It should be said that “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3” is certainly trying to surprise the public with these images of animals in cages. This is a movie that opposes animal testing and wants to communicate to the public how horrible it is. James Gunn isn’t trying to get a laugh out of suffering animals. The fact that he experiments on animals is another facet of the High Evolutionary’s villainy.
Throughout “Vol. 3”, animals are seen in stacked cages, unhappy and unconscious, awaiting their fate. In a scene midway through the film, the High Evolutionary introduces a baby Rocket into a specialized evolution chamber that transforms the animals into intelligent humanoid versions of themselves. He reveals that the process tends to leave his subjects freakishly violent. He turns a turtle into a turtle person, then immediately incinerates her.
The High Evolutionary has also employed multiple test animals as his bodyguards. Eager to insert large pieces of machinery into his minions, he has outfitted an adult pig with a huge, noisy metal skeleton, leaving much of the pig’s interior exposed. The pig doesn’t appear to be in pain, but looks quite sick. If Jigsaw from the “Saw” movies could build a helper animal, he would look like the pig monster from “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3.” This isn’t so much a warning about animal cruelty imagery as a warning that this PG-13-rated superhero movie contains one of the scariest monster horror I’ve seen in years.