Reviewed by: Eric Tiansay
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets?
Are we alone in the universe?
Does Scripture refer to life in space?
Questions and answers about the origin of LIFE
Chris Pratt … Peter Quill / Star-Lord
Zoe Saldana … Gamora
Dave Bautista … Drax
Vin Diesel … Groot (voice)
Bradley Cooper … Rocket (voice)
Karen Gillan … Nebula
Sylvester Stallone … Stakar Ogord
Pom Klementieff … Mantis
Elizabeth Debicki … Ayesha (voice)
Will Poulter … Adam Warlock
Maria Bakalova … Cosmo the Spacedog
Daniela Melchior …
Michael Rosenbaum … Martinex
Sean Gunn … Kraglin / On-Set Rocket
Mikaela Hoover … Floor
Chukwudi Iwuji … The High Evolutionary
Linda Cardellini … Lylla (voice)
Asim Chaudhry … Teefs (voice)
Mikaela Hoover … Floor (voice)
See all »
See all »
|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“We were gone for quite awhile. But no matter what happens next, the galaxy still needs its guardians.” declares Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt) in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
The galaxy may still need its guardians, but do media-wise families really need to watch the final installment of the intergalactic superheroes?
Maybe, but extreme caution is advised for the superhero film, which has a questionable PG-13 rating.
The 32nd entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU), Vol. 3, which has a $250 million budget, was written and directed by James Gunn, who is now tasked to help revive rival DC Studios.
Gunn, who also directed the first two installment of the franchise, has contrived a quirky trilogy that seemingly throws everything at the audience—lots of action, tear-jerking emotion, laugh-out loud humor, goofy dialog, self sacrificial heroism, jump scares and jarring violence, as well as over the top profanity.
In short, the film could be described as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The movie begins with the beloved band of space misfits—Quill, Rocket the Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel)—settling into life on Knowhere, a galactic outpost…
But then their lives are upended by echoes of Rocket’s turbulent and horrific past when they are attacked by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), who was teased at the end of 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” as a gold-skinned super being created to kill the ragtag group.
The attack badly injures Rocket, a genetically designed mammalian who the group discovers has a kill switch in his body that prevents him from receiving any medical help.
To save their friend, the guardians must figure out where he came from and confront his ominous creator and the film’s bad guy who calls himself The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).
Did you catch all that?
The movie’s absurd plot features plenty of good, including talk and displays about love, friendship and family. Vol. 3 has a really big heart as each main character is shown doing their part to save Rocket and each other.
In addition, Rocket’s quasi-family of animals—Lylla, an anthropomorphic otter voiced by Linda Cardellini; Teefs, an anthropomorphic walrus voiced by Asim Chaudhry; and Floor, an anthropomorphic rabbit voiced by Mikaela Hoover—live in horrific conditions and are subjected to terrors, but endure through it all by their love and support for one another.
The film also firmly espouses standing up against evil and aiding the helpless.
“Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand for me against those who practice iniquity?” —Psalm 94:16
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” —Proverbs 31:8-9
Additionally, one of the guardians says everyone deserve a second chance, which is biblical. “Everyone who comes to Him can receive another chance at a better, eternal life, by believing in His Son Jesus Christ and washing away their sins through repentance and baptism in His name.” Acts 2:38
Although there is talk of Evolution by The High Evolutionary, the theory isn’t presented in a positive light.
“My sacred mission is to create the perfect society,” extols the villain, who kills his creations, including people or planets, if they are not “perfect” according to his view.
But Rocket later dispels that notion by noting that: “He didn’t want to make things perfect, he just hated things the way they are.”
In another scene, The High Evolutionary tells someone: “There is no God! That’s why I stepped in!”
However, the movie proposes that he is wrong as even his loyal subjects threaten to overthrow him.
There are other positive though subtle references to God. Despite being the victim of experimentation, Rocket is reminded by Lylla that “there are hands that guide the hands.”
On the downside, Vol. 3 also features plenty of bad and ugly content.
The action results in a high body count (the population of an Earth-like planet is annihilated by explosions) and there is intense and gory violence shown (a character is disintegrated by Warlock and his fried skeleton is shown in full view).
Perhaps the most wince-inducing violent imagery comes from the animal cruelty. Animals are transformed into humanoid creatures, and there are distressing scenes of animals being experimented and operated on, leaving them as robotic-animal hybrids.
A dad who watched Vol. 3 with his 11-year-old son during my screening perhaps said it best:
“I noticed Brody had his hat over his head a few times during some of the violent scenes that disturbed him. He also is an animal lover. We had a chat about it before the movie, and he did not like the animal abuse part at all, even though he understood beforehand that it was not real.”
Another down side of Vol. 3 is the more than 25 obscenities, including an “f” word used for the first time in a MCU film.
Unfortunately, the particular harsh vulgarity and a few other strong expletives are spoken by Chris Pratt, who is a professing Christian.
The Bible is clear about cursing.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” —Colossians 3:8
With its Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer currently at 81 percent and an Audiencescore of 95 percent, Vol. 3 is projected to have a domestic opening of $110 million, which is on the very low end of expectations and well behind the last film in the standalone Marvel Studios franchise according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie’s initial performance isn’t welcome news for Marvel or Gunn, who now run rival DC Studios, and is sparking further concern that superhero fatigue has settled in at the box office, the publication observed.
The bottom line for Vol. 3 is it’s a mixed bag for families that’s full of questionable content. For Christians who are fans of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the movie is a bitter pill to swallow, one that will likely leave a semi-sick feeling in their gut.
CONTENT WATCH: Vol. 3 is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, strong language, suggestive/drug references and thematic elements. There is strong language. Most of the other obscenities are “s***,” “h***,” “d***” and “a**” words. There is a playful homosexual joke. There are moments of innuendo about “touching” someone, and oblique references to promiscuity. Scenes of violence include laser gun fights, stabbings, slashings, characters being blasted by fantastical powers, and crunchy fistfights. There is occasional sight of blood—primarily from aliens—and a woman largely comprised of robotic parts contorting her broken limbs as she reforms. Another woman’s arm is broken during a fight. Characters sustain various injuries, including sight of blood, burn wounds and a man’s disfigured face after he has been mauled. A person is reduced to a charred corpse after being blasted by fantastical energy. Aliens are briefly seen dealing an unnamed drug. Later, a man refers to dealing “meth” in a clearly condemnatory manner. A man appears drunk, and there are references to it being a pattern of behavior. There are sustained scenes of threat during action sequences in which ships explode and people avoid falling debris. Sequences also include gun threat, and people being blasted or held by fantastical powers. There are occasional jump scares, including from monsters and aliens.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.