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“GOTG Vol. 3” Received Controversial Reviews; Why?

Disclaimer: There are spoilers and opinions about scenes/parts of this newly released film within the article. All content within this post is a matter of my opinion and to be taken as the viewer may wish.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, Marvel has not had the strongest run of films produced. Fans share that the company has been pushing and pushing a load of films out, especially during lockdowns. Marvel has not had a huge hit in a long time, bringing down their strong reputation of a large fanbase.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, of the galactic action-packed series directed by James Gunn, was released in the US on May 5, 2023. The overall reviews of the film were mixed and controversial. Some viewers throughly enjoyed the film while others did not think it up to par with the previous films.

Notable backlash is featured in NYT’s “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Review: Raccoon Tears and a Final Mixtape” article written by NYT critic, Maya Phillips.

Is “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” a hit or a miss?

Honestly, I enjoyed the film as much as the previous movies. I think the overall quality and plot of the film were unexpected, but well-written. The motion picture is a power hit, but had a few missed swings throughout it.

Box Office Impact

Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 image. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

According to CNBC on May 15, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has generated just under $530 million at the box office. To compare, “For comparison, the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” film tallied $773.3 million globally during its run in 2014 and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2″ scored $863.6 million during its run in 2017.”

Later on, The Numbers has organized the profits made domestically and globally for this new film. So far from the data, the film had made $306,304,761 domestically and $431,600,000 globally. This equals a whopping $737,904,761 for the Worldwide Box Office. The run so far has been impressive with profits catching up to the previous movies, but the reviews are still mixed.

A Theater Experience

I saw the movie on Wednesday, May 17 at an AMC movie theater. I had no set expectations of the film, nor did I read any information regarding it. My prior knowledge was only where we left off in the previous film.

Peter Quill, still recovering from losing Gamora, has to gather his companions to defend the universe and protect one of their own, Rocket. Is this the end of the Guardians? [I won’t spoil much of the film. See for yourself!]

This film is a rollercoaster of emotions that can make you laugh and even bring a tear to your eye. Bradley Cooper played Rocket wonderfully really making the story feel personal to anyone watching.

The soundtrack kept up to par, but doesn’t compete with the first one. Yet, I do not think any could top it.

Sometimes, I can get easily distracted during a show or film if I am not interested. Makes sense, right? However, I felt fully invested within every scene and expressing my feelings along the way. The emotions displayed within each character easily reflected into the audience. Other viewers near me expressed their feelings as the minutes went by.

The most evident feeling is fulfillment and laughter watching the team solve each problem every step of the way. Yet, some bumps in the road came along with a load of great laughs. Seeing each character perform strongly and each have their key moment is heartwarming.

Side note: my favorite character is Drax the Destroyer. [He warms my heart and makes me laugh for days. Drax deserves more credit.]

Do I think it is an amazing Marvel movie and one of the better ones produced? No, but I probably have to recap on some previous films. This movie is not as impactful as other previous Marvel creations. It is not life changing, but it was definitely entertaining.

Impact Upon Marvel Fans and Rest of Audience

What is the impact upon Marvel fans? There has always been controversy and opinions thrown around regarding Marvel versus DC.

I find this interesting since the director, James Gunn, actually works for DC when GOTG is part of the Marvel Universe. In 2022, he became the Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of DC Comics.

What about non-Marvel fans? Does Marvel have a chance at expanding its fanbase or are they plummeting? The future is this franchise is unpredictable nowadays.

The New Yorker shared a detailed synopsis and review of the overall quality of the film and plot. Defining most important aspect they shared, “The artificial heart of the movie is a drama of identity: it begins with a batch of baby raccoons and a human (or human-like) hand reaching in to pluck one out—a foreshadowing of Rocket’s extensive backstory—and, early on, shows the grownup Rocket grousing in Knowhere, “I’m not a damn raccoon.””

Chronologically, the audience is taken through the backstory of Rocket, the raccoon who was used for an experiment. Rocket’s past was cruel and tough; he faced many hardships that impacted him. Yet, when the rodent is severely injured and on his deathbed, his life flashes before his eyes as the rest of the Guardians attempt to save him.

The running time was 2 hours and 29 minutes, but still left many viewers left hanging and thinking hard about what is next.

Members of the audience have sparked many comments, question, and other various remarks regarding the future of the franchise. Addressing implications within the movie, more can be found on CBR.

  • What will the Guardians do now that they have pretty much reached their full potential?
  • Is Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) here to stay? Why did he have such minimal screen time?
  • Is the trilogy officially coming to an end? How will they even continue if it keeps going?
  • What is the future for Mantis, Drax, or any of the others? What identities lie ahead?

Many questions like these and more have sparked since the initial release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”. Do you think this film is worth the watch?