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'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3': A Teenage View of Marvel's Latest (Critters and All)

| August 18, 2023 | By

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Rocket Raccoon ambushes ravagers (bounty hunters) in a forest, using his gadgets to blast them all in the air. As he inflicts trap after trap upon the goons, Rocket grooves to Glen Campbell’s "Southern Nights."

Scenes like this are the Guardians films’ distinctive style: protecting the galaxy while bopping to the oldies.

What Was Great About Guardians of the Galaxy So Far

Vol. 2 was filled with fun scenes just like the one above. Teenage boys – like me – love it. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a huge success, scoring $863.6M at the box office.

The first Guardians of the Galaxy film, in 2014, which scored approximately $770M in the worldwide box office, and Vol. 2, are what I consider some of Marvel Studios' best movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Is Not the Same

The first two Guardians films in the franchise were successful because they had original plots, tons of broad humor, and plenty of great themes, like love of family, sacrificing for others, and dealing with loss.

The third installment of the series, Vol 3., is much more serious, and lacks the humor and dance-battles Guardians fans love.

Now, There Are Critters

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 tries for a more sensitive perspective. Part of this comes from adding some new characters while plumbing the origins of the genetically and cybernetically enhanced Rocket. There are bunnies, small critters, baby raccoons, and more.

Frankly, teenage boys are not that interested in cute critters. They prefer watching Drax in a space suit, pummeling aliens.

The film goes to great lengths to get the audience to cry over the critters’ travails.

There's Also Family

On a positive note, the main theme of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is family. The Guardians are somewhat outcasts, with no intact families of their own.

The heroes band together as a sort of family to provide each other with the support only a family can provide.

In their final movie together, the Guardians risk it all to save a beloved teammate in a race against time.

While this plot is good, it is not enough to bring the film to the levels of its two predecessors.

... And a Warning

One, final, important thing to note is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may not be appropriate for the whole family, as it is the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has included an f-bomb in one of their films.

Due to violence, adult themes, and language, it is rated PG-13.

Where to Watch

Having concluded its theatrical run, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is now available on Disney+, on digital download, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

Fans can add the film to their collection and access exclusive bonus content, including deleted scenes, a gag reel and audio commentary by director James Gunn.

Here's the original theatrical trailer for Vol. 3:


Image:  (L-R): Teefs (voiced by Asim Chaudry), Lylla (voiced by Linda Cardellini), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Fllor (voiced by Mikela Hoover), in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

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