Guardians of the Galaxy 3 - Movie Review

Solid storytelling caps the original Guardians trilogy.

Pitched as the finale to the first Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, Guardians 3 is a satisfying, heart-warming wrap for the original team. It gives each a chance to shine individually, while also highlighting their teamwork and relationships. Sure, in typical Guardians fashion, there were some over-the-top and downright bizarre moments along the way, but it worked.

The story focuses on Rocket's origin story, delving into the genetic engineering that led to him becoming the kick-butt, talking raccoon we see in the films. These flashbacks gave the story an emotional heft, but they were a lot darker in tone than the rest of the series (or the MCU franchise as a whole). I know a lot of  kids enjoy the MCU, but this one deserved its PG-13 rating. It might be too disturbing for some younger viewers.

One thing I appreciate about Guardians is how it has expanded the team's female characters. Gamora wasn't bad, but she felt so boxed in by the "badass girlfriend" and "enemies-to-lovers" tropes that I had a hard time getting invested into her story. I like that Guardians 3 doesn't rush to put her back in that box, giving her room to stand on her own. Her prior-timeline mercenary attitude provides a nice foil for the rest of the team.

Nebula has grown into a full-fledged member of the team, and is one of the more interesting characters. Somehow she manages to walk a line—ruthless one minute, tender the next, and deadpan funny a few minutes later. The trailer scene of her complaining about the car door was hilarious.

And then there's Mantis. While she doesn't get a ton to do in the film, her quiet sweetness is a fun contrast with everything going on. I love the interactions with Drax, and her unique approach to solving problems. Side note—Mantis and Drax's antics in the Holiday Special were the funniest thing I've seen in quite awhile. She's an underrated character for sure.

Irreverent space-comedy-adventure with a 70's soundtrack will never really be my jam, but I can still appreciate the storytelling at work here. Like Endgame, the film works hard to give each of the main characters a satisfying resolution to their multi-film arcs. It successfully ties up loose ends and brings this era of the Guardians to a close, while still leaving the door open for future adventures.


  • Princess Power: 4 Stars
  • Overall: 4 Stars
  • Bechdel Test: Pass

Learn about my Ratings System.

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Mom. Writer. Gamer. Geek.
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