As Marvel fans, we’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment over the last decade with introducing our kids to these stories; first watching at home, then as they got older, seeing them in theatres and witnessing them flip out with giddy excitement at character reveals and plot twists. But recently we realized: we’ve never watched all of them as a family, and certainly not in release order. And that’s left some gaps in their understanding of the relationships between all these heroes.
Thus, as a family, we pledged to embark upon an epic MCU rewatch before we see Avengers: Endgame in the theatre, and answer the all-important question: should you watch these with your kids?
ICYMI: read our thoughts on Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Three years after Guardians of the Galaxy became a surprise hit, we finally got a sequel. Although it can’t quite replicate the refreshing unexpectedness of the original, it’s a fun ride nonetheless, and ties up the story thread teased at the end of the first movie regarding Star-Lord’s parentage.
Renowned throughout the galaxy for their heroism, the Guardians – Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and an adorable baby offspring of Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) – have been hired by the Sovereign, a genetically-engineered race, to protect valuable batteries from an interdimensional monster. In exchange, the Sovereign turn over Gamora’s sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), who was captured trying to steal the batteries.
When Rocket also makes off with a few batteries, the Sovereign pursue the Guardians using drone ships; but a mysterious figure riding an egg-shaped spaceship destroys the drones. The Guardians crash-land on a nearby planet, where the figure reveals himself: it’s Ego (Kurt Russell), Star-Lord’s father.
Along with his companion, Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Ego invites them to come visit his planet. While Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora join Ego and Mantis in their spacecraft, Rocket stays behind with Nebula and Groot to repair the Milano after the crash landing.
Angered at the Guardians, the Sovereign hire Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravagers to hunt down our heroes in exchange for a bounty. They manage to capture Rocket and Groot, but when Yondu decides not to turn them over to the Sovereign, a faction of his crew want new leadership and with Nebula’s help they stage a mutiny. Meanwhile, on Ego’s planet, Gamora is coming to realize that Ego may have ulterior motives for seeking out his son.
Although at first glance the film seems like a skippable side adventure that doesn’t play an important factor in the bigger Infinity Stones arc, it does introduce us to Mantis, and the redemption of Nebula through this movie is key to the audience feeling sympathy for her in Avengers: Infinity War.
So, should you watch it with your kids? Yes. It’s a fun ride, and although the movie lags in pacing when the Guardians split up, the way they come together in the final battle is tremendous.
Bottom line: Fire up Netflix and settle in to enjoy this one with the whole family.