Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Poster Image
Lots of laughs, thrills, tunes in slightly lesser sequel.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 136 minutes
 Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 57 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 99 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The Guardians are all about teamwork and redemption, the power of second chances, and the idea that family isn't limited to blood but can extend to the bonds and promises you make to people you care about and respect. Also a great lesson that although family/tribe/squad members might fight and disagree, they always have one another's backs. That said, the characters' motivations and actions aren't always 100 percent pure.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Guardians continue to be a group of flawed, roguish former outlaws. They're misfits with checkered pasts, but they ultimately make selfless decisions to protect one another and defend the universe. They're courageous and won't give up until they've vanquished threats to not just themselves but to the greater good. Gamora and Nebula aren't typical female superhero characters or sisters. Gamora finally apologizes for their upbringing and how she treated Nebula. Yondu is able to redeem himself for his mistakes and betrayals.

 

Violence

At one point it seems like the heroes will die, and (spoiler alert!) a popular character does die, so kids should be prepared for that. Hand-to-hand combat using guns, swords, and taser-like weapons. Lots of explosions, crashes, and tense, war-like space chases/battles in which a fleet of remotely controlled ships aims to shoot down the Guardians' ship. Frequent peril and danger; fights against huge, scary enemies. Many executions in which people are "spaced" (i.e. forced out of airlocks to die in the freezing cold of deep space). High body counts in a couple of sequences, particularly the scene with the executions and one with a special arrow that zips around, bloodily shooting through victims. Collateral damage as something begins to take over planets, destroying everything in its wake.

Sex

Peter's parents are shown kissing. The Ravagers are shown with scantily clad females (robots with human-like faces) who could be construed as prostitutes; some dance, while others sit on/with the pub/lounge's patrons. Continued romantic tension between Peter and Gamora, which leads to longing looks, a couple of almost kisses, and one moment in which an empath reveals that Peter has strong feelings for Gamora. Peter flirts with a high priestess by offering to show her how natural conception works. Drax wants to know about Ego and Meredith Quill's conception of Peter and recalls that his own father would annually tell the tale of Drax's conception. Drax and Mantis seem to share a connection that could lead to romance in future installments.

Language

Strong language isn't constant but includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn," several uses of "d--k" and "douchebag," "a--hole," "bitch," "son of a bitch," "idiot," "bastard," "crap," "prick," "jackass," "doofus," etc. More frequently, the words are said euphemistically, like "turd," "freakin'" or "a-holes."

Consumerism

Brands seen in the movie include Sony, Zune, Dairy Queen, and Ford. Lots of off-screen Guardians and Marvel merchandise available: apparel, figurines, video games, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Ravagers and others drink at a pub (and on their ship) -- some to the obvious point of drunkenness. One Ravager pours an alcoholic drink all over little Groot, who seems a tiny bit out of it afterward.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the adventures of Marvel's motley group of space outlaws first introduced in the smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Expect lots of interest from kids of all ages, but it's most appropriate for tweens and up. There's frequent fighting with weapons (swords, guns, and more), space chases/battles, executions that involve people being "spaced" (forced out of airlocks to die in the freezing cold of deep space), and more. Spoiler alert: A popular character dies. Language, while not frequent, can also be strong, with everything from "douche" and "d--k" to "s--t," "a--hole." There's a bit of drinking, characters have romantic tension, and a couple of scenes show scantily clad females; there are also references to explaining conception. But all in all, it's still a bit less edgy than many other superhero movies. Plus, unlike the Avengers, the Guardians always fight together and exemplify the spirit of teamwork, friendship, and unconditional chosen-family bonds.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAndi G. May 5, 2017

High sexual overtones take away from what could have been great message!

I feel like I must be living in the Stone Age! My husband and I preview each movie before we allow our children to watch it. We have a daughter who is 13 and a... Continue reading
Adult Written bySerio Vitium V. May 5, 2017

Not for the younger set

A bit about me: I am the quintessential comic geek. So I've been waiting for this sequel with anticipation. I left the theatre disappointed. It's defi... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDswagMishafoo May 4, 2017

Wow! Common Sense Media Seriously underated this title

This movie was not only absolutely filled with curse words, it had a slew of jokes unfit for anyone under sixteen (unfit for anyone at all really.) As Christian... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byOwen007 May 5, 2017

GOTG vol 2 is a worthy sequel to the original despite it being not as good

GOTG vol 2 is a great movie! Great acting, humour, action, story. This movie is funny than the first, I have never laughed so hard in the cinema. The special e... Continue reading

What's the story?

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 continues the story of the misfit band of space outlaws who originally banded together to save the universe in the first film. But instead of starting in 1988, it begins in 1980, when a space man (CGI-young Kurt Russell) woos Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock). (Possible spoilers ahead!) Thirty-four years later, their son -- half human/half "star man" former smuggler Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) -- is with his fellow Guardians: former assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana); genius, genetically modified Rocket, who refuses to admit he's a raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper); tree-like baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel); and literal-speaking Drax (Dave Bautista). After a mission for the Sovereign -- high-tech, genetically engineered aliens who believe themselves superior to everyone else -- goes sour, the Guardians barely escape and are forced to crash. They meet a mysterious man, Ego (Russell), who helps them and announces that he's Peter's long-lost father. Ego, who has a bug-like empath sidekick named Mantis (Pom Klementieff), guides Peter, Gamora, and Drax to his home planet, where he reveals that he's an immortal celestial being with superpowers that can create -- or destroy -- worlds. Meanwhile, the Sovereign's high priestess, Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), hires Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravager crew to retrieve the Guardians for her to execute -- but Yondu's fondness for Peter leads to a mutiny.

Is it any good?

Marvel's favorite motley crew of reformed outlaws is back for another space adventure full of classic tunes, epic battles, and charming comedy. While it isn't quite as awesome as the original, that doesn't mean Vol. 2 isn't good. Set to the soundtrack of Meredith Quill's Awesome Mix Tape #2, which she bequeathed to her beloved young Peter, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 moves the group's story forward -- primarily for the orphaned Star Lord, who's always wondered exactly who his Star Man dad was and why he left him and his mother behind on Earth. Russell is an ideal pick to play Ego, the celestial god (lowercase "g") who hired Yondu to bring his son to him 26 years earlier. Without getting into specifics, this father-son dynamic, in classic Marvel origin-story style, is the driving force behind the tension and action in the second half of the movie. It just isn't quite as interesting or funny or as the original's "assembling the Guardians" storyline. Father issues, of course, run rampant in superhero worlds, and the Guardians are no exception, whether they're missing the lack of one, bemoaning an evil one, or, in the case of Drax, mourning the father he used to be before his family was killed.

Speaking of fathers -- biological or otherwise -- Yondu, played by Rooker, is a standout supporting character in this installment. He and his magical arrow (and his straight-talking wisdom) are a highlight of the action and the dialogue. Yondu and Rocket enjoy a couple of meaningful conversations that depict their growth in a surprisingly touching way. Saldana and Pratt continue to exchange lingering looks as Peter and Gamora, but there's not a whole lot of romantic development, given that so many higher stakes are at play around them at nearly all times. This sequel passes the Bechdel Test thanks both to Gamora and Nebula's exchanges as sisters dealing with their abusive upbringing at the hands of evil Thanos and to new supporting player Mantis, even though most of her scenes are with Drax (who finds her laudably "hideous" and "repulsive," but in a "good way"). It almost goes without saying that Baby Groot steals the show with his big eyes and sweet demeanor. Even the Ravagers consider him "too adorable to kill." And then there's the music, which is once again a finely crafted compilation of '60s and '70s classics, with Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" and Looking Glass' "Brandy" being the most memorable. But there's plenty more awesomeness to enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about role models in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. How do they represent teamwork and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

  • How does Guardians of the Galaxy compare to other superhero stories? Do you prefer hero movies with just one major star and sidekicks, or do you think movies with groups are better, like The Avengers or Justice League?

  • Are all movies inspired by comic books created equal? Why do some stand out?

  • What did you think of the soundtrack to Vol. 2? Kids/teens: does the movie make you interested in music from the '60s and '70s?

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