Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3 Is Rough For An Animal Lover

Rocket is seen with a scared expression on his face.

Image: Marvel

I’m a pretty casual Marvel fan who doesn’t read the comics, but I consider the Guardians of the Galaxy to be my favorite heroes in the comic book company’s universe these days. That being said, while I knew Rocket Raccoon’s backstory through the game adaptations, I was wholly unprepared for how brutal it would be in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3. This is a PSA to all the animal lovers out there: Be prepared for a rough time during Marvel’s latest found family space dramedy.

To keep this as spoiler-free as possible, we won’t go into specifics here about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe portrays Rocket’s story, but anyone who saw the original Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 knows a bit of what our walking, talking, raccoon friend went through before he met Star-Lord and company. Early in the first movie, Rocket gets in a drunken fight with Drax the Destroyer when he’s fed up with being called things like “vermin.” He reveals he’s the product of violent experimentation, but by who and to what ends is unclear.

“I didn’t ask to get made. I didn’t ask to be torn apart and put back together over and over, and turned into some little monster.”

Marvel / P9EH49 D8KO7K

If you’re not a comic book fan and mostly engage with the Marvel movies on their own, that’s all we’ve really known about where Rocket came from. However, his past is central to the plot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, and we spend a lot of the movie watching the Bradley Cooper-voiced hero grow up in a lab where he and other intelligent animals are subject to violent experimentation, and are constantly in a general state of distress. There are elements of animal body horror, abuse, and intense grief all centered around Rocket and his animal peers, and for a Marvel film, it can be hard to watch.

While we won’t deal in spoilers, it’s worth noting that if you’re a person who has a lot of trouble watching animals suffer, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 sits with this story for a great deal of its runtime. Maybe I’m just sensitive to this kind of thing having lost a pet recently, but I cried more than a few times watching Rocket’s story unfold. I really loved where the movie ended up in the end, but if you can’t watch Marley & Me because you don’t like seeing animals suffer, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 might not be for you. Be prepared.

Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Ending Had Florence Welch In Tears

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 punctuated the ending to arguably one of Marvel’s best trilogy films (don’t @ me) with an emotionally gratifying final needle drop that had its titular characters, the fans, and even the musician behind the song ugly-crying with happiness. Minor spoilers ahead.

Spoiler warning for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

On Monday, Florence Welch, the lead singer of the popular indie rock band Florence and the Machine, uploaded a TikTok video of herself reacting to her song “Dog Days Are Over”, which served as the final song in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. If you’ve already seen the film, which came out over the weekend, listening to the song likely had you grinning with glee through tear-filled eyes just like Welch, because it served as a spectacular send-off to the comic book heroes’ nine-year cinematic journey.

“So I cried all the way through this movie but when The Guardians of the Galaxy started dancing to ‘Dog Days’ I really lost it,” Welch wrote in her TikTok caption. “Thank you so much for all the love for this moment. The superhero-obsessed little girl in me can’t believe it happened.”

Read More: PSA: Animal Lovers, Brace Yourselves For Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3

Every Guardians movie has its perfect song

Each of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy films packs an emotional gut-punch with its poignant plotlines and an undeniably feel-good bop in its Awesome Mixes. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, we saw how Star-Lord’s relationship with his late mother affected his devil-may-care outlook on the universe and his place in it. In Vol. 2, we got to see how Star-Lord’s estranged relationship with his all-powerful father Ego didn’t define the man he could become. The first two movies accentuated key emotional beats with The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son,” respectively.

In Guardians 3, the camera took its focus off of Star-Lord and instead sheds some much-needed light on the trash-talking Rocket Raccoon, revealing how he came to be the standoffish anti-hero he is today. We’ll spare you any spoilers, but be warned, the two-hour and 30-minute movie does depict gruesome scenes of violence against animals while revealing Rocket’s harrowing backstory. But if you can get past that, the happiness emanating from Guardians 3’s finale will hit you like a train on a track, as Welch’s song puts it.

Read More: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 review: James Gunn’s trilogy ends with a big, brash blaze of glory

Guardians 3 outsold the Mario movie in its opening weekend

In non-crying-related news, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has rocketed past Nintendo and Illumination Studios’ Super Mario Bros. Movie’s opening weekend haul with a total of $282 million at the box office. For those keeping track, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, also starring actor Chris Pratt, made a total of $137 million during its three-day domestic opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

The dog days are over for Pratt as well, because after securing the Nintendo and Marvel bag, he’s coming for the Sony bag next year when he offers his voice to the sardonic orange cat, Garfield.

Correction 05/08/2023 Monday4:47 p.m.: Fixed a song attribution from the first movie.

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