Why Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been a winner with Marvel’s audience

Omoleye Omoruyi
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has landed a 93% score to put it in some of the top-rated MCU projects ever, tying with Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Mantis in GOTG Holiday Special
Mantis in GOTG Holiday Special

When you see a running time of 41 minutes, a line from a song in the story that reads: “I don’t know what Christmas is, but Christmastime is here,” a story of how Christmas was ruined for Star-Lord Peter, you know you are probably in for a swell time that will leave questions running through your head in “The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special”.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has landed a 93% score to put it in some of the top-rated MCU projects ever, tying with Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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Yet, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special” is not about ruins but love and the feeling that Christmas brings.

While many viewers have thought Marvel Studios wanted to experiment with the special presentations, this latest special is the perfect outing before the final instalment of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, which is set for release in May 2023.

Runtime - 41 minutes
Director - James Gunn
Writer - James Gunn
Why Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been a winner with Marvel's audience

Characters in “The Guardian of the Galaxy: Holiday Special”

Luke KleinYoung Peter Quill
(voice)
Dave BautistaDrax
Chris PrattPeter Quill
Kevin BaconKevin Bacon
Pom KlementieffMantis
Vin DieselGroot (voice)
Karen GillanNebula
Sean GunnKraglin
Characters in “The Guardian of the Galaxy: Holiday Special”

The Plot

The “Guardians Of The Galaxy Holiday Special” is a live-action mini-flick starring what you will realise is the entire cast of the popular franchise. Like the rest of Marvel’s special presentations, It is slightly longer than an episode of a sitcom but shorter than a movie and shows us what the characters are up to. It gives us a potentially important reveal, as well.

Read also: A spoiler review of “Wakanda Forever” and what the end means

“Guardians Of The Galaxy: Holiday Special” is a treat, not a meal.

It begins with a story from Kraglin about a time in Peter Quill’s youth when Yondu destroyed the spirit of Christmas for the young Peter. As the team feels bad for their friend, two of them, Drax and Mantis, decide to give Peter his much-admired Kevin Bacon as a Christmas present.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special
Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special

So the two Guardians of the Galaxy travel to Earth, go from Hollywood Boulevard to a gay nightclub, and eventually to Bacon‘s classic holiday-themed residence. They kidnap him (with Mantis’ powers keeping him unwillingly receptive). Then, they unveil their gift to a shocked Star-Lord who immediately demands they return the well-known actor to Earth.

As he prepares to return home, Kevin hears the story from Kraglin of why he was taken from Earth, so the holiday spirit wins out, and he performs a song of his own free will for the inhabitants of Knowhere.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been a winner with Marvel's audience
Kevin Bacon – “Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday-Special”

After the jollity wraps up, Peter asks why they would do such a thing for him, and Mantis reveals she is his half-sister. Her fears that he would see her only as a reminder of his father killing his mother are unfounded, as Peter declares it to be the best Christmas gift he could receive.

It turned out Yonda did not ruin Christmas after all.

Now, we gotta have another special,” is what you will hear after the end credit, which brings you back to what Kevin Bacon said about seeing Knowhere inhabitants at Easter.

What do we think?

There is not much meat in this not-up-to-fifty-minute instalment, but it was the right vehicle for Mantis and Drax to showcase their personalities ahead of the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and as such, it works. 

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been a winner with Marvel's audience
Mantis – “Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special”

Mantis, in particular, is a force here, no matter how light – someone who has hardly been in the forefront. We’ve seen a lot of Drax across the first two instalments and the “Infinity Saga”. So, she was given the showcase here and ran with it. 

When we look at the effects, we are hardly impressed, especially with the work done on Cosmo – who, by the way, is now a Guardian! It may be a nothing movie, but money was dumped into it, and it has to show that the money was not some free money lying somewhere.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been a winner with Marvel's audience

Talk about low-budget looking Knowhere denizens.

But something interesting plays out here.

Mantis and Drax’s journey takes them through hijinks and the kind of situations Marvel’s finest rarely get to indulge in. This makes us suggest that every superhero movie should include our heroes finishing shots and meeting “homies” on a night out, but they can’t because…Infinity Stones.

Drax and Mantis

Also, we finally agree that Marvel’s Special Presentations are worth it. Everything does not have to be a three-hour movie — nor does it have to be a 17-hour series.

Watch or skip?

Well, we do not understand the characters’ inexplicable disdain for actors. To be honest, that part of the humour did not land well.

If you are a fan of the Guardians, you may want to pick up the pieces this instalment dropped. Besides, we do not have a long movie where the characters fly to meet others in the sky who want to destroy the world.

Just one question from us: Why is Groot now alarmingly swole?


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