Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 Reactionary talk.

Now that I have collected my thoughts after watching Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, here's my overall opinions, not necessarily a review, but more like a reaction.
Director James Gunn's swan song begins with the all too familiar Marvel Title card however, in place of your regular flagship heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther,  etc. in their place is that dysfunctional family from space with Radiohead's "Creep" playing as we see how Peter Quill aka Star Lord is still feeling heartbroken from losing Gamora, in a drunken stupor due to the events from Avengers Endgame Yeah, Gamora is back, but she is from an alternate timestream, meaning Peter's love interest is still dead after dear ol dad, Thanos sacrificed her for the time stone. Talk about "bad parenting." But I digress. The gang is now settling on knowhere, a satellite that was originally an alien head, now a refuge for misplaced individuals throughout the confines of space. While everyone is going about their usual business enters a man more powerful than a speeding bullet, and it's not who you think, but close. We finally see Adam Warlock's long overdue appearance, which has the golden warrior kicking all kinds of ass giving me the impression that he's Marvel's newest Superman, well at least for a while.

After the failing to capture Rocket as commanded by high priestess Ayesha, Warlock leaves Knowhere with the Guardians' victory being short lived with Rocket critically injured and will die unless he can be resuscitated however, his heart is connected to a kill switch that will detonate unless Starlord and the crew can find a way to safely override the code, and that leads our heroes to  Orgocorp, founded and operated by the High Evolutionary. Chukwudi Iwuji as the big baddie High Evolutionary chews up scenery imbued with a few mad scientist tropes and at times, his character is purposely used as a contradiction. Here, he wants to create this utopian world in his own image, he's more comparable to a Space Nazi eugenicist. Then, in the third act, he destroys Counter-Earth which he then "realizes " does not fit his vision of a perfect world. This character played against type when compared to the source material i.e., the comics. Chris Pratt's performance as Quill is angrier, and even vengeful at times and it makes perfect sense after losing the love of his life. Now he is more protective of his family when trying to retrieve the code to save Rocket, and it shows he's not fucking around after diving from High Evolutionary's worldship with the recorder headfirst.

There were a few gory scenes whether Adam blasting a captive to skeleton remains, or High Evolutionary 's face reveal that really stretched the boundaries of the film's PG 13 rating. The unexpected "F" bomb is a first for the MCU and probably the last as “The house of mouse” may want to secure their family friendly image. It's as if Gunn had taken creative liberties to troll Disney for his dismissal. The sequel is not without its flaws, for example Gunn doubled down on the needle drops one of the main signatures of the GOTG series however, too much of anything can be bad and excruciatingly bad at that especially when it came to the song choices. While I enjoyed Creep by Radiohead, there were plenty of tunes that seemed out of place. "Reasons " by Earth Wind and Fire, "Crazy" by Heart. Ayesha's death scene was too abrupt as in a feeble attempt to tie loose ends within the series' continuity. Then there's that 300 lb elephant in the room, Adam Warlock. Aside from Will Poulter's solid acting, his facial features as the Golden space warrior are unappealing yet fit the silly comical narrative. He comes across as very immature if not dumb. Despite his foreseen redemption arc, Warlock  for the most part served as a comedy foil if not meme fodder. I can imagine the outcries from many fans of Jim Starlin's Strange Tales and the Infinity Saga..oh, wait..!!

Outside of the humor, this sequel had some deep disturbing moments, especially when it came to Rocket's not so humble beginnings told, via flashbacks, as a caged Raccoon who has been advanced through the Evolutionary's science and because he is so gifted, the scientist with delusions of Godhood sees " 89P13 " unfit for his new society and plans to euthanize him and his newfound friends. The narrative is reminiscent of The Secret of Nimh, which also had animals being experimented on though not as cruel as what the High Evolutionary had done.
I never thought I would hate a Supervillain so much, Thanos believed in population balance as mad as his plans were yet Evolutionary craves too much perfection, that he is devoid of any humanity when committing full scale mass murders. After Raccoon is saved, he joins the Guardians to rescue the inhabitants confined in High Evolutionary's worldship, I had a good chuckle with Starlord's "Skeletor Robocop" clapback. (Well come to think of it, Orgocorp is practically OCP.) The conclusion fell a bit short when Rocket had Evolutionary at his mercy, yet refused to avenge his murdered friends, especially Lylla, by sparing him but at least leaving the High Evolutionary to go down with the ship and I'm perfectly fine with that.

The ending itself,  was open ended. Peter goes back to earth to reunite with his grandfather as predicted, Drax and Nebula are caretakers of migrants including children from the worldship, Gamora rejoins her Ravengers family, and Rocket is the new leader of the GOTG after Quill passes the torch. All’s well that ends well. Not quite. While volume 3 is not the sign off many of us wanted, we must at least appreciate the finished product for what it is. I rank it a "3" out of the trilogy. Despite a powerful backstory, aka Guardians of the Galaxy Origins: Rocket, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations yet still a much worthy bookend to the series.

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