Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ sequel is out-of-this-world fun

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” currently has an 81% approval rating among critics and a 95% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes.

A movie poster for "Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3."
"Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3" is a new Marvel movie playing at Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter. The sci-fi superhero film features an ensemble cast that includes Chris Pratt. 
Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Marvel has another hit on its hands and they only had to go to outer space for it.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” took in an impressive $114 million domestic and $282 million at the worldwide box office this weekend — ticket sales that are in the stratosphere.

The motley crew of misfits is back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel about the comic book characters of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.

Pratt, who was kidnapped as a child from Earth, leads the ragtag group who argue like family but also love like family. Pratt, aka Star-Lord as he likes to refer to himself because of his sense of self-importance, however, is reeling from the loss of his girlfriend Gamora played by Saldana.

But the old adage in the world of comics is that no comic book character truly stays dead for very long. Saldana returns to the group’s fold but as one who came from a different timeline. This Saldana doesn’t have the same history with Quill and rebuffs his advances at love.


Most adversarial films are only as good as their villains and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel has a doozy: the High Evolutionary, a geneticist and god-like scientist who created Rocket, an anthropomorphic raccoon and guardian voiced by the Oscar-nominated Cooper.

Here is where things really get interesting in the major motion picture directed by James Gunn, who wrote and directed the 32nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The High Evolutionary is hellbent and single-mindedly determined to create perfect creatures and perfect societies.

“He didn’t want to make things perfect,” Rocket tells the other Guardians of the Galaxy. “He just hated things the way they are.”

The High Evolutionary is played by Chukwudi Iwuji, who also stars in the superhero TV series “Peacemaker,” which was created by Gunn for HBO Max. The series is based on the titular DC Comics character who believes in achieving peace at any cost, even by lethal means if needed.

The Nigerian-British actor embraces his role in “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” with fervor. The High Evolutionary’s idea of “perfection” is to be achieved through any means, including the killing of what he deems to be lesser lifeforms or evolutionary “mistakes.”

Rocket the raccoon and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the High Evolutinary’s experiments and the scenes in the movie, which is rated PG-13, of his animal testing are hard to watch but explain Rocket’s tragic past and perpetual chip on his shoulder.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” continues Gunn’s directorial trademark for the trilogy with trippy visuals and a killer soundtrack that work to advance the plot, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy jumping in colorful spacesuits against the vast inky blackness of outer space.

It will be interesting to see how Gunn brings his sensibilities and distinctive flair for storytelling when he fully assumes the reigns as a co-chairperson and co-CEO of DC Studios, the cinematic rival to Marvel Studios. DC’s properties include Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.


“Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” currently has an 81% approval rating among critics and a 95% approval rating among audiences at Rotten Tomatoes, a review-aggregation website for film and television.

The consensus from the critics at "A galactic group hug that might squeeze a little too tight on the heartstrings, the final ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is a loving last hurrah for the MCU's most ragtag family."

FRANK LEE is the movie columnist for the Wadena Pioneer Journal (Brainerd Dispatch). He may be reached at 218-631-6470 or at . Follow him on Twitter at

Opinion by Frank Lee
I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write features stories for the Wadena Pioneer Journal. The weekly newspaper is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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