Australian Council on Children and the Media

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

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The film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rated (M) is not suitable for children under thirteen years of age. (Sci-fi action and violence, sexual references, coarse language and fantasy themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • a review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 5 May 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable
Children13 and over Suitable for this age groupp

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Contains sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.
Length 136 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 begins with a flashback to 1980 where a young man and woman,  obviously in love, are driving along the open road. The man and woman are then seen standing in a forest with the man holding an alien device emitting tendrils of light and energy. The man places the device on the floor of the forest and the tendrils of light and energy appear to grow into the ground like tree roots.

The film fast forwards thirty odd years to find the Guardians of the Galaxy including Peter Quill/Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Salana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) and Baby Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) guarding precious power batteries for a race of golden aliens called the Sovereign. The Guardians have it on good authority that an inter-dimensional, energy-sucking beast will attempt to steal the Sovereign’s batteries. When the beast comes through the dimensional portal therefore, the Guardians are waiting and a ferocious battle erupts. The Guardians manage to defeat the beast, but Rocket, unbeknown to his friends, steals the very batteries the Guardians were meant to protect. This results in the full wrath of the Sovereign coming down on the heads of the Guardians. Just as the Sovereign are about to annihilate the Guardians, an unknown ship appears and attacks the Sovereign, destroying all their ships. The Guardians’ rescuer is Peter’s long lost father Ego (Kurt Russel), a celestial being who has been searching for Peter. Ego wants to take Peter to his home, a planet entirely of his own making.

At this point the film’s story splits into several directions with some Guardians travelling with Peter while others stay behind to undertake their own adventures involving their old friend Yondu (Michael Rooker). On Ego’s planet Peter and his friends meet a mysterious female alien named Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who has empathic powers. However, all is not as it appears and the Guardians are once again called upon to step up and save the lives of every being in the galaxy.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Alien life forms; space travel; family; relationships; sibling rivalry; reconciliation; diversity; celestial life forms; child abuse/mutilation; ethics and codes of honour; exile/exclusion; genocide; patricide.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contains extended sequences of intense sci-fi action, violence and peril throughout, including: gun and hand weapon related violence, the depiction of multiple/mass violent alien deaths/murders and injuries, and the occasional depiction of alien blood and gore. It also includes occasional comical and slapstick style violence.

Examples include:

  • One scene depicts a space battle between a single large ship and dozens of smaller ships. Laser fire is exchanged and several of the smaller ships explode in flames; we learn that the destroyed ships were controlled remotely with no loss of life. The larger ship then flies into a field of flaming asteroids with dozens of smaller ships in close pursuit. The larger ship perilously dodges the flaming asteroids while numerous smaller ships explode in flames as they collide with asteroids. More explosions occur resulting in the ship crashlanding on a planet.
  • A woman says to a man that if his father turns out to be evil they can kill him.
  • A woman tells another woman that if she tries to touch her, the only thing she will feel is a broken face.
  • We hear a woman say that she wanted to hurt her father like a dog and kill him piece by piece.
  • Dozens of alien warriors are shot by hundreds of small poisonous darts; we see dozens of darts sticking out of the faces and bodies of the alien warriors just before they collapse to the ground.
  • An explosion is set off causing many alien warriors to be hurled a hundred feet up into the air, we see the event in slow motion before the warriors all come tumbling down. The act is repeated several times with warriors thrown up into the air each time.
  • A racoon-like alien creature attaches devices to the head of several dozen warriors and then activates the devices electrocuting the warriors; we see tendrils of electricity/lightning bolts connecting each of the warriors.  
  • A man with a bloody mouth is seen being dragged along the ground by two warriors and thrown into an airlock with the man sucked out into space; we see his skin change colour and take on a petrified appearance as he floats in space. We then see a background shot and see dozens of other men floating dead in space.
  • One scene depicts an extended stylised fight between two humanoid alien sisters (including the use of swords) with both sisters punching, kicking, strangling, stabbing and slashing at each other. When one sister falls off a cliff, the other sister rescues her, pulling her to safety.
  • We hear an alien woman describe how she had been abused and mutilated by her father who had her eye pulled out and her brain pulled from her skull. The alien woman says that every time she failed her father he would take a part of her and replace it with a mechanical part.
  • A celestial being describes how he intends to destroy all life in the galaxy so that he can recreate the galaxy as he sees fit.
  • When enraged, a man tries to kill his own father repeatedly shooting him until only an animated skeleton remains.
  • A man attacks his father smashing him with a large rock; the man brings the rock down on top of his father but no blood or gore is depicted. We then see the two men, both with super powers slugging it out and throwing each other through the air.
  • A giant brain that lies at the centre of a planet is destroyed by an explosion, which causes the planet to disintegrate into flames.
  • In one emotionally intense scene, a man sacrifices his life in order to save another man’s life. To escape an exploding planet, one man gives another man a protective suit and then lifts the man from the surface of the planet flinging him into space. The first man dies in the vacuum of space.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are many scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

The film contains a wide variety of humanoid alien characters who are very scary looking including:

  • Muscle-bound, blue skinned alien men with scar covered faces and bodies. Their mouths are full of broken and jagged teeth.
  • An alien has an electronic device, that somewhat resembles a rooster’s comb embedded into the top of his head. At one point during the film, the comb is violently knocked from the top of the man’s head revealing a smoking hole with protruding wires on top.
  • A female alien character has green skin and decorative facial scars. One female alien character is a cyborg with a patchwork of different materials for her face and head. Her eyes are large black orbs and her arms are mechanical.
  • A female alien has slug-like facial features, large black orbs for eyes and antennas at the top of her forehead.
  • A race of aliens has gold skin and hair.
  • One muscle-bound humanoid alien has a baldhead and red patterned scarring covering his entire torso.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • An alien with a human appearance is repeatedly shot by a laser, which burns away the flesh revealing the skeleton beneath; we see the skeleton with partial muscle development engulfed in flame walking about as if uninjured.
  • One scene depicts an explosion with a man catching fire and burning; we see the man’s face which resemble a mass of burnt flesh.
  • One scene depicts the crew of a space ship with their faces and heads physically distorting, changing shape, reforming and then changing shape again.
  • An alien man with a face covered in scars, squashes a large spider on a post, picks it up and eats it; we hear crunching sounds as the man eats the spider and see black gore running out of the alien’s mouth.
  • One scene depicts hundreds of thousands of what look like human and alien skulls piled up like a mountain.
  • In one scene the film’s human character is impaled through the chest with a spike of energy that tethers the man to a machine designed to harness the character’s power. We then see other tendrils of light impaled into the man’s head with the man lifted up into the air and attached to a machine like a human battery.
  • In one scene we see images of the centre of a planet, which appears as a network of electrified spider webs with a giant human-like, pulsating, electrified brain at the centre.  
  • One scene depicts an extended and intense battle between the five Guardians of The Galaxy and a dinosaur-sized inter-dimensional creature, which is most fearsome and deadly. The creature has a gigantic gaping maw filled with multiple rows of large pointy teeth and multiple tentacles. It uses these to ensnare the Guardians, lift them up into the air and smash them against the ground. This is sometimes done in a comical and slapstick manner.
  • The beast repeatedly vomits blue fire/energy at the Guardians causing explosions and destruction in all directions while members of the Guardians fly around on booster rockets, firing their own laser weapons at the beast.
  • A Guardian runs at the creature and then leaps into the creature’s maw to be swallowed whole. A brief moment latter we see the swallowed Guardian inside the creature’s stomach hacking at the creature’s inside with two large knives.
  • Another Guardian leaps at the creature’s throat and impales the creature with a sword. She then slides down the creature’s neck dragging her sword behind her while slicing open the creature’s throat at the same time.
  • Copious amounts of green slime/blood gush out of the wound as the creature collapses to the ground; no Guardians are injured.
  • A man and woman in spacesuits jump out of the back of a spaceship in order to fix damage done to the ship. While they are tethered to the ship they are shown being violently dragged along through space.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Children in this age group could still be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • No additional material.

 

Product placement

  • No product placement of concern.

Sexual references

The film contains a number of covert and overt sexual references throughout. Examples include:

  • When a muscle-bound warrior is asked why he isn’t wearing a rocket pack he responds that he can’t because he has sensitive nipples.
  • An alien woman explains how her race is made in birthing pods (no sexual activity) to which a human man responds that he prefers the old fashion way (sexual activity). The alien woman then asks the man if he could give her a demonstration for academic purposes to which the man responds “gladly”. In a later scene the man apologises to another alien woman saying that he wasn’t flirting with the other woman.
  • In relation to refraining from engaging in an activity a male alien say “It would make my nether regions engorged”.
  • An alien woman says to a human male and an alien male “Either of you could have flown us through the asteroid field had you flown with your head rather than what’s between your legs”. To which the human man responds “f what’s between my legs had a hand on it I guarantee I could have landed this ship”.  
  • An alien woman with empathic abilities tells a man that he has romantic sexual feelings for another woman.
  • A celestial being is asked if he made a penis for himself to which he responds, “yes I have a penis and all the accompanying junk”.
  • A human man and an alien woman talk about having sexual feelings for each other.
  • An alien man says to an alien woman, “I’m sorry but I need a woman with some meat on her bones”.

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains occasional very mild sexual activity and images relating to sexual activity. Examples include:

  • In a couple of scenes we see a man and a woman kiss passionately on the mouth.
  • No nudity but throughout the film we see human and alien men with bare muscle-bound torsos. In a few scenes we see women wearing revealing low-cut tops and bikini style underwear in a sensual manner.
  • A man is seen standing in a room with a woman dressed as a prostitute in the background. The man, who is bare-chested, is fastening his belt, suggesting that the man had just engaged in sexual activity. The prostitute touches the side of her head switching herself off as if she were an android; the inference being that she is a sexual toy or sex doll. We then see dozens of alien men with their arms around the waists of similar looking android sex dolls.
  • A celestial being tells how he made it his purpose to impregnate as many alien women as he could in order to pass on his powers. We see photographic images of a human woman heavily pregnant as well as a host of heavily pregnant alien women all impregnated by the same celestial being.

Use of substances

  • A couple of bar scenes in which we see brief images of humanoids drinking alcohol.

Coarse language

The film contains some medium level coarse language and name calling scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • Douche bags
  • Damn
  • Hell
  • Oh God
  • Sucks
  • Son of a bitch
  • Take a wiz
  • Dick
  • Arse
  • Arsehole
  • Shit
  • Freaking
  • Pissing off

Some name calling such as:

  • Pathetic;
  • Dumb Arse
  • Triangle faced monkey;
  • Blue idiot;
  • Stupid;
  • Bug lady;
  • Bunch of jerks
  • Drama queen.

In a nutshell

The film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 rated (M) is a sci-fi, action, adventure film that targets adolescents, adults and fans of Marvel Comics. The film contains some classic tracks from the 1970’s as well as lots of action and stunning CGI. Vol. 2 spends more time on character development than Vol. 1 with each of the film’s main characters given their own storyline within the film’s main story. However, this does result in moving between many stories, which requires the viewer’s full attention. In general, Vol. 2 is equal to Vol. 1 and should easily entertain its intended audience.    

The main messages from this movie are:

  • There is nothing wrong with being like everybody else, there’s no need to be special.
  • Sometimes what people are searching for their entire lives is right in front of them, they just don’t see it.
  • We all need a purpose to give life meaning.

 

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Selflessness: All of the Guardians of the Galaxy are prepared to sacrifice their lives for each other or the ‘greater good’.
  • The need to belong to a family: The five Guardians think of themselves as having a closer bond than friendship, each of them believing they are family rather than friends.
  • Codes of honour: the film’s less disreputable characters live by a code of honour, which is never broken.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Parents may wish to discuss with their children the importance of finding meaning in life, what that entails and how it relates to a happy and healthy life.

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