but the space suits they were wearing made up the lgbt rainbow. It was subtle, but I saw it and understood what they were pushing in the movie. You also have to remember that they will push these narratives so appease the lgbt and pc crowds because I believe glaad said that there needs to be 50% of films with gay characters in them by 2024. And since glaad are basically the gay gestapo, you better believe it’s going to happen.

    But, when revenue drops on these films, just like that movie Bro’s which was all gay and the director/writer said we are all homophobes for not going to go see it. Hey, whatever floats their boat, but I don’t want to have to sit through that garbage. It’s bad enough there is sexual content and nudity in movies as it is when it doesn’t need it, I don’t need to see two women kissing or two men kissing. I want to be entertained, not sickened.


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