Before blasting their way into cinemas next summer, one of your favorite galactic superhero teams pops up on Disney in The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special. Franchise regular James Gunn writes and directs the special.
Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gilan), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) are enjoying life after bidding farewell to Thor. Realizing it's the holidays and wanting to celebrate, Kraglin (Sean Gunn) hastily warns the group about celebrating Christmas since Yondu (Michael Rooker) spoiled the holiday for Peter as a teenager. Knowing that he's still in mourning over Gamora, Mantis and Drax set out to give Quill the perfect gift, Kevin Bacon.
My review for The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special will be brief as I don't want to delve too deep into spoilers. One of the things that I commend James Gunn for with special is he uses two of the strongest secondary characters, Mantis and Drax, as the leads in the series. Pom Klementieff & Dave Bautista have sharp comedic timing as they have fish-out-of-water moments while in Hollywood.
I must point out to viewers that The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special has little action. However, the heart and vibe they were going for makeup for the lack of shootouts and fisticuffs. The fun gets even livelier when the group finally links up with Kevin Bacon, who is having a blast playing a version of himself. In essence, Gunn crafts the special as meta with moments that never come across as forced.
The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special is nowhere near as bad as The Star Wars Holiday Special. While I'm not deep into the Guardians lore, I didn't notice any plot points that will feature in Phase Five. Even the post-credit scene ends in a joking manner as opposed to giving us a big reveal. Gunn effectively evokes the spirits of the holiday specials we grew up on while staying true to his voice.
Now that Disney+ has successfully given us Holiday specials for Halloween and Christmas, I look forward to what they cook up next. I, for one, wouldn't mind something centered on Gabe Jones and Isaiah Bradley for Memorial Day 2023.
Final Grade: B+
The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream this Friday, November 25th, on Disney+.