Released on May 4, 2023, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” follows our rag-tag team of heroes as they combat the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). Led by Chris Pratt’s character, Star-Lord, the team now has an impending set of circumstances regarding saving the life of their beloved Guardian, Rocket (Bradley Cooper). Throughout the film, there are multiple flashbacks and deep dives into the backstory of Rocket and his time with the High Evolutionary. He was once regarded as simply “P13” while his full tag was “89P13.” The High Evolutionary’s sole purpose was to create the perfect society, by any means necessary. The majority of his first subjects were animals, or as he deems ‘“lower life forms,” and attempted to speed up the evolutionary processes to have them become human-animal hybrids. His character is something that Hollywood has not seen in a while — a villain with no feelings of remorse whatsoever towards those that he affects.

This movie fulfills many of the character arcs we have come to know and grow with since 2014 when the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie came out. Everyone’s journey into becoming a member of a team of misfits is explored beautifully throughout the movie. Pratt’s character development from being hung up over Gamora is explored and even a topic of discussion as his ability to lead the Guardians is called into question by the others.

We also get the introduction of a new character that has been teased since the second movie back in 2017: Adam Warlock, played by Will Poulter. His character is described as the “perfect specimen” in the race of the Sovereign. His presence in the film is made clear from the first appearance, and he does not overshadow the main antagonist of the film. Warlock serves as a secondary, background antagonist who has an agenda that coincides with the High Evolutionary.

This film kept up with the use of well-known hits from the earlier decades like the 1980s-1990s to further establish that this is a “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. The music has continued to be a staple of the movies and the tone that they set out with it.

This movie does deal with some heavy content such as animal experimentation. While it is not explicitly shown, it is implied in multiple flashbacks and off-camera moments, so a fair content warning for viewers going into this movie.

As character development becomes the main topic of how we’ve seen these characters argue, work and bond together as a “found family” of sorts, one of the biggest standouts in terms of character development comes from the likes of Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Rocket. For many Marvel fans, we have always seen them act tough with their defenses up all the time, refusing to show any sign of emotion and empathy. Both of these characters whose origin stories are rooted in trauma and manipulation show significant growth and become further standouts in the film.

In terms of Rocket’s backstory, we get plenty of it through flashbacks of him working with the High Evolutionary and even bonding with fellow animals who have also been experimented on by the Evolutionary. It’s a beautiful sense of his first family before he interacted with the Guardians many years later.

A big question that’s being asked around: will we see the Guardians in future films? For that answer, stick around for the film’s two post-credit scenes.

Verdict: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” perfectly wraps up the trilogy following this team while also possibly hinting at a new future.