The proliferation of spoilers on the internet can pose a significant challenge for cinephiles eagerly anticipating a long-awaited blockbuster.
Among such highly anticipated films is Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, which falls into the category of "day one movies," a term used to describe movies that should be watched on their opening day to avoid potential spoilers on the internet.
The previous instalment (Guardian of the Galaxy volume 2) was an engrossing amalgamation of humour, action, and emotion, delving into themes of friendship, family, and love.
Naturally, the anticipation for the next chapter was palpable, and I was eager to see where the talented writer and director James Gunn would take the story.
Before embarking on this cinematic journey, I made a conscious decision to avoid any trailers or TV spots and instead only interacted with test footage, posters, and behind-the-scenes images shared by the director.
I highly recommend this approach to anyone seeking an immersive experience in the theatre.
It's worth noting that for those unfamiliar with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, it is a comic book movie with a distinct flavour that sets it apart from other superhero films.
Marvel movies in general have been trending towards lighter tones in recent years, evoking the feeling of a thrilling carnival ride.
However, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 deviates from this formula, adopting a sombre tone that may come as a welcome surprise to some viewers.
The final chapter of the Guardians series, under the deft guidance of James Gunn, centres around the heroes going out on a journey to aid one of their own.
That journey leads them to the formidable High Evolutionary, played by Chukwudi Iwuji, a powerful entity with the ability to alter populations on a massive scale.
Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, takes centre stage as we learn about his tragic past and traumatic history with the High Evolutionary.
The villain is a menacing and magnificent presence, although his credibility wanes slightly when he begins shouting at his subordinates.
He is cruel and despicable, think of it this way, if you love animals you will hate this guy.
Nevertheless, the lovable characters of The Guardians continue to shine, and Gunn's creative control is apparent throughout.
The balance of humour, heart, and action remains as strong as it was in the first and second films, culminating in an incredible one-take hallway action sequence that leaves you clamouring for more of each character.
The cinematography of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 masterfully captures the director's vision and nature of space/galaxy, utilising wide shots for the stunning visuals and close-up shots to immerse us in moments of intense emotion.
The comic book aesthetic of the film is emphasised by bold and vibrant colours, as well as outrageous costume designs.
The intergalactic set designs are truly awe-inspiring, showcasing incredible vistas of outer space that range from beautiful to terrifying to downright disgusting.
As with the previous films, music plays a crucial role in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. However, this time around, there is a sense that James Gunn may have overdone it with the number of songs on his playlist.
At times, the perfect song would play at the perfect moment, heightening the emotional impact of a scene. At other times, a song would feel out of place and create a jarring contrast in tone.
Despite its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 never drags, thanks to its well-crafted story, thrilling action sequences, and skillful editing and pacing.
Once again, James Gunn proves himself to be a master of the misfit superhero film genre. This movie is a fitting end to the series and the characters' stories.
For those with a passion for animals, the first two acts may prove to be a formidable obstacle, yet the eventual reward at the finale is undeniably worthwhile.