You know what I love more than movies?
Free movies. Sneak preview movies. Movies that I can see before anyone else. And I especially love it when it’s appropriate for the whole family (since there are only three of us). So on Tuesday, July 29th, my wedding anniversary, we all headed out to see Guardians of the Galaxy.
But Evan is 7 years old and this movie is rated PG-13. I will admit that he’s a pretty mature 7. He’s reached that age where rated G is for little kids and rated PG is even a little mild (although I wouldn’t call Maleficent a mild PG). So I’ll go ahead and admit it. He’s seen some PG-13 movies.
In case you’re out of the ratings loop, here’s how things are rated these days:
I recognize that I’m strongly cautioned against PG-13 movies because my son is under the age of 13. And yes, sometimes some of it is inappropriate. But I think it depends on the child. And for Evan, superhero action movies that are rated PG-13 seem to be just fine for him (and all of us).
We’ve seen Ironman, Thor, The Avengers, and Captain America and we’re big fans of all of them. Yes, they’re violent and yes, there are some bad words. But for my son, I’m okay with it in this fantasy context.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest Marvel superhero flick that’s emerged with a PG-13 rating. Without hesitation, I asked if all three of us could attend the advanced screening. Evan and I had seen many previews during other kids’ movies so we were both prepared. My husband, however, admitted after the fact that he thought Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be like Rise of the Guardians.
This movie is not an animated feature although it almost could be. Honestly, there is so much computer animation that I can’t even imagine what a movie set looks like anymore. I’m sure there’s hair and makeup but I imagine a lot of green screens and stand-ins being used as placeholders for the movie.
If you accept this type of film as complete fantasy and know that computer animation is here to stay and here to make the movie going experience as experiential as possible, then you’ll be just fine with this movie. It’s great eye candy and the special effects are pretty cool.
As for the story itself, I thought it was a little hokey. It’s comic book fiction, of course, but the caricatures were definitely a bit cliched and even cheesy at times. The only thing more surprising was the high profile cast.
Zoe Saldana as Gamora (Loved her! She’s my new go-to sci fi chick!)
Bradley Cooper as Rocket (Wait, what? He’s a talking racoon?)
Vin Diesel as Groot (I loved Groot but if you can say three words, you can fill this role)
We also saw Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benecio del Toro. But at least we actually saw them.
And Chris Pratt as Peter Quill was just perfect in his misfit wannabe superhero role.
Now the big question. Should you take your kids to see Guardians of the Galaxy? And more importantly, should YOU go see Guardians of the Galaxy? You’ll be paying for it, after all.
I’m going to give it a thumbs up for grown-ups. Like I said, it was a little hokey for me but very entertaining. I wasn’t bored or restless for the 121 minute running time. And my husband really liked it. Then again, men like movies where stuff blows up.
As for the kids, it’s definitely a judgment call. For my mature 7 year old who has seen these types of movies, it was just fine. He laughed at all the right times, didn’t recoil at the scary bad dudes, and even giggled when some four letter words were used (never in anger, more for comedic effect).
If your kids are under 10, I’d heed the PG-13 warning and decided if it’s right for them and for you. But overall, it was a fun family movie where once again, good triumphed over evil. And isn’t that how it should always be?
P.S. If you haven’t see a preview for this movie, this is my probably the best trailer. Parents will definitely be jamming along to the old school tunes throughout the film.