Is Guardians Of The Galaxy Okay For Kids?

[twitter]I’m not much for the summer tent pole movie season. Yknow, the big ‘popcorn’ films that are built around franchises, explosions, special effects, and not much of a plot. We see pretty much every animated movie with the kids, but it’s only recently we’ve been heading out to see live action ones.

After visiting with my wife’s brother on our trip to Vancouver last week, I was convinced to take the boys to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Friends had called it one of the best movies ever, it was dominating the box office, and my brother in law said it was absolutely hilarious.

Okay, we’ll go and make it a family night out.

Big mistake. Charlie was fearful from the start. Usually he’s excited to go to movies, but I guess he must have seen some commercials for this one or something, but he wasn’t keen. I convinced him a talking tree and racoon would be cool, and he came along. He lasted half an hour. He and Jen took off, got rain cheques, and then played at the LEGO store while Z and I watched.

Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy is fun. Yes, it’s goofy. The talking tree and racoon are fun characters, but the villains are dark. Dark. Dark. Dark.

The first scene features a dying mom (never a hit with a young boy) and sinister ritualizing villains. There are 3 ‘shit’ bombs sprinkled in the film, but that’s nothing the boys haven’t heard before. As with a summer blockbuster, there are many explosions and lots of guns, and while that sort of violence is very much tolerated by the editors, you don’t see a lot of the repercussions of the violence. A scene where the villain takes a hammer to a victim’s head, for example, has a cut away before impact.

So the film takes care to be appropriate for kids, just not 4 yr old kids. It was a stupid idea to bring Charlie, really. I didn’t let Zacharie watch Star Wars until he was 5. However, the rules always seem to slack for the next child. Dumb move, dad. Zacharie hung on through the dark beginning and by the half way point was chomping on his popcorn cheerfully and rolling with the punches.

I’m still not a tentpole fan, and while I enjoyed the movie, I wouldn’t call it a best ever entry. Zacharie at 7 was at the very bottom of the age appropriate level, really this would be a 9+ movie.

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  1. Brian August 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    And then there’s the humor. Definitely not of the sort that a 4yo would get. It’s like when my daughter watches Supernatural. So much of the good humor goes right over her head.

    Have you ever given Iron Giant a go? He might get that, though it is sort of sad and perilous at times …

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