No, the Def Leppard song isn’t in the new movie, but the third and final installment of James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy brings on the heartache in a big way. This one hurts.
I don’t think I’m giving too much away to tell you that Rocket’s origin story is intense – he’s a talking raccoon with cybernetic implants and a past he won’t talk about.
I’m sure some will say the depictions of Rocket’s early years are too disturbing, but the truth is that animal experimentation is real, so in the interest of awareness, I’m OK with it, even if it was difficult to watch. (Go to navs.org if you want to know more about ending animal testing.)
Of course, the film isn’t just about our favorite feisty hero; there’s a lot going on in this movie. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, and it’s the Guardians so it’s also fun and funny and heartwarming. It’s also dark and heavy. (Of the three Guardians movies, this one is the most disturbing and violent. Don’t bring young children.)
If you love these characters, prepare to feel all the feelings.
That was my spoiler-free review. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, come back and read the rest of this later.
While I did like this more than the latest Thor, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man sequels, I did not love it as much as I loved Guardians Vols. 1 and 2. For starters, it was too dark and creepy. If you’re going to put in animal torture, then maybe don’t also add a bunch of other awful stuff, like the genocide of an entire planet (Counter-Earth), or company headquarters (Orgocorp) built from biological material that looks like nasty human skin, or the horrific and disgusting face under the High Evolutionary’s mask, or … well, you get the idea.
It was arguably a little too violent for a PG-13 rating. I like bad guys getting what they deserve – and the Beastie Boys – as much as anyone, but there was an excessive amount of gun violence, even for a Marvel movie.
And the number of times a main character appeared to be beyond saving was way too high. I thought Rocket was a goner more than once, and I thought we were going to lose Drax. And Peter. At what point are you emotionally manipulating your audience more than you’re entertaining them? I had a feeling this would be a tearjerker, but I didn’t expect to be almost sobbing for half the movie.
I loved Cosmo (good dog!) and the way that the film continued to develop friendships (Mantis’ defense of Drax, Nebula caring for a heartbroken/intoxicated Peter, etc.). I also liked that they tied up a lot of storylines. Rocket got closure (and we find out why he likes to steal batteries), Drax got to be a dad again (and danced!), Peter went to see his grandfather on Earth, etc. Last but not least, the audience got to feel included in the end because we, like the Guardians, finally understood what Groot was saying. That was a nice bow that wrapped up the package.
Goodbye, Guardians. We will miss you.
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