The ‘Guardians’ trilogy comes to a conclusion with a very long (2 and ½ hours), very dark, and very emotional film that fits snuggly into the MCU while at the same time feeling very much like writer-director James Gunn’s stand-alone magnum opus. Chock-full of the Guardians’ wry humor, over-the-top visual effects, and Gunn’s trademark nuttiness, ‘Vol. 3’ is among the better Marvel films in recent years (up there with ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and ‘Shang-Chi’). Sure, a good half-hour (or more) could’ve been excised without any effect on the story, but with your heartstrings being tugged so much, it’s not really worth complaining about.

4/5 stars