Overall, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is still a typical Marvel-style movie. The story follows the three-act structure of “crisis arises, adventure unfolds, crisis resolves.” It incorporates nostalgic pop music, humorous jokes, and grand action scenes, all familiar elements of superhero movies following the Marvel formula.
The contrast within this formula is that “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” does not focus on how the superheroes save the world. The film lacks the multiverse, complex character relationships, and overarching values and slogans. In this story, the world is irrelevant.
The narrative focus shifts inward, meticulously depicting how a group of broken individuals find themselves and embark on a journey of self-redemption. In this final chapter of the series, each character completes their own character arc, which is the most successful aspect of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
However, this nuanced and solid storytelling is becoming increasingly rare in Marvel films. As Marvel movies grow larger and bloated, they also become increasingly sloppy and hollow.
The overarching theme of superhero movies is “saving,” often in a personal-heroic style. Marvel’s success lies in creating a variety of distinctive superhero characters and finding a family-friendly narrative approach for this theme.
But from “Iron Man” to “Avengers: Endgame,” Marvel has used dozens of films to explore the same theme of “saving,” exhausting almost all possibilities of that theme.