Is the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movie kid-friendly?
Peter Quill/Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt, is an adventurer/thief who was kidnapped from Earth as a child in the 1980s. His favorite accessory is his Sony Walkman.
Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, is a trained assassin who also just happens to be the biggest bad guy in the universe's adopted daughter.
Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, is a raccoon with a bad temper and sick sense of humor, thanks to the traumatic experiments performed on him.
Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel, is a tree-like creature who is Rocket's friend and muscle. He only says three words- I, am, and Groot, and in that order.
Drax, played by Dave Bautista (WWE's Batista), is a maniac who wants revenge for the murder of his wife and child. He takes everything literally.
A movie featuring a talking raccoon has got to be kid-friendly, right? Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language."
First, the violence and action is basic for a superhero movie. There are numerous fight scenes, some hand-to-hand, some using weapons, even a little tree limb through bodies. In some, singe marks are left by electronic weapon devices, but there is little, if any, blood seen. At one point, the female lead is threatened, but another lead uses his quick thinking and reasoning skills to save her from the aggressor.
The foul language isn't overpowering, and most of it is said by the fore-mentioned raccoon. The f-word gets "bleeped" by an explosion, but the gesture seen in some trailers is present. (The bare back of the female lead seen in some trailers for the movie was not in the actual movie.)
The most intense moments for my 7-year-old were in the opening scenes. After the typical Disney opening in which the mother dies, the child (Peter Quill, the future Star Lord) is beamed up by an alien spacecraft.
A favorite moment was when the raccoon uses a bazooka-like gun to fight off attackers while standing on the tree-like creature's shoulder.
As a whole, the movie is actually relate-able fantasy for kids. The story is about a group of troublemakers who get caught, get punished, break out of their punishment, and end up doing some good that redeems them for their previous wrongdoings. When absolved, they even ask in a child-like way if they would get in trouble again for doing various bad things.
A great thing about the movie is it shows this group of anti-heroes learn to work together and overcome their differences to do what they know is the right thing to do. Even though they teamed up for all the wrong reasons and the promise of what they wanted was the only thing keeping them from killing each other, they become friends who protect each other. Two of the main characters risk their lives to save the others, and one dies doing so.
Although Guardians of the Galaxy is filled with humor and fighting, kids can learn valuable lessons about friendship and doing the right thing. It can be a great movie for kids used to seeing superhero films and television programs.
Note: Stay in your seats! There is an after credits scene featuring a character most parents may recognize from an 80's film based on a Marvel hero. This character is also briefly seen earlier in the movie, but is very easy to miss. Unlike most Marvel post-credits scenes, it does not appear to tease a future movie.
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© 2014 Samantha Sinclair