Directed by James Gunn — Screenplay by James Gunn.
“What a bunch of a-holes,” were the last words spoken in the very first trailer for James Gunn’s original Guardians of the Galaxy film back in 2014. Here was a trailer that introduced Marvel Studios’ biggest swing at that point in time — a team-up film built around a talking raccoon, a Chewbacca-esque tree, a wrestler in body paint, Avatar’s leading lady having swapped out her blue alien for a green one, and a minor supporting actor from Parks and Recreation, who was thrust into a stardom that he still enjoys. Back then it seemed like a huge risk to back C or D-list Marvel characters, but a lot can happen in nine years. Now, Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord are some of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they had their own Star Wars-inspired Holiday Special just last Christmas, and the films’ director, James Gunn, is about to end his time with Marvel after having been both fired from (due to social media ‘receipts’ detailing offensive jokes) and re-hired for this very film in the late 2010s. Gunn didn’t just revive Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” and make your mom and dad know who Groot is, Gunn also established himself as one of Marvel’s actual auteur filmmakers, which is a reputation that has landed him a huge job over at Warner Bros. as the shepherd of the soon-to-be rebuilt DC Comics cinematic universe. But first, he had to finish his Marvel Studios trilogy. And, so, how did it turn out? Well, let’s just say, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films go out on a high note, as they are now arguably the very best Marvel Studios trilogy.Continue reading “REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (2023)”