Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new English film Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, a film in the MCU Phase 5 which is the final film in the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise(or is it?). Offlate, Marvel has not been in the best of forms with one underwhelming project after another since the beginning of MCU Phase 4. There was a time when people used to queue up for the biggest of Marvel releases by creating fan theories which did hype up the overall product. But since the inception of MCU Phase 4, the response to films have been a tad underwhelming.
One common drawback that I had observed was that while Marvel did focus on some intriguing concepts, the basic outline of the screenplay was generic, so much so that the familiar Marvel emotions did not hit home and the characters of the film were just cardboard to have any feelings for them. Having said that, I did have hopes from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, given how much I had previously connected with the characters right from the first film of the franchise. Plus a bittersweet feeling of potentially seeing the last of a few characters did have a sense of melancholy for the franchise. But above all, the leash was in the assured hands of James Gunn who is familiar with the grammer of Marvel films. Its trailer too did evoke a similar bittersweet feeling with the Marvel trademark humour in place. With much hope I did venture into Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, does it manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3 follows the story of The Guardians who must protect the universe along with one amongst them. Failing to do so would lead to dire consequences for them as a group. The story here is much more on the familiar grounds of any Marvel movie where its concept doesn’t overshadow the drama and the emotions in hand. And this is the reason why the emotions hit home here making it an absolute treat for any MCU fan. The screenplay standing at about 150 minutes does pack in the right kind of camaraderie in the group and moments that are far from the general fatigue which was setting in for a Marvel movie.
I must admit that I did take some time to settle into the drama considering that this is the start of MCU phase 5. I needed those extra minutes to figure out the equation between characters and which character is placed where in phase 5. I did find my groove 10 minutes into the film post an elaborate action sequence that does injure one of the Guardians greviously. And that does kick start the film in a very big way. The writers do well to introduce a sense of a potential loss early on in the film that does hit home. To see one of your potentially favourite characters battling for life amidst an uncertain future did make for a compelling viewing straight up. The emotions were in play beautifully even as a larger threat did loom around the corner.
The proceedings are intriguing and engrossing with the stakes being raised in every scene. In between, there are glimpses of a flashback that are shown that gently tug the strings of your heart while giving context to the drama which is played out in the current timeline. And you also do find that trademark Marvel humour engrained in many scenes that do make you chuckle at various instances. It just goes to show that how much a drama would actually connect with the viewers when all the emotions are in play, as opposed to the unique concepts which were introduced previously. I was thoroughly invested in the journey of the gang while rooting every single time for them to crawl out of a difficult situation. This while I dreaded the worst in a drama which did feel like a ticking time bomb for a few characters.
The writers do well in not making this drama generic. To my surprise, the drama was layered and it did not focus or rely only on one conflict. We see in a beautifully written scene that one of the conflicts is resolved only to invite a fresh one. What this did was to keep the viewers on tenterhooks always. The subtle use of the elementals and the care for every human life(including animals and birds) was beautifully showcased in that elaborate finale act that did bring a surge of emotions for the viewers to absorb. A part of me did fear the worst following an incident while the eventual rescue act was on. And I hadn’t felt anything remotely close for a superhero film in a long time. The finale was bittersweet and it was all about the celebration of The Guardians together as a group for that one last time which did bring in a rush of nostalgia. Overall, the screenplay is brilliantly penned and probably the best written since Spiderman – No Way Home! That familiar Marvel feeling again!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues range from quirky to emotional and they hit home in almost every scene. None of the lines did feel out of place. The music and the BGM are wonderful and they enhance the emotions in various scenes beautifully. The cinematography and VFX are top notch like in any Marvel film which is technically well made. The action set pieces are wonderfully choreographed but one reason why they hit home is because of the underlying sentiments of the drama. The editing is sharp and crisp. Director James Gunn does a brilliant job in bidding a farewell to a franchise which was an integral part of the MCU. The emotions and sentiments which were lacking in recent Marvel films are infused wonderfully here and that can be attributed to a brilliant piece of direction.
The performances are excellent by the ensemble cast. Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Vin Diesel as Groot and Will Poulter as Adam have their moments to shine. Pom Klementieff as Mantis is on point with her comic timing with a dash of emotions. Dave Bautista as Drax is excellent and does tickle your funny bone every now and then. Karen Gillan as Nebula is fiery and does a swell job. Linda Cardellini as Lylla, Asim Chaudhary as Teefs and Mikaela Hoover as Floor are excellent additions to the film. Chukwudi Iwuji as The High Evolutionary was a worthy nemesis to The Guardians and his presence was intimidating. Zoe Saldana as Gamora is wonderful to watch in a job well done. Bradley Cooper as Rocket just hits it out of the park with the kind of emotions that he brings to the table. Chris Pratt as Peter has a pleasant and charming presence onscreen and he is brilliant to watch.
With Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, Marvel is back on its familiar ground of brilliance! This is probably the best film in the MCU since Spiderman – No Way Home! Available in a theatre near you and Highly Highly Recommended!