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Here is Marvel’s best since Avengers: Endgame

Let’s talk Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. No, this is not a review. Although, if you want one, volume 3 is phenomenal; easily the finest installment in the trilogy, and the best film to come out of the MCU since Avengers: Endgame.

The hype is real. It has all the action and emotional payoff you want in a finale. But that does not matter right now. Did you follow the discussion surrounding Volume 3 before it came out?

While early critic reviews raved about the film, they also warned parents to keep their children away. Apparently, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 was too dark, and it would be a mistake to expose pre-teens to it.

But how true is that?

Volume 3 has a PG-13 rating. But what does that mean? A G-rated film does not include sex, violence, nudity, or coarse language, so everyone can watch it. PG stands for ‘Parental Guidance’. Everyone can still watch it, but the film has some violence, questionable language, and brief nudity. It won’t scar your children.

PG-13 is similar to PG, but it has some sexual situations, stronger language, and drug use. While it is not appropriate for children under 13, pre-teens can watch it with a parent or guardian. Cinemas rarely enforce this rule.

People think an R rating is the worst of the worst. They think R-rated films are entirely off-limits to anyone younger than 17 because of the intense graphic violence, nudity, and sexual content on display.

But that is not true. Like PG-13, an R-rating encourages parents and guardians to accompany viewers younger than 17. Otherwise, anyone can watch an R-rated film regardless of age. NC-17 is the only genuinely restrictive rating. Cinemas will prohibit viewers under 17 from watching an NC-17 film, regardless of whether or not they have parental guidance.

As you may have guessed, NC-17 films are typically pornographic. So, Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3. On the one hand, the film’s PG-13 rating is encouraging because all MCU films are PG-13. However, a PG-13 rating gives movies more room to misbehave than you think.

One example is Anchorman 2, which has a multitude of vulgar jokes despite its PG-13 rating. There’s also Drag Me To Hell, a gritty 2009 horror film with its fair share of disturbing imagery. Don’t allow Volume 3’s friendly rating to sway you.

Watch the film and make your own decision. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The biggest sticking point is the animal cruelty. If you have not seen Guardians 3, I’m about to reveal a minor spoiler.

Rocket takes center stage this time around. James Gunn shows you all the horrific things he suffered before he became the beloved character everyone knows today. Does Gunn succeed in conveying the barbarity of Rocket’s ordeal? Yes, he does.

He pulls at all the right heartstrings. But does he go too far? No, he doesn’t. After reading the early reviews, I expected a lot of cutting, drilling, and tearing of animal flesh. But the film implies the animal cruelty without actually showing it.

I also saw some critics complain that the film was relentlessly grim. I disagree. It is hilarious. Most of the jokes land, and it leaves audiences on a hopeful note. Is it darker than most MCU films?

Surprisingly, yes. Expect more crying than usual from the characters. But here’s the thing. You know your child better than anyone. I think my six- year-old nephew can handle it. But if your child is sensitive to implied animal cruelty, keep him or her away.


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