Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Elizabeth Debicki, Maria Bakalova, Sean Gunn, Miriam Shor, Lynda Cardellini, Judy Greer, Sylvester Stallone
Runtime: 150 mins. Reviewed in May 2023
Reviewer: Fr Peter Malone msc
In the Marvel Universe, a motley squad of humans and creatures combat evil forces to protect the Galaxy.
Some movies are review-proof. They have their audience, no matter what the reviewers say. And the audiences can have their blogs and tweets and . . . to affirm their faith. So with Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 3.
This reviewer has watched the three Guardians films and did not become a fan. The third volume (emphasis on volume) Is long (2½ hours) and loud, and frequently, explosive. A distraction from the mayhem was the comment (perhaps cynical but not necessarily untrue) that Hollywood cinema is aimed at an audience of 14-year-old boys. This seems definitely the case here (and acknowledging that there among our moments for adults to enjoy and indulge their 14-year-old selves).
So, what to say? It has a spectacular look and final credits indicating a long list of special effects production. It also has quite a range on its music and songs playlist, from classic to popular to metallic.
But, a big question about the plot and characters. The Marvel Universe invites us to suspend disbelief. All things are possible in the Marvel Universe of superheroes. And, looking at the members, the semi-humans, the strange origins, and, Groot always repeating, I am Groot, they are definitely an odd squad. But this group, posed together as a heroic band frequently during the film, as Guardians – and of the Galaxy?
This time the most sympathetic character is the cheerful raccoon, Rocket (voiced by Cooper). He collapses. He needs physical and technological help. The guardians go on a quest against a megalomaniac High Evolutionary ruler who wants Rocket’s power. And that, along with some detours, to a Counter-Earth (and a parody of some human behaviour) is what happens. And the rescue of Rocket.
Perhaps it sounds a little condescending, but how to put it – the IQ of the Guardians in total is not exactly high. Pratt’s Peter Quill might bluff his way as leader, but he’s more brawn than brain. And his associates are a strange and unusual bunch. Drax (Bautista) being the most sympathetic, but always being told that he is stupid. Poulter turns up as a kind of Superman on the wrong side, disappearing and reappearing, and participating in the final heroics.
There are children victims of the High Evolutionary, wanting to create a new world after destroying Counter-Earth. And it all builds up to the final confrontation, rescue, battles, explosions.
This reviewer is happy the Guardians hand over authority to Rocket – and, during the final credits, we see what he can do in action. Volume 4?
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