Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 3
Cert: 12a | ★★★★✩
After almost a decade, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise bids farewell in an emotional and heartfelt third and final act.
And the last instalment in this much-loved series is also director James Gunn’s last Marvel Cinematic Universe outing before he makes his much publicised move to Warner Brothers’ DC Extended Universe as head of studio.
After the events of Avengers: Endgame, The Guardians are adjusting to life on Knowhere depicted as the enormous severed head of an ancient celestial being now serving as a scientific observatory.
While Peter Quill, also know by his alias Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) continues to pine for Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) is suddenly forced to face the dark and painful past he left behind when he is targeted by an unknown assailant (Will Poulter).
As they scramble to save Rocket from certain death, Peter, Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) et al must defeat the High Evolutionary (a sinister villain du jour portrayed by Chukwudi Iwuji).
Meanwhile, after being recruited by a group of interstellar outlaws, Gamora is persuaded by her old friends to rejoin them and help defeat their new adversary.
By reuniting fans with these intergalactic misfits and bickering frenemies, Gunn and co-writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning found the perfect way to end the whole series.
And they do it with absurdist humour and perfectly pitched action-filled mayhem. Providing Quill with a range of indie rock and pop anthems, including a new version of Radiohead’s Creep, is also a smart move. It’s also a very moving track.
The running time of two hours and 30 minutes is, to be fair, a bit of an indulgence, but when the lights come up the overall feeling is that you have seen something you will cherish for ever.
The last instalment of this series is far more engaging and coherent than most post-endgame
And despite lacking the outrageous freshness of the first film, there is very little doubt in my mind that Volume 3 is a million times more coherent and more engaging than the most post-Endgame Marvel Cinematic Universe offerings.