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The Guardians of the Galaxy were the goofballs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe before “everyone” wanted to be the goofballs of the MCU. The first film from 2014 pulled off the unlikely feat of introducing five new, disparate, uniquely funny heroes and making fans care about all of them. The original lineup was human Peter “Star-Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt), the anthropomorphic Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), living tree Groot (Vin Diesel), green assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), and blue powerhouse Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). Since then, the team has taken on Quill’s half-sister Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Gamora’s adoptive sister Nebula (Karen Gillen), displaced pirate Kraglin (Sean Gunn), and even Soviet space dog Cosmo (Maria Bakalova). They also lost Gamora at the hands of her own adoptive father Thanos, but a past version of the character traveled through time, so she’s still around, but doesn’t remember being part of the team, nor does she want to be.

The new adventure kicks off when Rocket is attacked by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter), the newly-created “son” of the vindictive High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) of the Sovereign race, who wants revenge on Rocket for stealing from her back in “Vol. 2.” And Adam just goes right on the attack, driving the small target through a wall at first sight. It’s a nice change of pace from recent MCU outings where the villain tries to introduce themselves dramatically and the hero makes fun of them (looking at you, M.O.D.A.K.). Rocket can’t be healed without information about his artificial biology, so Star-Lord leads a mission to his furry friend’s planet of origin to steal his records. Gamora, now a space pirate, comes along, but only because she’s promised a fee. Star-Lord knows the mission is about helping Rocket, but he can’t help but get distracted by the possibility that spending time with Gamora will make her fall in love with him again. She’s not receptive to the idea.

Robert Garver is a graduate of the Cinema Studies program at New York University. He has been a published movie reviewer since 2006. A full collection of reviews can be found online at


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