Especially after “Suicide Squad” and the first season of “Peacemaker,” I’m down for pretty much anything newly-minted DC Studios Co-CEO and Co-Chairman James Gunn wants to make. His latest release is “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special,” which should be one of the last “Guardians of the Galaxy” properties we get.
Sometime after “Avengers: Endgame,” the Guardians purchase Nowhere, which is a community living in the giant skull of a dead Celestial still rebuilding after Thanos’ attack on it years ago. We get swept into Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) history of Christmas, which comprises of half-remembered traditions when he was a kid, which was initially shunned by his adoptive father, Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker). To make up for this, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) want to kidnap Kevin Bacon, who plays himself, as they think he is a legendary warrior.
Most of the comedy in this special centers around the Guardians aliens wanting to celebrate Christmas, but either not fully understanding what the holiday entails, or getting increasingly inaccurate information as it is passed on to various Ravager crew members from its initial source (Quill). Bacon also has some great reactions when he is kidnapped by Mantis and Drax. In the end, Bacon understands what they were trying to do and it all works out, with all the Ravagers coming together with him in a great Christmas bash.
Probably the best thing to come out of this special is the song “I Don’t Know What Christmas Is (But Christmastime Is Here)” by the Old 97’s that encapsulates the main comedic premise of the special (aliens trying to figure out what Christmas is) and is just a great, catchy tune that’s hard to get out of your head. There’s also a great musical performance by Bacon at the end that really fits in with the silly nature of the special.
Narrative-wise, not much happens here and I don’t think this will be required viewing to understand what will happen in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” It’s a throwaway special for Disney Plus subscribers, but it doesn’t try to be anything more than that.
“The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” gets a 6/10