Like Across the Spider-Verse, we planned on seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 as a family. Christine likes these ones, too. But, Aiden ended up going with his girlfriend. Liam saw it with some friends. Christine and I got busy at the end of the school year and I thought I might have to wait until it came to Disney+.
Then, Father’s Day arrived. We usually don’t do much for Father’s Day. I’m not big on these, or really any, holidays other than the fall and winter ones. Those ones are awesome and worth celebrating. I just wish Halloween lasted longer like the others do. Anyways, I did what all dads do on their day. I fell asleep on the couch for an afternoon nap. When I woke up, Christine said, “Liam and Quinn want to take you to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 for Father’s Day.” Well, count me in.
Not Enough Cosmo: Look, I get that not every character gets to be a main, or even primary supporting character. But, they shafted us with the criminally underused Cosmo. I appreciate the screen time and the dedication to the running “bad dog” gag. We also laughed when the three of us compared the dog to our own, Lilo. I just wanted more.
It’s Over, Man: Hey, I also understand that all things (good or bad) must come to an end. And, this ending works. It doesn’t mean that I have to be happy about it. I liked the Guardians from my introduction to them in the 1990s. I always gravitated to the oddballs back then and they were the oddest. When Gunn brought them back in the movies, I geeked out hardcore. Vol 2 shot to the top of my MCU list and it’s still top 5. So, yeah, I will miss the group going forward.
Adam Warlock: The Soverign started with big bad potential in Vol 2, became a gag when they actually fought, and then redeemed themselves in the post credit scene by introducing Adam Warlock. He, in true Soverign fashion, came onto the screen as a flash of indestructable light, then got punked and exposed as a mere child, and finally saved the day in the end. I laughed audibly when they referenced “The Creation of Adam” in that scene.
Gamora: I think I read somewhere that James Gunn disagreed with the direction of Gamora’s character. Maybe the article meant the Guardians in general. I don’t remember exactly. Respectfully, I disagree with Gunn. I liked seeing Gamora back. They made it fun by having her join the Ravagers, I’d like to think as a way to honor Peter’s heritage there. Then, she and Peter start to rekindle something and that just hits me right in the “warm and fuzzies”. Hopelessly romantic, that’s me.
Story: While not as engaging as the second movie, I still liked (well, “liked” is a stretch) learning Rocket’s story and connecting the dots. While I understand the High Evolutionary filled an integral part of the plot, I honestly didn’t see what all the hype was about. People kept comparing him more favorably against Kang from Ant-Man. I think they just wanted another reason to shit on that movie. Because, honesly, I didn’t see that the High Evolutionary was any better than Kang. In fact, as I watched the movie, I thought maybe they were setting him up as a version of Kang. Maybe that gets revealed in one of the next movies. I already said I enjoyed the Peter and Gamora story and the Cosmo “bad dog” saga had me in stitches. Finally, Kraglin working to keep the legacy of Yondu alive (complete with a “force ghost” scene) made me cheer. Overall, a great story.
Themes: Vol 1 dealt with family and how, in spite of what people say, you choose your family. Vol 2 focused heavily on father/son relationships and that’s solely why it holds such a high place in my rankings. This one, as much of the media I consume lately, brought to light past trauma and how we deal with that and (hopefully) move on. I understand that we all, well, understand more about the role that trauma plays in our lives and how toxic the effects of that trauma can be if not dealt with. I, personally, talked about some of that in Noob’s Book Club especially with the death of my father. So, thank you James Gunn (and, unrelated to this but still relevant, Alanis Morrissette) for helping me and my family heal.
I still like Vol 2 just a tiny bit more than this one. The focus of fathers and sons, with the song played just in case you missed the theme, made me focus on the kids in my own life and how I can be a better father to them. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, with it’s theme of trauma also came at a good time, but I’m actually on the other side right now, so it only made me feel better about where I am versus where I was.