April 27, 2023 -When Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, while inspecting a murky extraterrestrial region, pressed play on Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” in the first “Guardians of the Galaxy,” it would have been hard to imagine that James Gunn’s space opera would ultimately lead to something as sincere, poignant and kinda cornball as the trilogy-ending “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
But as Gunn has showed over over the course of these increasingly soupy sci-fi spectacles, the genetically spliced DNA of his chaotic, cartoonish cosmic vision is a double helix of opposites. Breezy ’70s rock papers over extreme violence. Cynical exteriors cloak sentimental emotions. A ragtag group of outcasts, more so than even the cast of “Fast and the Furious,” talk a lot about “family” and “friends.” Against the odds, “Come and get your love” has turned out to be a legit invitation.
“Vol. 3” is a messy, overstuffed finale. But you rarely question whether Gunn’s heart is in it. Sometimes it spoils some of that effect by trying too hard to juxtapose tonal extremes, and show off its brash juggling act. Yet whatever this sweet, surreal sci-fi shamble is that Gunn has created, everyone here seems to believe ardently in it. And for even a movie that sends a golden-hued Will Poulter shooting through space to the tune of Heart’s “Crazy on You,” that earnest belief goes a long way.