Peter Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy are back in action and this time around, it’s not all fun and just fun, games, or adventure. This film has everything you could want in a Guardians movie and much, much, more. At nearly three hours long, when my family and I got to the end of the film, we were all reeling. Some movies last 2.5 or 3 hours and at the end you feel like you just sat down or it wasn’t longer than normal. This outing by our favorite rag-tag band of mercenaries took us on such a journey that at the end, we all felt like we’d been on a roller coaster journey through many lifetimes and we loved every minute of it. My daughter told me at the end that she loved this one the most out of all the Guardians films but she also wasn’t sure she’d be able to sit down and watch it often.
If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s a trailer:
This movie has got everything you would expect from these characters but it’s definitely not your typical Guardians film. Unlike previous outings and some of the more light hearted Marvel films, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 explores some deep topics. Wrapped up along with the snarky comebacks, crazy off the wall situations, and hilarious misadventures are also deep grief, trauma, horrifying abuse, and an exploration of how someone processes all of that and gets to the other side.
It’s hard to discuss the plot of the movie without spoilers. I can say that it’s a tightly woven adventure that ties together character story arcs, their backstory, and future in such a really profound way. It’s hard to get into a lot of character story arc or plot points without spoilers. What I can say is that decisions from the past do come back to haunt our beloved Guardians and when we get to the end of the film, nothing looks the same as it has in previous films.
Cautions and Warnings
If you have abuse or trauma in your past, you will want to to into this one somewhat prepared. I had many scenes that I had to close my eyes and work through some of my own issues right next to some of those characters. Also, if you are, in any way, sensitive to animal abuse, this movie is rife with that throughout. It’s not easy to escape that. This is also a movie that parents might want to check out before they take younger or tender hearted kids. There were many people in our screening who had kids with them and at the end, you could tell it had really impacted them. The people next to us had a toddler with them and this was definitely too emotionally heavy and distressing for someone that age to process. If you have elementary age kids, I’d recommend going to see it first or doing your research with reputable outlets like Plugged In or Common Sense media before you take them with you.
From a faith perspective, there are some heavy, powerful storylines that really resonated with me. Throughout this film, it’s easy to see the lies that can get seeded through the course of our lives and can come back and take over our thoughts if they aren’t careful. One character in particular is constantly whispering lies and deception in order to keep others under his control. He claims to only want to create perfection but anything that isn’t exactly perfect is worthless and tossed to the side. This is a tactic commonly employed by Satan. As I saw these things play out on the big screen in this film, I was reminded again of the overwhelming grace of our Lord who doesn’t want us to lean on these lies, but on His word and His plan for our lives. There are also some incredibly powerful redemptive story arcs in this film that had me almost cheering in the theater. I absolutely loved the way they framed redemption and how they spoke about it.
In the upcoming weeks, I might write another article that delves deeper into some of the spiritual themes and issues. It’s just a little harder to do that without spoilers and I wanted to get this article up in a timely manner for those who are attending during this opening weekend.
I really enjoyed this film and so did my family. I think it was a great chapter in the universe that Marvel is creating and I’m ready to see where they take us for next steps. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is in theaters now.