“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” is already tracking to be a box office hit, so there’s a good chance many families will be heading to the theater this weekend to see the latest Marvel superhero movie in theaters. This sequel to the 2014 hit is all about family, but parents might want to bear in mind the PG-13 rating before taking young kids to see it.
“Vol. 2” is much like its predecessor and reunites audiences with the same characters — Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a swashbuckling renegade-type also known as Star Lord; a smart-mouthed, genetically engineered raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper); green-skinned female warrior Gamora (Zoe Saldana); the brutish Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista); and the treelike creature Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), who is absolutely adorable this time around in toddler form. Now known as the Guardians of the Galaxy for saving the universe in the first movie, they accept assignments protecting others and objects for pay. Because this is a group of anti-heroes as much as heroes, Rocket steals some batteries they’ve been hired to protect, which sends the Guardians on the run, fleeing a star-fleet of angry royals. Rescued by Peter’s birth father Ego (Kurt Russell), the shipwrecked heroes bicker and fight like family, but when it seems Peter must make a choice between his blood relative and the family he chose, the universe is once again threatened.
So, what should parents know before heading to the theater?
Like the first film in this series, "Guardians" is more edgy and slapstick than many other Marvel films, including profanity (the S-word was uttered a few times) and some sexual innuendo. Rocket has a smart and sometimes foul mouth, slinging insults at other characters. There's also your standard comic-book movie violence, but very little gore. In one scene, Baby Groot is shown holding a severed and bloody toe. There is also quite a bit of potty humor, including a joke about the size of Drax’s poop.
The movie does have good messages about family, forgiveness, and teamwork, and like the first one, it's at times a really fun ride that was clearly intended more for adults than kids.
Bottom line: Consider your children's maturity levels and adhere the PG-13 rating, but if your family is looking for a fun sci-fi adventure and enjoyed the first movie, well, this one isn’t as good as the first, but it’s still plenty of fun. However, keep in mind it’s 2 hours and 15 minutes long, and some kids might get restless during it.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content and is now showing nationwide in theaters.