The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special — Review

by KJ Proulx

Promotional Artwork for ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ [Credit: Disney+]

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been my favourite team to watch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since their introduction back in 2014. I love both films and have loved their appearances elsewhere as well. hearing that James Gunn would be writing and directing a Holiday Special just put a smile on my face and after viewing it, that’s exactly what it did. This is just a 45-minute special that’s meant for viewers to spend some quality time with these characters as the overall story warms your heart. For everything this special set out to do, it accomplished. If you like these characters, this is a must-watch.

After the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Star-Lord is still down about the death of Gamora. Wishing to do something nice for him, Drax and Mantis set out to give him the greatest Christmas gift of all time, which involves kidnapping Kevin Bacon. Harkening back to the first film, this scenario is much more fun when it’s put into the right context. Kevin Bacon is terrific as himself here and his presence is truly where the heartwarming aspects start. Without ruining anything, I will also say that a specific scene between Star-Lord and Mantis is what made me nearly love this Holiday Special.

There’s not a lot of depth to anything happening here, which is why I can’t quite say that I loved it or that it’s amazing, but for it simply being a Christmas story, it’s pretty great. I laughed, teared up, and felt warm by the end, and honestly, that’s all I wanted from it. There are also some nice uses of 2D animation as flashbacks that really worked for me too. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is really the film you would get if you mashed up the Star Wars Holiday Special with the essence of a Hallmark film. It’s very self-aware of the film that it is, but it runs with it and never misses a beat.

By the end, I just felt that it wasn’t long enough. I was having such a good time with it and I understand it was only meant to be a short story, but I just didn’t want to stop smiling. I can’t recommend checking this out enough, especially if you have been missing these characters and enjoy Christmas films. I love both of those things so this mash-up really worked for me. Now streaming on Disney+, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is worth your time. There are a couple of nice twists here and there too that I will be looking forward to in the third Guardians of the Galaxy next year.

Rating: 4/5

Check out the trailer below:

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Film Lover First. Critic Second.

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