After the red carpet premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in Los Angeles last night, the review embargo for the latest MCU installment has expired and the first reviews of the film have been shared. It’s still very early in the process but so far the film seems to be continuing the recent trend of Phase 4 and 5 films not living up to the expectations of critics.
While some critics are hailing the film as a fitting conclusion to the Guardians trilogy (including our own Michael T. Ford III), others are seeing the film through a very different lens. Flickering Myth’s EJ Moreno called the film “a tonal mess that relies on Disney-style emotional manipulation” while Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson called Vol. 3 “an odd, lumbering patchwork of a film, occasionally fascinating but otherwise bloated and aimless” and an “awkward franchise finale.”
The very mixed and disparate reviews for the film are reminiscent of many of the studio’s post-Endgame films which have rarely been universally hailed as successes. Marvel Studios most recent theatrical release–and its first Phase 5 offereing–, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania compiled a franchise-worst 47% Rotten Tomatoes score and of the Phase 4 releases, only Spider-Man: No Way Home and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings resonated with critics in a way that the pre-Phase 4 releases did.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 84%
Thor: Love and Thunder 63%
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 74%
Spider-Man: No Way Home 93%
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 91%
Black Widow 79%
That said, it’s still very early in the game and Vol. 3’s score could still move quite a bit. While it’s unlikely to end up as high as 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy‘s 92%, it could end up comparing favorably to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s 85%.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes