The third instalment in Marvel’s Guardians series sees the group battle-weary as they set up a new HQ on Knowhere. However, when a new cause arises to save Rocket’s life, the Guardians find themselves on a planet-hopping journey to find the genetic passcode. Along the way, the film delves into Rocket’s backstory, detailing his journey from infant guinea pig to genetically modified experiment, and offering a broadside against animal testing.
Despite the finality surrounding the film, the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 delivers a cosily familial ensemble. Karen Gillan’s Nebula stands out in particular, showcasing a surly cyborg with priceless comic timing.
The film’s tonal shifts could be tricky to negotiate for those solely wanting guilt-free popcorn entertainment, but the emotional weight and ethical conscience make it a rare franchise blockbuster. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be released in UK cinemas on May 3 and in US cinemas on May 5. For more on the MCU, check out our guide to all of the upcoming Marvel movies and shows on the way in 2023 and beyond.