The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special review: The hero Marvel needs, not the one it deserves 

A still from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Image via Disney)
A still from The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Image via Disney)

Amidst the chaotic and rapidly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, very rarely does a film or show like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special come along, which is absolutely not what the ever-expanding universe has envisioned for itself, but is perhaps everything this constantly piling catalog needs.

At 43 minutes, the television film is neither odd nor overwhelming, just good, old fashion fun, something that we haven't seen in a while from Marvel.

Looking back, it seems strange how deliberately light-hearted Marvel used to be, but with ambitions of building a sky-high empire, the Studio has drifted way too fondly in the other direction. While it is certainly no bad thing how well the MCU has arranged itself, it is, perhaps, only essential that a film like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special comes along every once in a while, maybe just to keep some breathing room.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special premiered on Disney+ on Friday, November 25, 2022.


The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special review: A delightful ride with the 'one and only'

James Gunn just knows how to delight viewers and who to do it with. Coming exactly a month before Christmas, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a treat to every viewer who has shared movie taste with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and has laughed out at his Footloose references. Yes, the film has a gift (quite literally) in the form of Kevin Bacon.

Exploring the possibility of celebrating Christmas with Peter Quill in outer space, the delightful duo of Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) set out to find the perfect gift shortly after the revelation that Mantis is actually Quill's sister. Most of the film is based around Drax and Mantis as they venture to the Earth to get the perfect gift - yes, Kevin Bacon.

In what is a borderline case of human trafficking, Bacon brings out a delightful piece of acting as the two extraterrestrials try to capture him and take him to Quill (imagine when they successfully do this). Most of the film is very light-hearted and does not take itself too seriously. It is not afraid to venture into the odd, innocent, and self-aware kind of funny. Every bit of fun was not measured, which added to the film's intrigue.

And finally, the climax served as a whole wide celebration of the Christmas spirit with a Kevin Bacon concert in outer space. Well, who wouldn't be on board for that?

But essentially, what stands out for the film is its well-organized, fun take on superheroes. It is bright, vibrant, and always ready to set things on fire if that means a bit more entertainment. With Marvel's recently bustling schedule and organized phases, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is the type of content that can radicalize the way we view superheroes, but not in a revolutionary way.

It is remarkable how well The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special flares despite having very little original content. Perhaps Marvel needs to venture in these unexplored directions a little more and deliver some more gems like this one.


The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+.

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Edited by Shreya Das