With the LA premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 & several preview night screenings taking place on the same day – the early reactions/social media reviews for James Gunn‘s final MCU film are out. Critics are raving about the threequel as the darkest Marvel film yet which is also packed with “humor, heart, action and emotions” though some have also claimed GOTGVol.3 is a “long” movie exploring central themes of found family through friendship twisted around the backstory of Rocket Racoon. Here’s what journalists have to say in their non-spoiler brief reviews.
Going by the slew of early reactions, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 certainly sounds like an emotional rollercoaster ride that’s sure to leave audiences teared up by the end. For starters, it is being called a “satisfying and cathartic conclusion” as Brandon Katz notes and one of the best MCU trilogies – comparing it to the Captain America franchise.
Critic Matt Neglia & several others praised the make-up & visual effects which shouldn’t come as a surprise since James Gunn revealed earlier this month that Vol. 3 broke a world record for creating the most makeup appliances for a single production. Speaking of, the world premiere event also had the costumes of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), Nathan Fillion’s orgosentry uniform, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and other props from the movie.
Critics warn over disturbing Rocket Raccoon backstory & other animal cruelty imagery in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
A few movie pundits like Grace Randolph have also reiterated their trust in James Gunn possibly making a blockbuster Superman movie. In terms of characters that stood out, while Rocket Racoon’s “gut-punching origin” as David Gonzalez says – seems to steal the spotlight – others have pointed out that every character including the new additions has justifiable screen time. Even so, Dave Bautista‘s Drax and Pom Klementieff‘s Mantis have been mentioned for their impressive performances.
#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol3 is heartfelt, emotionally-charged and earnest, something recent MCU films lack.
I’m not a fan of Guardians 2 or The Suicide Squad, so I was pleasantly surprised with Gunn’s directing and writing here. It’s one of his better films.
Full review tomorrow:
— Sheraz Farooqi (@SherazFarooqi_) April 28, 2023
#GotGVol3 is simply beautiful. My favorite of the trilogy by far. The MCU’s best balance of comedy x emotion yet. Drax’s jokes had me in tears, Rocket’s eyes alone (dog owners will know) had me bawling. LOVED the 3rd act Biblical imagery / ROTJ vibes. Gunn goes out w/ a banger. pic.twitter.com/vQGbarxID1
— Liam (@LiamTCrowley) April 28, 2023
Really, really liked #GotGVol3 . Despite its length it rarely drags as it combines entertainment, emotion & humor. Stripped down plot allows for every character to get their due within their own mini arcs. Satisfying and cathartic conclusion. GOTG/Cap are the best MCU trilogies.
— Brandon Katz (@Great_Katzby) April 28, 2023
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 aspires for sweeping emotion, gut busting laughs & thrilling action. It sometimes succeeds but as a send off for all of these characters, it feels strangely uneven & anticlimactic. Features the best makeup & visual effects of the trilogy. #GotGVol3 pic.twitter.com/IgOYEvbAPX
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) April 28, 2023
Guys before I say anything else about Guardians of the Galaxy, I just wanna put out a huge trigger warning concerning animal cruelty. Just want to make sure everyone will be ok.
— Estar Guars Tia leaving SWCE🥺 (@estarguarstia) April 28, 2023
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 is full of stakes, emotion & feels like a solid ending (good thing!). The production design & set pieces are some of Marvel’s strongest. It’s long, but the theme of found family is & will always be it’s strength. I’ll miss these misfits 💙 #GotGVol3 pic.twitter.com/inK2g6rfAi
— Lauren LaMagna (@laurenlamango) April 28, 2023
Yes, #GotGVol3 delivers all the feels you want and more. Can't tell you how good it feels to have a competent Marvel movie again.
— Kevin Fitzpatrick (@TVKevLance) April 28, 2023
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3, James Gunn bets the house on a, surprisingly, emotional story centered on Rocket and the love and friendship between these characters. Bets and wins. It’s pretty incredible (animal lovers, there are a couple tough scenes) #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol3
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) April 28, 2023
#GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol3 has that #MCU magic!#JamesGunn quickly becoming phenomenal blockbuster director & might deliver a 🔥 #Superman movie
But he really needs to stop putting his family & friends in his movies – it’s super distracting & took me out of a whole sequence.… pic.twitter.com/Z2XMm8SRTO
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) April 28, 2023
One last ride.. #GotGVol3
The movie focuses on being the perfect ending to the amazing Guardians story. Well layered in its build-up, that brings Comedy next to the deep emotional side that just hits hard. Every character has a shining moment, even Will Poulter as Adam Warlock… pic.twitter.com/xDouI1E2rK
— Kenny @Disney+ (@iKenny_J) April 28, 2023
#GotGVol3 is full of action and made me full of tears. James Gunn has created a great send off to these characters and gives you a lot to feel. One of the best trilogies of the MCU! 9/10 pic.twitter.com/0pqcDvFlGU
— The Dallas Film 🍿 (@TheDallasFilm) April 28, 2023
#GotGVol3 is a slightly disappointing conclusion to one of my favorite teams in the MCU. Over-long and with an under whelming villain. It’s my least favorite of the #Gotg trilogy, but it still has glimpses of the magic we got from the original film. pic.twitter.com/SUmYjzN88O
— Joshua Ryan (@MrMovieGuy86) April 28, 2023
Hooked on a feeling and on a #GOTGVOL3 HIGH! An emotional & epic conclusion to one, if not Marvel's best trilogies. Hitting the trifecta of hilarity, tears, and cheers, James Gunn cements his place as one of the genre's best visionaries. Led by Rocket Raccoon's gut punching… pic.twitter.com/EPL9d02NBW
— David Gonzalez (@CinematicReel) April 28, 2023
Guardians Vol. 3 is PERFECT. I can’t emphasize enough how much I loved this movie or imagine a better way to wrap up their story. Hands down the BEST Marvel movie since No Way Home and quite possibly the best comic book trilogy ever made. It hit me hard in the feels #GotGVol3 pic.twitter.com/Fnp0eMBH9v
— Chris Killian (@chriskillian) April 28, 2023
will write a full review for #GotGVol3 tomorrow because I love these movies so much, but in short, I’ll leave you with the final scribble in my notepad:
a joyous goodbye
— Eric Italiano (@ericitaIiano) April 28, 2023
#GotGVol3 is a really lovely goodbye to maybe the best corner of the MCU. Funny, exciting, surprisingly emotional, all in a film that feels distinctly James Gunn. I’m gonna miss these characters, but probably miss Gunn’s magic with this series even more. pic.twitter.com/T6AiDH6ZR6
— Ross Bonaime (@rbonaime) April 28, 2023
#GotGVol3 : did it look cool? Yes, yes it did. I think Guardians 3 is really solid — the camera isn’t just stagnant in action scenes and Bautista and Klementieff steal the show.
I love Will Poulter but Warlock was a miss. Ditto for the needle drops. #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol3 pic.twitter.com/MevoRO9Fr7
— andrew korpan is going to Vegas #U2Sphere (@andrewkorpan1) April 28, 2023
YOWZA. #GotGVol3 Easily the best of the franchise and a new S-Tier #MCU movie (also probably Marvel's darkest?) featuring the most despicably hateable movie villain you've seen in YEARS – utterly stunning.
— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) April 28, 2023
Just saw #GotGVol3 and it’s a thrilling ending to the Guardians story. Rocket’s story steals the show and is the heart of the film, and I loved the resolution of Peter and Gamora’s relationship.
— ForAllNerds.Com (@djbenhameen) April 28, 2023
Some critics also pointed out there is a “resolution” to Peter (Christ Pratt) and Gamora’s (Zoe Saldana) relationship while assuring Rocket Racoon’s story steals the show & remains the heart of the threequel – as heavily teased in the trailers.
The only few criticism appear to be for the lengthy runtime and some like FandomWire’s Joshua Ryan say Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has “an underwhelming villain”. Though some critics have praised Evolutionary as the “despicably hateable movie villain”. Nonetheless, even the fault-finding early reviews have also confirmed the third installment has the MCU magic as did the first two titles from the GOTG franchise. Furthermore, a few journalists have offered trigger warnings that GOTG Vol. 3 addresses animal cruelty – likely centered around Rocket Racoon.
All in all, the critics’ early reviews confirm Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an emotionally-charged joyous ride yet it bids goodbye to these misfits of characters. The movie lands in theaters on May 5.
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