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The Guardians trilogy comes to a solidly entertaining – if unspectacular – conclusion.

Pretty much like with Marvel films of recent times, that golden touch ‘wow’ factor seems to have gone – but there’s still much to enjoy with Volume Three’s emotional underbelly.

Everything is competently tied up in director James Gunn’s MCU ‘swansong’ before he heads to DC to tackle Superman: Legacy – at the absolute minimum.

This is predominantly a Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) origin story as his creator – Chukwudi Iwuji’s (John Wick: Chapter 2) High Evolutionary – sends powerful artificial being Adam Warlock (The Maze Runner series Will Poulter) to destroy him.

Cue the Guardians – Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) – who assemble to try and find a cure for their colleague after he gets injured in the film’s opening, by tracking down the villain of the piece on a mirror version of our own planet, called Counter-Earth.

Several side plots are thrown into the mix – including Star-Lord still pining for his former love Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who reappears after aligning with the Sylvester Stallone-led Ravagers – as all members get prominent individual screen-time, along with new team associates, Kraglin (Sean Gunn) and Cosmo the Spacedog (voiced by Maria Bakalova).

As expected, the usual trademark ‘super cool’ soundtrack and comedic touches mainly hit the spot – particularly interaction between Drax/Mantis – but like with recent Marvel films, even that is starting to wear a little thin.

You could argue this plays it a little safe, but fortunately the generally solid storyline and emotive moments – hardcore fans will likely ‘tear up’ at numerous points – pulls it through. Even if Adam Warlock slightly underwhelms in this guise, compared to his comic-book iterations.

It’s a hell of a lot better than the last Ant-Man film for sure. No visual effects issues to be found here.

And there’s definitely a heart-warming feeling to see all the team unite for one massive offensive during the finale – which is the cherry on the cake.

You couldn’t call it a ‘return to form’ for Marvel just yet, but Gunn exits the MCU with his head held high – as he fires out a satisfying conclusion to the Guardians storyline at the very least.

ESP Rating: 3.5/5

Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji, Maria Bakalova, Linda Cardellini, Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Debicki & Sylvester Stallone

Running Time: 2 Hrs 30 Mins

Director: James Gunn

Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux

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