Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 2022
While I haven’t gotten the chance to see the new Black Panther movie I did manage to see the latest Marvel Special Presentation after Werewolf by Night. I still think these are long and varied enough to be considered mini-movies rather than short films or a TV anthology series and this one was a lot of fun so I wanted to write about it. This is a much smaller story and very much Christmas focused but there is one big character reveal that was a deleted scene in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 that’s not all that surprising, but was surprisingly heartfelt. Music also plays a large part as it often does in the Guardians of the Galaxy films but this also includes a couple songs that the characters are singing themselves which brings it one step closer to a full musical. And while there’s not a whole lot to spoil in this holiday centered special there is that one reveal that will be discussed further in this review so here is your warning.
The biggest boon to this special was the decision to focus on Mantis and Drax. They are really the best choice to be the naïve characters stumbling around on Earth trying to find Kevin Bacon as a present for Star Lord. They have great chemistry together and Pom Klementieff really knocks it out of the park as Mantis with her odd speech rhythm. But she also gets a few moments to show a greater range of emotion rather than a waify alien version of a manic pixie dream girl. It’s surprising but also refreshing when she snaps at Drax when they are talking about her eating all of the Zarg nuts or something similar, but she also gets the nice moment at the end when she reveals that she is Star Lord’s half sister through Ego. It’s a wonderful moment in a special full of laughs.
The other great part of this special was the inclusion of Kevin Bacon playing himself. Drax and Mantis come down to Earth to bring back Christmas cheer to Star Lord as everyone has been kind of down lately. He gets calls from his wife Kyra Sedgewick who we never see or even hear, we only see her name appear on his phone when she calls. He also gets a fun chase scene through his very decorated house and down the street. Mantis uses her powers on him to make him act like an actual hero once they realize that he’s an actor, much to their hilarious chagrin, and he has a change of heart once he hears Kraglin’s story about Star Lord. He does a great mix of the regular person being thrown into this fantastical element as well as the moments where he just rolls with everything and brings it over the top.
As with the other Guardians movies, music is a big part of the story and this one is no exception. It starts out with the great Fairytale of New York by the Pogues to open the movie before we get a ridiculous scene with an alien rock band who have apparently just found these Earth instruments and have managed to compose an entire Christmas song that contains all sorts of details about Christmas traditions and some movie moments but gets them just slightly wrong along with the chorus of “I Don’t Know What Christmas is (But Christmastime is Here)”. The song that Kevin Bacon sings at the end is less memorable but not bad, and there are a couple other songs that are also nice.
The rest of the special follows more or less a typical fish out of water with a fetch quest tacked onto it. There’s several fun scenes throughout like Mantis and Drax taking pictures on Hollywood blvd then spending that money getting drunk at a gay bar. It’s also refreshing to see the potential setup of an 80’s style gay panic moment but it’s handled in a much more modern way without the panic punchline. There are also some nice moments at the beginning and ending with all of the cosmic cast at Knowhere although teenage Groot looks really weird and very much like a guy in a suit. He looks pretty much fully grown and more buff than the previous Groot. Meanwhile Rocket gets a couple quick and funny moments like at the end where Nebula gives him Bucky’s Vibranium arm.
All in all, this was a fun little diversion and a nice little holiday special with a couple tidbits thrown in to actually give a little extra depth to the characters. It was also nice to see Yondu come back in an animated flashback where he is very much the Yondo we’ve come to know and love from the second movie. He has a gruff exterior but always has a soft spot for Quill when nobody else is looking. There are plenty of other worse ways you could spend forty five minutes and if you watch this you will likely get quite a few belly laughs throughout. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.
Posted on November 27, 2022, in 20's movies, Marvel and tagged film, Marvel, movies, review, special. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
Leave a comment