Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review: A Triumphant End.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are among my favourite heroes in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
Vol. 1 was a fantastic introduction to these characters, and I believe that Vol. 2 is one of the most underrated MCU films.
So, obviously, I was very excited to watch Vol. 3, especially because I had genuine hope that it would be better than a lot of the more recent MCU installments, which I have felt pretty lukewarm about.
I am happy to say that this hope was well founded because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a triumphant ending for the characters we have come to know and love ever since Vol. 1, all the way back in 2014.

The ending for each Guardian feels fitting.

Directed once again by James Gunn, the movie follows Peter Quill’s Starlord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Deisel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who are living at their home base of Knowhere.
After an attack from Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) leaves Rocket clinging to life, the Guardians must band together once more.
Seeking the help of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the group seek to track down Rocket’s creator the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), to find a way to save him.
Each of the Guardians gets their time to shine in this movie, with standout moments for each of them.
In particular it was great to see how much Nebula has changed from the first film, how the friendship between Drax and Mantis has progressed, and how different Gamora is from her future counterpart, along with how this affects her relationship with Quill.   

It would have been easy to go a cliche route with Quill and Gamora’s relationship after Endgame but I am glad they did not.

The biggest standout of all the Guardians, however, is Rocket, with a large part of the film focusing on his backstory, with constant flashbacks.
Given the number of these flashbacks, it would have been easy for the film to feel disjointed so it is a testament to the writing and the directing that it all flows seamlessly.
It felt like Vol. 2 was slowly transitioning the main character among the Guardians from Starlord to Rocket, and Vol. 3 continues this in excellent fashion.
Rocket’s story is so good in this movie that I actually almost teared up at one point, and this was a scene with multiple CGI characters so that is saying something about the quality. 

Prepare for Rocket’s backstory to destroy you emotionally.

Alongside Rocket, the main villain of the High Evolutionary also stands out.
The guy is a fantastic example of how to do a purely evil villain with no redeeming qualities right. 
And, hey, the High Evolutionary being so evil makes it even more satisfying when the Guardians fight his goons in numerous excellent action sequences, including a gripping one-shot corridor fight that is one of the movie’s highlight scenes.

The corridor fight is the MCU’s best fight scene in years.

Another thing to highlight is just how dark this movie can get at times, with a lot of cruelty to animals so there is that to be aware of.
That does not mean the film is devoid of levity; this is a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, after all.
There are plenty of feel goods moments and humor throughout.
Speaking of the humor though, I do have to say that it thankfully does not ruin any potentially emotional scenes, like it did in Quantimania and Love and Thunder.  
Not everything about Vol. 3 is so great though because, if the film has one issue then it is definitely Adam Warlock. 

Adam Warlock’s presence in the movie felt more like an obligation than anything else.

His addition to this film honestly felt entirely unnecessary to me.
Not only could he have been any other character and the plot of the movie would not have changed, but his actions also seemed pretty contradictory at times.
It feels like James Gunn intended for him to have a big role in Vol. 3 but then he got fired and rehired and, in the time in between that, he came up with a different plot for the film but was obligated to keep Warlock in because of the Vol. 2 post credits scene.
Apart from Warlock, though, I would say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a great film with a triumphant ending for its characters.
It is easily the best MCU film since Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a Fun Movie if you Haven’t Seen the Trailers

3 and a half stars
I have heard mixed responses to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, some like it and some hate it so I did not really know what to expect when I went in.
Overall though, I feel that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a fun movie to pass the time, that is if you have not watched the trailers.
If you have, then there is pretty much no reason to go see this movie because the trailers spoil 95% of it and the 5% that is not spoiled is nothing special.
The movie will be a good time though, for people who have not watched these trailers because the action set pieces and tension of he film is really well done.
Directed by J.A Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom centers on Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing  (Bryce Dallas Howard) from the previous film, who go back to the island to rescue the dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption.

The plot of the first half of the movie is to save the dinosaurs from an erupting volcano.

This storyline is interesting but then the story turns on its head and becomes a completely different movie.
This tonal shift was not exactly bad as both the first and second half were entertaining but it felt like I was watching two different movies.
The characters are fairly average as well.
Pratt and Howard are likeable in their rolls but do not have any substantial growth.
The same can be said for the side characters with Justice Smith’s character, Franklin Webb, being on the verge of downright annoying.
There is also a twist near the end of the movie surrounding one of these characters, which, while an interesting concept, is not explored well and has no meaningful impact on the movie.
Then there are the decisions these characters make, some of which were on an Alien: Covenant level of stupid.
These flaws, however, do not stop the movie from being entertaining.
The action sequences with the dinosaurs are very well done and engaging and there is one moment of the film that is very reflective and actually heart breaking to watch. 

The action of the film is very well done and helps makes the film more entertaining.

If I were to gauge this movie though, I would say it was better than the previous film in the series, Jurassic World.
Fallen Kingdom does have the weird subplot of weaponizing dinosaurs from the previous film but it was handled a lot better and made more sense sense to me here.
Unfortunately though, this film ultimately fails to capture the magic of the original Jurassic Park.
It is a solid film but nothing to write home about.
I can least say you will find it entertaining… if you have not seen the trailers that is.