After the fan pleasing but anticlimactic Endgame in 2019 I grew tired of Marvel, with the glut of Disney plus shows and yet more films in the pipeline keeping up with it all is a full time job. That being said I’ve always had a soft spot for the happy go lucky atmosphere, goofy humour and nostalgia soaked soundtrack of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films.
Vol. 3 is the final guardians flick, and the fired then rehired director James Gunn offers up the same brand of reliable, madcap fun but this time the focus is on Rocket. Voiced by Bradley Cooper, we see the genetically engineered raccoon’s tumultuous background and how he came to be. It provides the emotional core for a film that is wrapping up a series, and does so with plenty of sentimentality. This gives a humane element to an enjoyable, if slightly too long, summer blockbuster that it doesn’t take itself seriously.
The soundtrack is just as central as ever, setting the mood and getting your feet tapping. It starts with the sombre tones of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, rock classics ‘Since You’ve been Gone’ and ‘Badlands by Rainbow and Bruce Springsteen and the boisterous ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’ by the Beastie Boys along the way, and ends on the sunshine pop of ‘Dog Days Are Over’ by Florence and the Machine. Hell, it even features the schmaltzy ‘I’m Always Chasing Rainbows’ by Alice Cooper.
As enjoyable as it is it still falls foul of the usual superhero sin, concluding the film in a cacophonous orgy of CGI battles and explosions, with the heroes coming out of tricky binds unscathed and smelling of roses. The characters and their camaraderie make up for this tired cliche, with the deadpan delivery of Dave Bautista’s Drax, the boyish charm of Chris Pratt’s Starlord and Vin Diesel’s gruffer, more gym bound Groot the best of a good bunch.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 finishes the trilogy nicely, it is an entertaining affair with lots of humour, eye-catching spectacle and a big, if slightly too mawkish, heart.