James Gunn Has R-Rated Response to ‘Guardians 3’ Haters

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James Gunn SDCC DCU comic con sag-aftra

Credit: Flickr

Tell us how you really feel—Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) director James Gunn has some strong words for critics of his latest Marvel collaboration.

The Guardians walk into battle
Credit: Marvel

The third and final installment in Gunn’s Guardians trilogy, Vol. 3, finally arrived in theaters on May 5, 2023. So far, the movie has received widespread acclaim from fans and critics, with some even deeming it the best MCU project since Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Picking up sometime after the events of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022), the final chapter in Gunn’s trilogy sees Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord in the throes of grief after the death of his girlfriend, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

The Guardians stare ahead
Credit: Marvel

However, Peter has to get himself together to save his friend, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), after he’s wounded by Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). With the help of Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (Vin Diesel), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), the titular team of ragtag heroes goes face-to-face with the villainous High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), unveiling his nefarious plans along the way.

High Evolutionary Reveal
Credit: Marvel Studios

Although Vol. 3 seems to be nothing short of Gunn’s Swan Song, weirdly enough, it has the rather unfortunate record of having the lowest-rated Guardians movie by critics on Rotten Tomatoes while simultaneously holding the second-best MCU audience score of 96%.

Reception has been overwhelmingly positive, but the slim margin of viewers who weren’t entirely dazzled by the film are flocking to social media to speak their minds—and Gunn is firing back.

Zoe Saldana as Gamora (left), Chris Pratt as Star-Lord (middle), and James Gunn (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

On Instagram, Gunn bluntly responded to a critic who was less than impressed with Vol. 3. Commenting on one of the director’s posts, one fan asked: “Why did you play it safe with this one man?”

This prompted the director to respond with a surprisingly NSFW comeback, simply saying, “You got to be fucking kidding me.”

Historically, Gunn hasn’t shied away from sharing his thoughts on social media, and he’s been particularly active online following the release of Vol. 3. Up until now, his interactions with fans have been mostly positive, celebrating the release of the film and sharing funny behind-the-scenes clips of the cast.

James Gunn SDCC
Credit: Flickr

However, Gunn has been vocal about accusations against him in the past, especially pertaining to his new role at DC Studios. Back in March, a fan bombarded Gunn on Twitter with accusations, calling him a “professional liar” for his remarks about a Ben Affleck-directed superhero flick.

Clapping back, Gunn doubled down his earlier comments, emphasizing his “commitment to the fans” and reaffirming that he would “never lie to them”:

Compared to this Twitter feud, it’s hard to say what exactly was so offensive about one fan’s review of Vol. 3 and what prompted Gunn to drop the “F-bomb” on some generally lighthearted criticism. 

However, Gunn has spoken about his appreciation of the movie, particularly the performances of its main actors. Considering this, it’s unsurprising that he could come to Vol. 3‘s defense—especially in light of audiences’ consistently positive reviews.

James Gunn sits with the Guardians
Credit: @JamesGunn via Twitter

Blasting Vol. 3 for being “safe” and not taking risks also seems unfair to the film, which fans have widely agreed is a standout amongst other MCU installations thanks to its action sequences, at times brutal violence, and overall darker narrative. 

Hopefully, Gunn has silenced the haters for good.

What did you think of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Are fans’ critiques valid, or do you think James Gunn is right to double down on his defense of the film? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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