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MOVIE REVIEW

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also known as “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” “A galaxis őrzői vol. 2.,” “Galaksinin Koruyuculari 2,” “Galaktikos sergetojai 2,” “Guardianes de la Galaxia Vol. 2,” “Guardianes de la galaxia 2,” “Guardianes de la galaxia Vol. 2,” “Guardiani della Galassia Vol. 2,” “Guardiões da Galáxia 2,” “Guardiões da Galáxia Vol. 2,” “Les gardiens de la galaxie 2,” “Strażnicy Galaktyki vol. 2,” “Čuvari Galaksije vol. 2”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Superhero Fantasy Action Adventure Adaptation Sequel 3D IMAX
Length:
2 hr. 17 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
May 5, 2017 (wide—4,347 theaters)
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

questions and answers about the origin of life

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring: Chris PrattPeter Quill / Star-Lord, half-human, half-alien leader of the Guardians
Zoe SaldanaGamora
Dave Bautista … Drax the Destroyer
Vin DieselBaby Groot (voice)
Bradley CooperRocket (voice)
Michael Rooker … Yondu Udonta
Karen Gillan … Nebula
Pom Klementieff … Mantis
Sylvester StalloneStakar Ogord
Kurt RussellEgo, an ancient and mysterious cosmic being who is Peter Quill’s father and raised Mantis
Glenn CloseNova Prime
See all »
Director: James Gunn—“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” (2014—PG-13), “Slither (2006—R), “Super” (2010—R), Producer/Writer: “The Belko Experiment” (2016—R)
Producer: Kevin Feige
Marvel Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Prequel: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” (2014)

The Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), are summoned to the aid of an alien race known as “The Sovereigns,” because the elitist beings simply don’t wish to get their own hands dirty dealing with a threat. As in the previous film, Quill’s team fights to the tune of an 80’s song, but the action takes a backseat almost entirely to their youngest member, Baby Groot, who dominates the scene. The humor amidst imminent peril was a staple of the first film, and Director James Gunn reminds us early on that this film does not take itself seriously and encourages viewers to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Whether or not he succeeds is up for debate.

The Sovereigns hand over, as payment for their success, Gamora’s sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan), but as the Guardian’s leave their planet they discover that Rocket Raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) has stolen from them, and the once grateful aliens are now their sworn enemies and a battle in space ensues.

Soon after, they meet up with Ego (Kurt Russell), a man who claims to be Quill’s missing father who has been searching for him for decades. Bringing them to his home planet, during which the song “My Sweet Lord” is heard (keep that in mind for the discussion later in this analysis), Ego shows his son a monument he has erected to commemorate his time on Earth with Peter’s mother 34-years ago. Quill finally has the father figure he has been looking for, but, with determined enemies like Yondu the Ravager (Michael Rooker) and the Sovereign High Priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) closing in, his happiness will be short-lived.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” has doubled down on three of the things people enjoyed most from the first film: humor, campiness and Baby Groot. A less balanced film than its predecessor, it also has much content that viewers should be aware of…

Objectionable Content

Language: Moderate. Curses heard include: d*ck (2), p*nis (2), scrot** (1), hook-up (1—meant sexually), sh*t (4), cr*p (2), t*rd (3), a**-h*** (2), a** (5), h*ll (7), d*mn (4), piss*** (1), SOB (2). “Fox” is shouted once deliberately to sound like the F-word, and this was confirmed with others there that likewise jumped to the same conclusion. More importantly, the Lord’s name is taken in vain 4 times: Oh G** (1), Oh my G** (2), and G*d (1).

Sex/Nudity: Moderately heavy, but brief. Peter Quill is seen topless, and Drax is always bare-chested. Ego’s 3D dioramas all show him in clothed embrace kissing his loves long past. While visiting a pleasure stop with his crew, Yondu is seen buttoning his pants after spending time with what appears to be mechanical prostitutes. If the intention of this “shore leave” is not obvious to children, it is strongly implied by the cleavage-baring alien prostitutes outside, busily enticing the crew—although no overt sexual acts are shown. Rocket mockingly says, “My nipples hurt.” In a conversation that mentions The Sovereign’s non-sexual method of reproduction, Peter says something about the “old-fashioned way of doing that,” and Ayesha suggests that maybe someday he can show her that way. Ego and Peter’s future mother are shown kissing. (Afterward, there is a shot of traveling through some sort of tunnel, possibly symbolizing the sexual creation of Peter.) There is sexual talk and innuendo, including: “Would make my nether regions engorged,” “fly with what’s between your legs,” “…out of luck until you’ve gone duck,” “you feel love of a sexual nature,” and “…the day my father impregnated my mother.”

All of the above makes the film inappropriate for children—not a positive one for Christians, if we truly heed the Bible as we should.

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” —Ephesians 5:4

Violence: Very Heavy. The Sovereigns pilot their ships remotely, so none of them are killed when their ships are destroyed—although the rest of the film is an entirely different matter. People are seen being shot, propelled upwards by anti-gravity bursts, only to come crashing down again and again, cut down by blades, killed by being tossed into the cold vacuum of space, burned alive, exploded, crushed by debris, shot by darts, shot in the head and through the body. Thousands are seen overwhelmed and buried in an avalanche of alien matter. Even Baby Groot is seen throwing someone to their death (implied). This last instance is played for a laugh, and the audience is expected to cheer, as perhaps as many as a hundred pirates are seen being killed by Yondu’s whistle-controlled weapon.

In addition to some torture, there is also a scene of humiliation that is heaped upon Baby Groot that the audience is expected to accept as a justifiable reason for his eventual revenge. Faces and bodies are twisted and misshapen by hyper-space jumps in space, and a detached eye (prosthesis) and a severed toe are also featured. The gratuitous violence shown in this and other action films has the effect of numbing viewers’ sensibilities, and I encourage, at the very least, that parents of children and pre-teens not be allowed to view this movie, no matter how much they ask.

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

There are some positive themes explored throughout, such as codes of conduct, self-sacrifice, friendship and family, but these are all in the dysfunctional realm of thieves, pirates and mercenaries, that also applies to the Guardians to a certain extent, albeit begrudgingly. The Guardians enjoy and celebrate their lawlessness. The Word of God speaks clearly to all of the vices shown in this film.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” —1 Corinthians 6:9-10

However, make no mistake, the greatest evil represented in this film is portrayed by the character of Ego himself, who claims to have created the world they stand on, in fact to be the living embodiment of his own creation. Ego describes his godhood as a series of steps including: existing for as long as he can remember, becoming aware, feeling alone in the universe, creating the world around him over the course of 25 million years. Later, he decides, “I wanted to know what it was like to be human…,” and so he left his world to end his loneliness and produce a son. This son (of god) would be Peter Quill, who at 33-years of age would be reunited with his father and be rejoined to the light of his creation.

The director’s characterization of Ego as an immortal, life-creating god is implicit, however, in my view, he is actually an archetype of the devil or Satan himself. Ego has been to our world, just as Satan according to the Word.

“The LORD said to Satan, ‘From where have you come?’ Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it’.” —Job 1:7

For the record, in the comics, Ego is not usually personified as a man, but as a living planet with delusions of godhood. In “Guardians…,” he describes himself as a “Celestial” being, just as we were warned about the very real devil in Holy Scripture.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” —2 Corinthians 11:14

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” —1 Peter 5:8

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” —Ephesians 6:12

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a flawed sequel—and not just because of its spiritual content. Character development is minimal, the plot lines are mere place setters for upcoming battles, and the multiple and concurrent family issues (Peter and Ego, Gamora and Nebula, Drax and his daughter, Mantis and her master) feel contrived.

The campiness and humor that was endearing in the first film is ramped up to excess in several scenes that demanded some judicious editing, with the end result being, perhaps, the slickest looking B-movie you may ever see, but perhaps that was the intent. Frequently fun, more often uninspired and defiantly blasphemous (by design, in my opinion), I cannot recommend this film for family viewing.

Violence: Very Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderately heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I don’t see the reason for all the negativity. I went to see the movie. and I absolutely loved it. Very fast-paced and action-packed and adventure, even humor, found in the movie. I heard very little swearing and sexual content, but I adored the movie. I say disregard every review of this movie so far, I had a blast watching this with my family, and I loved the mild content…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Chris, age 27 (USA)
Positive—I will mark *spoilers* if I am about to mention one (which I need to for this review). So, we loved the first one and naturally wanted to see this one. Though I was worried it wouldn’t be as good. Turns out I was wrong. It’s possibly even better than the first one in many ways. The acting, story, music, comedy, stunning visuals… etc is amazing. And my wife enjoyed it even more, because not being from America, she didn’t understand all the jokes in the first one.

This one had a bit less 80s references, which is probably why she got it more. But as with most of my reviews, I’m mainly here to talk about the negatives in the movie from a Christian view.

For starters, this really isn’t a movie for little kids. Teens would be okay for it. So here are the things you should know.

1. *spoilers for this number 1* For kids or Christians are newer or maybe early in their faith, there is a villain in this movie named “Ego”. Which implies what he’s like. In short you will find out he’s essentially a god in the Marvel universe. He was just a “brain” who eventually harnessed the ability to make things. So he made a planet, he made himself in human form and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of talk from him that for lack of better words kind of makes it out like he’s a creator like our one and only God is. And to those who are young or early in their faith it may add confusion or bring up questions that could be harmful to their faith. So for this reason alone I’d say be careful. We were not offended by it because we know its just a movie and we know the truth obviously. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Matt S, age 31 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—Finally, the highly anticipated sequel of the big surprise hit of 2014 from Marvel is here. Throwing us immediately into this colourful world with fantastic retro-music, we are reunited with our unlikely team of antiheroes, their comedic banter and exciting space action scenes. All the ingredients are there to start a new amazing space adventure! Alas, after the opening act, the director takes a more dramatic turn to focus on character development, rather than expanding the world, an unexpected tonal shift complemented by non-stop jokes, which unfortunately drags until the end of the movie.

Despite its limited screenplay with unnecessary characters and plotlines, the movie still entertains, not only with its humour and likeable characters, but also with some compelling emotional moments. Our heroes are, for the most, well fleshed-out with recurring themes of family and caring for one another, in opposition to selfish perfection and being the best.

Overall, unlike “Empire Strikes Back,” the final product clearly lacks the freshness and creativity of the original, far from reaching its full potential, closer a spin-off focusing on the main “couple” with everything else being a filler, an expensive direct-to-DVD sequel or the building-up first half of a two-part movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Nicolas, age 29 (United Kingdom)
Neutral—If you are the kind of person who enjoys a good bit of fun and irreverent humor, this is the movie for you. If you liked the first “Guardians” movie, and at least tolerated its sometimes offensive content, this one is more or less the same. This being a sequel, any semblance of a plot quickly disappears, and some of the jokes are stale this time around.

On the plus side, this film is more character-driven than the first; Michael Rooker’s blue space pirate Yondu gets a surprisingly good arc here, and the film develops his character, as well as a few others—more than the first. Since the story centers on Peter Quill meeting his biological father Ego (a god who bears a striking resemblance to Kurt Russell), there is a lot of focus on familial bonds. In a similar thread, one character makes the ultimate sacrifice for someone else, which makes for a moving ending.

All that said, there are quite a few cons. I won’t risk spoilers, but not everything about their relationship is positive; I’ll just leave it at that! These Guardians have major family issues (some of which get resolved in more peaceful ways, while others don’t). Peter’s dad, Ego, refers to himself as a “little g” god, but at the end of the day we see there’s really not much difference. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Josh, age 26 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Having seen the 1st movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, I had high hopes for the sequel, Vol. 2. But, it felt like someone turned off the light and turned on the darkness.

Without giving away any spoilers, Volume 2 has far too many profanities, too many sexual comments, an offensive brothel scene, and far too many personal conflicts accompanied by incessant yelling at each other.

Overall, it felt like a soap opera with overdone special effects that grew tiresome immediately after the opening credits completed.

The only reason I give it a ½ rating for film quality is because there is so much, it’s like putting sugar in a cup of coffee: no sugar is bitter; 1 or 2 teaspoons is just right; 10 teaspoons is way too much.

It is a movie that I am certain I will never watch a second time.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Fb, age 50+ (USA)
Negative—This movie was much more offensive than the 1st movie. It had a dark undertone and immorality throughout the movie. There was one scene that basically consisted of a brothel planet with scantily-cad robotic women and a clear indication of their purpose. There was plenty of foul language and suggestive scenes. To top it all off, there was the horrible-terrible plot that Ego was spawning across the galaxy and killing the children once they were brought to him. There were plenty of funny scenes that made me laugh, but too much immorality for me to recommend this movie to anyone. **Do not take children to this movie!!!**
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Arielle, age 29 (USA)
Negative—With all “super hero “movies, I approach them with the understanding that they are, by their very nature, ignorant of true salvation, and, at best, merely tales examining human motivations and emotions. This movie sequel, however, is far from moral or scriptural. It starts as a reasonable sci-fi comic book story, with action scenes clearly aimed at a 3D viewing audience, but quickly descends into a moral vacuum and keeps going till it becomes outright atheist propaganda.

Most newspaper reviews I’ve seen comment on the jokes (which to be fair are reasonably funny and mostly clean) and the eye pleasing special effects, but they also pick up on the not too subtle theme of “family,” however, it is not the Christian family unit that is represented, and they fail to mention the moral character of this dysfunctional family of “heroes” whose deceptive, greedy, thieving, violent, vengeful, and totally hedonistic actions are glorified without consequence.

What is most worrying, though, is the way the story and plot unfold to suggest that God is a being called Ego. That he will destroy the universe out of megalomania, and salvation will come in the form of a god-man, called StarLord, born of a woman on Earth, who must kill his creator in order to save the universe.

This is not a subtle attack on Christianity. It is blatant in its message that men are better off without God. I found all this very unsettling. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
KC, age 42 (United Kingdom)
Negative—I particularly did not like this movie for several reasons. It portrays parents as despots and disrespect as something cool. The main characters (that children and youth find their identity) portray practically nothing truly positive to imitate. The visual effects obviously have been well-crafted, but this is like trying to find something positive in a message given by Satan himself.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Adrian, age 52 (USA)
Negative—Terribly disappointing, given the hit status of the original film. So many coarse jokes about male body parts that I wouldn’t waste my time seeing this again—ever. It’s disappointing that the star would use God’s name in vain, as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
DH, age 50 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—I watched this movie opening night… While I thought the filmmaking was quite good (at least equal with the first), and I enjoyed the movie, for the most part, the overall poor morals of the film prompted me to give “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” a negative rating. The amount of bad language (mostly consisting of d*mn, a**, a-hole, d*ck and douchebag), and some mild to moderate suggestive dialogue (some of which are blatant “adult jokes” referencing a man’s genitals), alone make the movie offensive. Another thing, I might add, is that a good majority of the language and suggestive dialogue is spoken by the heroes themselves—not a very Christ-honoring example.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other clean, funny jokes and parts throughout the movie, especially where baby Groot was involved, and I found myself laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. I’m just disappointed they had to include some of the dirtier jokes that they did, at the movie’s expense.

As far as violence goes, there was nothing that was particularly gory in the movie, however, there is one part that stood out to me in which ***SPOILER*** Rocket Raccoon and Yondu slaughter an entire ship of mutinous men with the use of guns and a mind-controlled arrow while escaping with a light-hearted tune playing in the background *** END SPOILER***. Although violence of an action/fighting type doesn’t usually bother me too much, this one scene, which borders on mercilessness, in my opinion, and the portrayal of which seemed to make light of the violence, as if it was okay or even funny, was definitely not alright with me or in keeping with a biblical worldview.

The most concerning element in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” however, is that a newly introduced character named Ego claims to be a god and even created himself and other planets/life forms over millions of years. Although Ego is not implied to be omniscient or all-powerful, the strong threads of Evolution and Humanism that are present in his character and in the story itself are enough of a red flag to prompt Christians to think twice before accepting this movie as “harmless entertainment”. Another concerning thing about Ego’s character is that ***SPOILERS*** he is also a serial adulterer and is primarily focused on his selfish ambition of producing a progeny to help him overcome and rule the universe with and who also kills any unsuitable progeny along the way ***END SPOILERS***.

There is a lot more that I could say about this movie, and I could go into a lot more detail about how each character’s actions line up with the Bible and etcetera, but, for sake of time, I’m not going to go into them. Despite the movie’s many problems, I found the movie to be entertaining and oftentimes funny, but, at the same time, this is not a movie I can condone as good or wholesome from a biblical perspective. Neither is this a movie that I can recommend. If you do decide to go watch this movie, I suggest you use firm biblical discernment while viewing and take everything you see back to God’s Word. Due to the language, and especially adult humor, present in this movie, in addition to the thematic elements of Evolution and Humanism, I would also recommend that you leave children at home and use discernment when taking young or impressionable teens to this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
C.J., age 17 (USA)
Positive—My Aunt took my brother and I to seethis movie, and we thought that the movie was good, and the story line was good, too. I’m so thankful to God that it didn’t have any nudity in it. Also, I didn’t hear any f-word in it, either, so I’m giving this movie a 100.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Charlene (USA)
Negative—I must say, I was VERY disappointed by this movie. Like always, my family and I watched this movie when it was released on DVD, but I am happy to say we didn’t waste the money buying it. After renting it, we watched about the first half hour to forty-five minutes of it. We didn’t stop because of poor filmmaking quality, it was because of the below reasons. I praise God that we didn’t watch the whole thing!

Profanity: I didn’t take an exact count, but there was at least one moderately severe curse word every 2 minutes. Such profanities include: a**, d**k, h**l, d***e, s**k, and b***h. It took the Lord’s name in vain multiple times, and it has multiple uses of very coarse slang. And remember, this was during the first half-hour! See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Theran, age 14 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Movie Critics
…overlong and void of suspense… it's repetitious and for every good joke, there are two that don’t land. …
David Edelstein, “Fresh Air,” National Public Radio (NPR)
…Three reasons Walt Disney would be appalled by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”… 1. It has too much foul language. 2. It glorifies lawlessness. 3. It makes light of death. …completely unacceptable for younger viewers, so extreme caution is advised…
Editorial staff and Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…an adventure worth taking, and the number of moviegoers around the planet who will want to take it should prove awe-inspiring. But it doesn’t so much deepen the first ‘Guardians’ as offer a more strenuous dose of fun to achieve a lesser high. …
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…Most of [the] maverick mercenaries prove rather less charming the second time around; they’re like bickering family now and not in an amusing way. …First and foremost of these is Zoe Saldana’s green-skinned assassin Gamora, whose every line now seems barked out in an elevated state of annoyance. …
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…Alas, in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,’ the gag is starting to feel like it’s getting a bit old. It’s still a good Marvel movie (at times, a very good one), but it’s a come down from the dizzying highs of the first installment. The laughs are still there, but they’re less involuntary. …
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
…If you’re not already on the ‘Guardians’ train, of course, this follow-up isn’t going to win you over, nor will it appeal to those who demand that sequels attempt to offer the same jolts of unexpected pleasure that first chapters do. ‘Vol. 2’ is filler, to be sure, but if you like the flavor of these movies, you’ll enjoy this second bite. …
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
…the wonderful chemistry that drove the first film is diminished a bit here. …
Terri Schwartz, IGN