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The Hollywood Insider The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review

Photo: ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ 

Guardians of the Galaxy is a successful action film that has been a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It even spawned a sequel and gave James Gunn another opportunity to write and direct it. Now the film has its own Christmas special which doesn’t feel too long or too short. It will be streamed at Disney+

Why a Holiday Special Is Such a Good Idea

The upcoming Holiday Special has exciting facts to look forward to. MCU fans will find out that the movie takes place between the events of ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ and the upcoming sequel ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.’ Even though the third entry will be arriving next year, the holiday special was shot during the production of it. The audiences will appreciate the return of the recurring cast members. Chris Pratt will reprise his role as Peter Quill, who is known as the Star-Lord. Dave Bautista will be once again playing as Drax. Pom Klementieff will play as Mantis. Bradley Cooper will be providing the voice of Rocket. Vin Diesel does the voice work of Groot. However, the 44-minute special will have some focus on Dax and Mantis. What’s going to be very interesting is the involvement of Kevin Bacon, who will be playing himself. The band Old 97’s will star in the holiday special as an alien band that will provide the proper Christmas jams. 

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The holiday special is the second release for Marvel Studios Special Presentations. The first one is Werewolf by Night which was released around October 2022. James Gunn was inspired to make a holiday-themed special for ‘Guardians’ in the tradition of the CBS Special Presentation that took place during the 1980s and 1990s. The purpose of the Special Presentation is to give an exciting look at Chris Pratt’s well-liked protagonist and his past of not celebrating Christmas since he was a child, and how his companions want to recapture the holiday spirit for the hero. Even Star Wars had a holiday special during the 1980s. However, it was not well-received by critics and fans. However, Marvel thought it would be a good idea to still tie the story to the MCU, therefore keeping the spirit of the holidays as well. They wanted to show some showmanship of the fact that there will be other special presentations in the future for fans to enjoy. 

The Film’s Plot and Merits

In the first ten minutes of the film, we learn how Kraglin told the tale about how as a child, Peter tried to celebrate Christmas by showing Yondu (played by Michael Rooker) how it is done. Yondu did not love the sentiment and insults a young Peter for it. The fans will love how Peter’s tale of his first attempt of celebrating Christmas with his new comrades is told in animation. The rest of the special is told in the live-action present.  This status quo relies on Drax and Mantis to rekindle the spirit of Christmas since they feel the want and need of celebrating Christmas. Thus, it was a holiday that was practiced by Peter Quill but never celebrated again. What the audiences will appreciate is the humor of Kevin Bacon’s involvement in the story. Drax and Mantis show up on Earth and make their attempts to find Kevin Bacon, one of Peter’s favorite actors when he was a child on planet earth.  The story mostly focuses on the comedic aspect of Drax and Mantis’ journey to finding Kevin Bacon in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

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‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’

The special has a good amount of time with the two characters interacting with bystanders who mistake them for cosplayers who hang around the Chinese Theatre (which is across the famous El Capitan Theatre, a venue that is famous for showing the occasional premieres of Marvel and Disney Features). After their encounter with tourists and bystanders, Drax and Mantis are at a bar in Hollywood experimenting with tequila shots. This scene will also provide huge laughs because of how humorous their encounters are with a diverse crowd who enjoy their quirky presence. It doesn’t take too long for them to discover a neighborhood of Hollywood actors who reside in the fancier part of the suburbs. Eventually, they encounter Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon fans will also have a good time laughing at his fictional encounter with Drax and Mantis breaking into his fancy Hollywood residence. There will be jokes that focus on the fact that he is an actor who plays a hero. The references to his movies such as ‘Footloose’ are fitting towards the script of the story and will be recognized and agreed upon by cinephiles. 

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In Conclusion

The 44-minute film won’t feel unnecessary. It certainly ties up well on how it will take place after ‘Thor Love and Thunder’ as well as serving as a prequel to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3.’  There’s humor and occasional action sequences, which will keep audiences entertained. However, the Christmas Special will only focus on mostly laughs. I guarantee that most of the viewers will agree that a Christmas special is a very good idea for the ‘Guardians’ series. It is written and directed by James Gunn, who was known as the director of a horror movie called ‘Slither.’ He is now remembered as the director who has passionately written and directed the past ‘Guardians films,’ which had supplemented the MCU series since the release of the first film. The characters had even had their involvement with the other ‘Avengers films’ which he did not have a hand in directing. However, James Gunn has once again written and directed a great addition to a holiday special that will be watched occasionally during the holidays. I have a feeling that Marvel will definitely continue to make special presentations which will be available for streaming at Disney+.

Written and Directed by James Gunn

Producers: Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, James Gunn, Sara Smith, Simon Hatt

Starring Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon

By Marco Castaneda

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

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Author

  • Marco Castaneda is a graduate student at the California State University, Los Angeles. He is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Television, Film, and Theatre, and expects to graduate in the Spring of 2023. He has a strong passion for creating stories as well as reading them. Marco believes that art helps people to give a unique perspective of our lives and the lives of others. He is also currently a substitute teacher for K-12th grade and hopes to teach students how to use their creativity through all aspects and subjects of their lives and not to be afraid of using their talents.

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