review – guardians of the galaxy vol. 3

I’m a pretty big comic book fan.  I go to my local comic book store almost every week to get the new issues of the series that I’m reading.  I prefer the standalone comic book series.  One of the things I really don’t like is when a major comic book publisher like DC and Marvel has a crossover story arc that involves several different comic books.  If the comic book I’m reading is part of the crossover story arc, then I need to read several others if I want to follow story.  At the end of a comic book I’m reading it’ll say “pick up (other comic book) and (another comic book) to find out what happens next”.  That’s when I often lose interest.  Current comic book prices are $4 and up.  Buying several comic books just so I can understand the story of the characters that I like can get really expensive.  I will usually stop reading the comic book until the crossover arc story is over.

The same thing is happening with Marvel and DC movies and TV shows.  Characters from different movies or TV shows are teaming up, or secondary characters get their own movie or TV show which is connected to the original.  It can get confusing fast.  Sometimes you need to watch a few previous movies or TV shows to understand what’s happening in the new one.

However, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3” is not like that.  You can enjoy this movie without watching any of the previous “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, or the “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” that was on Disney+ last year, or the other movies the characters have been in (such as the last 2 “Avengers” movies).  That’s because the main story of the movie is fairly straightforward.  It’s about Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper for most scenes) who looks like a raccoon although he says he’s not.  After an opening shot of Rocket as a baby (Baby Rocket voiced by Noa Raskin), the movie starts with the Guardians hanging out in their home base of “Knowhere”.  They get attacked and Rocket gets injured.  When they try to heal Rocket, they discover that he has a failsafe in his body which prevents the healing pack from working.  The movie continues to switch between Rocket as a baby where The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) makes him into what he is, the Guardians racing to save Rockets life, and The High Evolutionary chasing after them because he wants Rocket back.

There are also a few subplots in this movie including a few where it could be useful if you’ve seen the previous movies.  The biggest one you won’t understand is why Gamora (Zoe Saldana) keeps telling Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) that “she’s not that Gamora”.  If you want to know what she’s talking about you should watch the last two “Avengers” movies.  If you want to see Peter Quills relationship with “the other” Gamora you should see the previous “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. There are also a few cameos from characters that were in the previous movies or the “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” like Sylvester Stallone as “Stakar Ogord“, and Michael Rooker as “Yondu”.  However, the subplots aren’t a big part of the main story so if you don’t know the history you’re not missing much.

I do have a few minor issues with this movie.  Some of the jokes are stale.  Once again, there’s jokes about Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) only saying “I Am Groot”.  This time it’s the “other” Gamora who doesn’t know what he’s really saying.  Another recurring joke that gets old quickly is how Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) keeps attacking them.  They think they got rid of him and then he’s back again.

Another issue I have is, like a lot of other recent movies, this movie goes CGI crazy in a few scenes.  It has some gigantic creatures in a couple scenes and there’s a battle scene in space that looks like it’s trying to copy a scene from a Star Wars movie.

Overall, it’s a fun movie that can be enjoyed if it’s the very first Marvel movie you’ve ever watched, or if you’ve seen all of them and you’ve been reading the comic books like I have.

I give it 8 out of 10 stars.