Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a lackluster blockbuster that is overcrowded with characters vying for screentime.

by Gordon Shelly

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 serves as the third installment in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film series. Directed by James Gunn, the movie brings back the team of intergalactic misfits, consisting of Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), as they embark on a new adventure, this time, to save Rocket Racoon from his impending doom.

The story opens with Rocket listening to Radiohead’s Creep, a song he apparently identifies with quite well, which of course leads to a related character arc for Mr. Racoon. A sudden attack takes place, injures Rocket, and sets the GotG gang on their new quest to Counter-Earth where they must journey to save Rocket.

Also, we meet a new version of Gamora (after all, she was previously vaporized by Thanos) who hails from an alternate universe, but has no recollection of her past exploits with Quill and company.

While the film had some fun moments, overall, it is a lackluster blockbuster that is overcrowded with characters vying for screentime.

The movie is an energetic and frenetic non-stop assault of action, insults and characters. As a result, the movie didn’t flow as smoothly as it could have, which made it feel like a chore to sit through at times. It also littered with momentum-killing flashbacks.

While the story is mostly entertaining, it lacks the charm and wit that made the previous  films so great. The villain is one-dimensional and uninteresting, and the overall conflict felt forced and uninspired. While the movie does offer a few surprises, it is mostly predictable (especially disappointing for a James Gunn movie), but it gets the job done.

The saving grace of the film, however, was the chemistry between the cast members. The humor, banter, and camaraderie between the Guardians is still present, and it is fun to watch them interact with each other – clearly these are fun movies for the cast to make.

The visual effects and action sequences in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are, as always, impressive in their appearance, and the film had some stunning set pieces and breathtaking visuals. However, the action scenes felt repetitive and uninspired, with nothing really standing out as memorable or impactful. It is in the character relationships where Gunn’s direction is at its strongest and much of the action here serves the characters to the degree as it does Marvel expectations.

While it has some fun moments and strong performances from the cast, the film is bogged down by its clunky action sequences and overcrowded cast.

Gordo’s Grade: C+