For the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the conclusion of a trilogy truly seems to mark the end of a story and not just another chapter.

This final volume certainly won’t put an end to the adventures of the Guardians in the MCU, but several of its craftsmen will not be on the next mission. Zoe Saldaña and Dave Bautista mentioned in interviews that this was their last time as Gamora and Drax, respectively, while director and screenwriter James Gunn has been co-CEO of eternal rivals DC studios for a few months. from Marvel.

For his swan song, the filmmaker was therefore pleased. He invited the entire Guardian gang, which grew from movie to movie, and invited old and new buddies to the party. Despite the size of the cast, every character has an opportunity to shine.

Especially Chris Pratt, who may never be as good as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. We’ve always found him just dumb enough, endearing, funny, brave, flirtatious and sassy, ​​but this time he reaches heights of dramatic intensity. Completely broken by the loss of his mother, his Earth, his adoptive father – Yondu -, and his lover – because the Gamora of this film is that of another timeline, met in Avengers: Endgame -, Quill does not go well. However, he is forced out of his torpor when one of his new family members, the Guardians, fights for his life. The journey to save him takes too long detours, but delivers very powerful moments.

The big villain of this third installment is High Evolutionary, played by Chukwudi Iwuji (the Peacemaker series, also by James Gunn). He is a moral geneticist obsessed with creating a perfect society. Unlike other MCU villains, this one’s motivations are nothing short of horrific.

The scenes between him and the Guardians are a little disappointing – he screams loudly, acts little – but the ones with a young Rocket are some of the best. Car High Evolutionary is actually the creator of the wordy raccoon. Many flashbacks show the terrible circumstances of his “evolution”, but also the very touching moments with his otter, rabbit and walrus friends. These computer-generated animals take us through the full gamut of emotions.

A few words about the other “bad guy”, Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter: he is good, even if we see him very little.

James Gunn has also spoiled himself with the sets, imposing, with rich textures and colors. OrgCorp’s organic headquarters are fabulous. The uniform of their security guards too. The ships, often reduced to the cockpit, are vast and have various architectures. The suburb of Counter-Earth is perfectly heartbreaking.

The arrival on the latter, inhabited by an immense variety of anthropomorphic animals, launches the last act, which unfortunately takes too much of its time. Take for example this scene in which the Guardians are welcomed by a family of bald people (?). Once again, they are bickering when this is not the time. It’s comical, but the sole purpose of this stop is to get the way to the High Evolutionary base. These moments are not completely unpleasant, but too many. Another example: Nathan Fillion’s joke – a good friend of Gunn’s – wasn’t as good the third time around.

The same goes for action and emotion. There are sublime sequences, such as a shootout in a sequence shot in a corridor or a rescue in extremis. Then, others that serve no purpose, like the attack on the bug ships and Drax’s dance number to make crying children laugh just before.

Let’s end with the music, which kind of illustrates our appreciation of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. As in previous films, James Gunn’s choices are mostly excellent, between classic cuts and more obscure titles. However, we heard Creep and No Sleep Till Brooklyn very often. Not to the point of hating them, but enough to find that we have heard them too often.