First “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Reactions Say Trilogy Closes With a Thrilling, All-Time MCU Classic

We’re a week away from the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, the third and final film in James Gunn’s trilogy. It’s a bittersweet ending for Gunn, who, as you know by now, is the new co-chief at Marvel’s rival, DC Studios. Yet his final film is a momentous one for the filmmaker and for the MCU, and now the first reactions from critics are finally here. 

The film sees all the original Guardians returning for one final adventure—Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff). Although Peter Quill has been he the leader of the Guardians thus far, Vol. 3 is very much Rocket’s story, too, as the movie delves into his tragic backstory. The how and why of Rocket becoming Rocket involves the film’s new villain, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), the man who led the experimentations that turned a raccoon into a walking, talking weapons expert. Another newcomer is Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), created by the Queen of the Sovereign, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with the express purpose of hunting down the Guardians and finishing them off.

While the Guardians as a franchise will likely continue on within the MCU, it’s the end of the road for this particular group, which gives Vol. 3 a valedictory feel. Gunn and the cast have been together for more than a decade now, and their bonds are tight. “I’ve done jobs where I’ve been so close to people, then the job ends, and I just never see them again. And that happens,” Pratt said in a cover story in The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t think that’ll happen with us.”

So, without further ado,  let’s take a spoiler-free peek at what the critics are saying:

For more on all things Marvel Studios, check out these stories:

Peter Quill Embarrasses Himself in New “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” Clip

Marvel’s “Blade” Adds Rising Star Mia Goth

“The Marvels” Images Reveal Captain Marvel’s New Superpowered Allies—& a New Villain

“The Marvels” Trailer Reveals Brie Larson’s Return as Captain Marvel Alongside New Allies

Featured image: Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.


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