Writing a Movie Review for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is kind of like critiquing your 7-year-old niece’s ballet recital. SURE you could say that it’s smugly self-aware, overly sentimental and too cutesy for it’s own good. You could even say that her performance is derivative of her last recital, but isn’t that the point? Aren’t we all coming back for Round 2 because we simply want MORE of what we got last time? That’s why I’m going to skip the nit-picking and just give Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 an “A.” I’ve already seen it twice and had so much stinking fun both times that I don’t even care about its imperfections. I suspect you don’t either but there is one question I am consistently asked about this movie:
Is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 okay for kids?
Well, GOTG2 is rated PG-13 but it IS more kid-friendly than it’s predecessor. There is mild profanity (no f-bombs) but I noticed far more swear-word substitutes this time, like “jerk” and “a-hole.” There is some sex-talk but it’s pretty sterile. I watched GOTG2 while sitting next to my 9-year-old daughter and never cringed once. That might say more about my parenting skills than anything, but at least it gives you a jumping-off point. There were far more penis jokes in this Guardians than I remember from the first, but they are also pretty tame…and seriously funny.
I think that the positive messages in GOTG2 outweigh any of the downsides. It focuses on the love and support we get from our families, whether they be biological or self-constructed. We are reminded that people who love each other still fight and that dysfunctional families are usually no less devoted. GOTG2 is hilarious (maybe even funnier than Vol. 1) but it has a sentimental side, too. I cried when I saw it (both times), and not just because Baby Groot can be heartbreaking.
On a technical note, I saw GOTG2 in IMAX 3D the first time and in regular 3D the second. My oldest daughter and I both were distracted by reflections in our IMAX glasses and I enjoyed the traditional 3D version far more. Keep that in mind if you’re unsure about spending extra money for extra technology.
The best thing about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 though, is how much fun I had sharing it with my kids. They were both so pumped to see it and raved about the movie the whole way home. The 13-year-old even started downloading songs from the soundtrack and any movie that turns my kid on to Fleetwood Mac is TOPS in my book. So yes, I feel that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Safe (enough) for Your Family and I genuinely hope you have as much fun watching it with your kids as I did with mine. Oh, and there are 5 (not so) secret scenes at the end of this one so stay until the screen goes black. Sorry, but forgo that bathroom break or you’ll miss the introduction of a pivotal new character!