Wednesday, December 7, 2022

'Tis the Season - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

Streaming Service: Disney+
Movie Name/Year: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Action, Adventure
Length: 41 min
Rating: TV-14
Production/Distribution: Marvel Studios, Troll Court Entertainment, Disney+
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Jim Starlin, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Steve Englehart, Don Heck, Roger Stern, John Buscema, Sal Buscema, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan
Actors: Luke Klein, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Maria Bakalova, Rhett Miller, Vin Diesel, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Thomas McNamara, Daniel Bernhardt, Rusty Schwimmer, Tinashe Kajese, Barry Curtis, Stephen Blackehart, Sarah Alami, Terence Rosemore, James Clarke, David Moskowitz, Old 97's
IMDb Blurb: Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Mantis, and Groot engage in some spirited shenanigans in an all-new original special created for Disney+.

Selina’s Point of View:
I can honestly say that the fever dream I just watched is the new most ridiculous entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Yes, I’ve seen Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). I said what I said.
Now, that’s not to say it’s bad. It was MUCH easier to sit through than the aforementioned Thor flick. The fact that it was only 40 minutes long might have a little to do with it, but that wasn’t the whole reason.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was not only just a special, but it was also a holiday movie. As a result, I expected it to be campy and full of cringe. Not to mention, that’s also the base of the Guardians in general. The whole group is a bit more on the absurd side, so this kind of humor just fits better. 

On the note of aspects of this film that work primarily because it’s with the Guardians instead of any other team, there were a couple of killer musical numbers. Sure, Kevin Bacon (They/Them, North Star, One Way) clearly lost a bet with James Gunn (The Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy, Peacemaker) – or got paid an obscene amount of money – but his little musical interlude was outstanding. Even better than the opening number, which was amusing enough to make even Weird Al (Bill & Ted Face the Music, Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation) smile. 
I enjoyed The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Just don’t go into it expecting a serious Marvel film. It’s much more of a ‘fuck around and have fun’ project than anything else.

Cat’s Point of View:
Marvel seems to be really pulling out all of the stops this year, giving us holiday specials. We had one for Halloween, and now we have one for Christmas – and I’m all in.
Then, of course, once I saw the trailer I was 1000% anticipating a fun time while watching The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. I was not disappointed in the least. James Gunn (Super, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Suicide Squad) and the Marvel team gave us quite an early Christmas present this year. This film is hilarious and was just the pick-me-up I needed right about now.
For 45 glorious minutes, I was enrapt with the crazy shenanigans perpetrated by some of my favorite comic book aliens.
Dave Bautista (Army of the Dead, See, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) and Pom Klementieff (Black Mirror, Uncut Gems, Thunder Force) always deliver the best face-palm moments with Drax and Mantis. All of the usual suspects for the Guardians were involved in this bananas tale, of course, but those two were in the middle of all of the whirlwind of activity shown in this special.

This sort of special presentation feature gives the platform to easily take other members of an ensemble cast that don’t get as much screen time and shine a little brighter spotlight on them with a ‘side quest’ of sorts. I really hope they keep doing this in the future, as well.
Though as crazy as the premise of this particular Guardians of the Galaxy escapade was, there’s actually a lot of heart and a story that brought out all the feels. I required tissues for a moment – but I’m a sap.
Do you know what else was awesome about this production? Kevin Bacon (The Following, They/Them, City on a Hill) was in it. A little Bacon makes everything better – and that goes for more than food. While some might feel his involvement in the story was a little random, it’s actually a solid callback to plot points from the prior Guardians movies.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was better than I thought it would be, and a much-needed source of cheer. If you enjoy the Marvel movies and these characters – this is absolutely a must-see. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 82%
Metascore – 82%
Metacritic User Score – 8.1/10
IMDB Score – 7.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5

P.S. - There is a short post-credits scene.

Movie Trailer:

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