Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Would you believe it? I went to my first in-theater movie since . . . Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, I think? So more than an entire year. (As an aside, part of me is shocked that I’ve stopped going to theaters. But on the other hand, then I was in the theater, and a kid a few rows back kept talking (loudly) through the whole showing. Had to have been about 6, I’d guess. It was more than a little irritating. Also, the screen was definitely bigger than what I have at home, but I was sitting (much) farther away, so proportionally it felt small. The sound was good, but . . . about what I have at home. In other words, after going to the theater, it really left me wondering why I’d want to go to the theater. The only real reason I can think of is that there’s still a bit of a different feel to it. I do miss going to midnight premieres, with a theater packed full of fans. That’s got a great atmosphere, and it’s not one I can replicate at home. Maybe I need to look for more opportunities to do that . . .)

Anyway. Guardians of the Galaxy 3. I was a big fan of the original. It had a genuinely different feel to it compared to the other Marvel movies, and it was a real breath of fresh air. The second . . . felt much like the first. Still fun, but not as novel any more. Still, I liked it, and I heard great things about the third installment. Did it live up to them?

I’m happy to say that yes, it did. It had great action sequences, a fast pace, excellent range of emotion (with plenty of humor), and a rock solid soundtrack. It works very well as the final movie in the series, and brought things home in a way that felt very satisfying. (Will there never be a fourth Guardians movie? I doubt it. Hollywood can’t resist money. But the great thing about movies is that if they’re bad, you don’t have to watch them, and they don’t affect the original in any way.)

I saw it in 3D. For the first two thirds of the movie, it occurred to me that it had been fine to watch in 3D, but there hadn’t really been anything about it that made me think, “Thank goodness I watched this in 3D.” However, then came a really jaw-dropping action sequence (filmed to the Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Till Brooklyn) that more than made up for all that ambivalence. I would go see the movie again, just to see that sequence once more. It felt like a quintessential Guardians scene, in the same vein as the first Avengers. All the characters doing what they do best, to a great song.

It was fun from start to finish. Worth seeing in theaters? Well, that depends on your setup and the theater, but definitely worth seeing if you’re a Marvel fan. If you’re not a Marvel fan? I’m not sure. If you don’t care for Marvel-style movies, I don’t think this is the one that will change your feelings about them. Thankfully, I love being along for the ride, and I had a great time. 9/10.

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