TV REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
“I’m sorry. GoBots killed his cousin.”
Admittedly, I was super excited to see the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. I am a big Guardians fan and I love James Gunn’s work. But, I never thought I would love this special as much as I did.
This special is under the newly branded “Marvel Studios Special Presentation,” using the same retro opening as it did with Werewolf by Night.
The story begins with Kraglin (Sean Gunn) telling the Guardians of the Galaxy how Yondu (Michael Rooker) destroyed Christmas for Peter (Chris Pratt). Mantis (Pom Klementieff) is saddened by this story and asks Drax (Dave Bautista) to go with her to Earth to bring back some Christmas cheer by getting legendary hero Kevin Bacon back as a present.
First of all, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is extremely funny. While all the Guardians appear, save Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who has been missing since Avengers: End Game, James Gunn was wise to center the story around two characters - Mantis and Drax. These are two characters who are different from each other, but both have a level of innocence that make them endearing and perfect for a buddy film to kidnap Kevin Bacon.
It was wonderful to see Mantis given her time to shine. And shine she does as she holds her own against Drax. Mantis is one of my favorite characters from the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning team of Guardians in the comics. By that time, they made her more bug-like and kind of loony. She never really got a chance to shine in the movies, but this special really shows she is deserving to be front and center.
But the special isn’t just about laughs, it's surprisingly moving, especially a scene between Mantis and Peter that is the perfect ending without being out of character for this franchise.
Maybe it's too soon to say or the warm feelings I have having just watched it, but I think the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special may be my favorite Christmas special of all time.