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Guardians of the Galaxy 3’s ‘disturbing’ and ‘graphic’ scenes spark questions over age rating

Marvel fans have been questioning the age rating of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 over some of the film’s “disturbing” content.

The film, released this week, is the final entry in James Gunn’s MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) trilogy. It was given a 12A age rating in the UK, and a PG-13 rating in the US, which allow children to go and see it in cinemas.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 centres on the backstory of Bradley Cooper’s character, Rocket Raccoon, and the sinister High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) who experimented on him.

Mild spoilers follow for Guardians of the Galaxy...

The film features several scenes of supernatural animal abuse, with CGI-rendered animals given disfiguring mutations, and grotesque mechanical appendages.

Another sequence sees the Guardians visit the Orgosphere, an interstellar mass made entirely of fleshy organic matter.

Fans called out the “dark” and “gory” content on social media, with many suggesting the film should have been given a higher age rating.

“So Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 definitely earned its PG-13 rating and I would advise caution if you’re planning on taking kids under 13,” one viewer wrote. “It is violent, dark and brutal. They definitely push the PG-13 rating as far as possible. Disturbing imagery and thematic elements.”

“Just got back from Guardians 3 and it definitely pushes it’s rating,” another person wrote.

Zoe Saldaña in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel Studios)
Zoe Saldaña in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel Studios)

“Won’t go into spoilers but there’s animal cruelty, tons of violence, gore and quite alot of swearing for Disney/Marvel. Not for the very young or easily upset. Me and my 13 year old loved it.”

“Saw Guardians 3,” someone else wrote. “How the f*** did they get away with a 12 rating? If you've seen it you know exactly what scene is making me question this.”

Another fan commented: “Maybe it was just cause James Gunn is leaving the MCU, but it really felt like Guardians Vol 3 really pushed the boat out as far as rating/gore. By far the most expletive and graphic MCU project so far.”

Chris Pratt in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel/Disney)
Chris Pratt in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel/Disney)

As well as the visceral scenes, the film also included the MCU’s first ever utterance of the “f-word”.

The Independent’s film critic Clarisse Loughrey awarded it four stars, arguing that it was the best MCU entry in years.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is out in cinemas now.