Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Revived the MCU back to Relevancy

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Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Photo from Rotten Tomatoes

It’s been four months since the release of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. James Gunn, the director of the trilogy, said that this was the last GoTG movie. In addition, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, announced that this was his last movie as the said character. Because of these announcements, many anticipated some significant deaths of the Guardians in this movie. However, looking at the bigger picture, the film answered a looming question over the Marvel Cinematic Universe: is it dead? Has the general public finally had enough of superhero films and series?

2022 Marvel Recap

Marvel started 2022 strong with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Photo from IMDB
Photo from IMDB

Let’s take a look at the films and shows that Marvel has released from 2022 to now. They had a solid start with Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness. The classic horror elements from Sam Raimi, the director, resulted in a film much darker than the typical MCU tone, but it was a welcome change. The most common criticism of this film is the CGI, especially on Doctor Strange’s third eye. Then, they released Moon Knight. The show portrayed multiple personality disorder excellently. The reveal of when the condition started was a top moment in television. So far, two high-quality releases from Marvel.

Then Marvel released Thor: Love and Thunder. Fans had huge expectations with this film following the success of Thor: Ragnarok. While the goofiness and silliness from Ragnarok was sustained, it was too much. The funny dialogues were too rampant and often inappropriate for the scenes. The CGI looked rushed (that scene with Heimdall’s son was not it), and they wasted a great villain in Gorr.

The mediocrity did not stop there. Ms. Marvel was the next Marvel production to come out, and it was okay. The pacing was good, but the build-up to the Marvels isn’t exactly as exciting as Loki’s introduction of Kang the Conqueror for example. She-Hulk was not a fan favorite, either. I viewed it as a chick-flick comedy, but I guess the average MCU fan is not ready for that. Before She-Hulk was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and it was a great homage to Chadwick Boseman. But still, overall, 2022 was a meh year for Marvel. 50/50. Hit or miss.

2023: The Misses Continue for Marvel

MODOK is reduced to comic relief in Ant-Man Quantumania. Photo from Forbes
Photo from Forbes

Marvel’s slump continued at the start of 2023. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had its moments. The Probability Storm was a really cool scene, and Jonathan Majors was excellent as Kang the Conqueror, the next big bad of the MCU. However, the corny punchlines still persisted in this film. They wasted another epic Marvel character in MODOK, reducing him to comic relief. Secret Invasion, Marvel’s first series of 2023, showed some promise, too. The spy-thriller gave similar vibes to The Winter Soldier. However, the ending felt rushed, with Emilia Clarke’s character gaining all the powers of the heroes and villains in Endgame just like that. The only redeeming factor is the internet’s speculation on when Rhodey was abducted by the Skrulls.

With so many misses from Marvel, fans have started to ask: is the era of superhero movies over? Is Marvel becoming irrelevant? These questions have merit, which is why Guardians of the Galaxy 3 needed to be a blockbuster hit. Spoiler alert: it was.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Marvel’s Savior

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is Marvel's Savior. Photo from
Photo from

Fans and critics loved Guardians of the Galaxy 3. IMDB gave it an 8/10 and Rotten Tomatoes’ critics classified it as certified fresh with 82%. It has an audience score of 94%. It centered around the backstory of Rocket. That central theme was key because GoTG is usually epic and fun, but now they added a sad background. It was a fresh take. The High Evolutionary was an exceptional villain; cold and calculated. I honestly didn’t enjoy Adam Warlock much, but I look forward to seeing him in future Marvel movies and shows.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was the best Marvel movie in two years. It gives me hope for the next two releases of 2023: Loki Season 2 and The Marvels. Loki Season 1 was a fan favorite, so again, fans have high expectations for the next season. While other highly anticipated releases were a bit of a letdown, I now have faith that Loki will end up with the same quality as Season 1. As for The Marvels, it does not have the most popular cast, but it’s easy to get lost in internet speculation. I hope the fan theory that Ms. Marvel’s bracelet and the Ten Rings have the same origin is true. It’s about time Shang Chi returns to the MCU.

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