Guarding the Galaxy for One Last Run

Disclaimer: The following article includes spoilers. You may not want to read further until after watching the film.

Marissa Levinson, Columns Editor

      This past week, Marvel fanatics stepped into theaters near them, preparing to set their eyes on the final installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy— but what they didn’t know was they would walk out feeling  emotional whiplash. The two and a half hour entrancement of a film was nothing short of perfection and an all around unparalleled ending for an esteemed franchise.

   Something that this trilogy never fails to do is create a captivating quality for any and every type of audience. Laughs, smiles, tears and tissues were among the rows of reclining seats, as the perfect balance of action, comedy, and a side of sorrow was upon their screens. As someone who personally isn’t the fondest of action centered scenes, I still found myself captured in every move of the main fight sequence, never losing eyes on all my favorite characters. The different, all entertaining dynamics among the characters simply doesn’t compare to any others within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No matter what pairing, every character, every scene, every moment had my undivided attention.

   It was Rocket’s story, but everyone’s ending. From the moment Marvel released the first trailer for the movie, it was evident that it was Rocket Raccoon’s turn in the spotlight. The first film of the trilogy established the characters, prompting audiences to become acquainted with and grow an attachment to them. Volume Two focused more on the story of Star Lord, with his own father presented as the main antagonist. In this movie, meanwhile, the plot surrounded Rocket’s tearjerking past and the group’s efforts to save him now. Throughout the franchise, the group isn’t solely guarding the whole galaxy, rather they’re protecting each other– creating that smaller, more meaningful, close-knit story that discerns this trilogy from other popular superhero films, which tend to focus on saving the entire world, universe, or something greater.

   Although the film primarily focused on Rocket, no character was left in the shadows. Individual struggles of every character brought their backstories to light and connected it to their endings, creating a full circle moment. With this, each of their closures seemed less forced and followed the natural progression of the characters’ individual growth. From the ongoing grief of Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, to Zoe Saldana’s Gamora leading a different life, to Pom Klementieff’s Mantis creating a life of her own, every character’s story got its proper closure. During the climax, there was a brief moment when audiences grew silent, tensions rose, and there was a possibility that beloved Peter would not be making it out alive. Putting fans at ease, he survived. For this movie in particular, this was the right call. Killing him off would’ve made him the center of the movie, leaving fans commenting about his death as they headed home, rather than letting Rocket have his moment, which ended up falling into place. 

   The gratifying plot wasn’t the only factor that contributed to the utter brilliance and success of the movie, however, as the reputable soundtrack carried throughout the film. Well known and loved hits primarily from the ‘70s added to the mesmerizing atmosphere and feelings that the film brought to life, giving it depth. The directing, per usual, was immersive, as well as the CGI effects. It’s not everyday that audiences connect with realistically edited talking animals, so it was clearly done right. In the acting, every emotion, whether in a scene of banter or hardship, was vividly and flawlessly portrayed.

   From “I am Groot” to “I love you guys,” audiences felt an evolved bond and evident change in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. In this developing phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many devoted fans have had mixed feelings about the past few recently released films, but this one broke the pattern and simply did not disappoint. While it’s sad to see this slightly dysfunctional family-like group’s story come to an end, it’s exciting to continue to watch their individual stories flourish.