‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ is completely deranged and perfect

‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ is completely deranged and perfect

There is a very real possibility of too much Wonderful – but not today.

“The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special” debuts today on Disney+, where it makes a strong (and genuinely hysterical) case for expanding the roster and boundaries of the MCU. Writer and director of “Guardians” james gun I wrote the special in a matter of hours. while filming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” an enjoyable experience juxtaposed with the “torture” of his third MCU feature.

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The special quickly and cleverly establishes some larger MCU plot threads and nuggets, like the Guardians taking over Knowhere, his new talking dog (Maria Bakalova), and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) about the Christmas present, but it’s also the rare piece of Marvel. story that requires almost no prior knowledge. All that matters is that these are aliens in space and that Peter (Chris Pratt) was abducted from Earth at a young age. The rest, who’s who and his various powers and personalities, easily fit into the context.

With Gamora (Zoe Saldaña) searching for Peter, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) decide to send him an unforgettable Christmas gift: Kevin Bacon. That involves this hilarious duo taking a little field trip to Earth, where they get into what can only be described as shenanigans. From Hollywood Boulevard to a gay nightclub to a classic holiday-themed home invasion, the special takes them through riotous shenanigans and the kind of situations Marvel’s best rarely indulge in. Every superhero movie should feature our heroes hitting shots and meeting “friends” on a night out, but they can’t, because Infinity Stones.

Kick names and take ass, but make it festive.  - Credit: MARVEL STUDIOS

Kick names and take ass, but make it festive. – Credit: MARVEL STUDIOS

MARVEL STUDIOS

Bautista and Klementieff’s chemistry is as magnificent as ever, an extension of their exceptional scenes in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Where Drax is aggressive, Mantis is soft-spoken; where he uses her fists, she attacks the mind. At one point, she berates him saying “You can’t go around killing people!”. and he huffs “How am I supposed to know the rules if no one tells me?” All of this plays out with increasingly garish Christmas garments, a ceaselessly satisfying visual gag. The other Guardians’ smaller screen time feels appropriate, like comedy characters in a B-story, and Bacon is wonderfully a play on his bizarre MCU debut.

With Phase 4 coming to an end, Marvel fans are becoming more intimidated and exhausted. for the expanding library of MCU content in theaters and on Disney+. But experiments like “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” reiterate that there are rewards in rare and unique bets.. Not everything has to be a three-hour movie, nor does it have to be an eight-hour series. The Christmas special doesn’t suffer from the density of a Marvel feature, the bloat of their TV shows, or the predictable climaxes that plague nearly every live-action MCU project to date. It’s an uproarious holiday caper with an effortless but effective emotional arc, leaning into what the “Guardians” movies do so well but don’t have time to explore.

It would be hard to argue that the Marvel machine, led by studio president Kevin Feige, lacks purpose, but it’s fair to say that purpose feels a little thinner and harder to find on this side of “Avengers: Endgame.” . But there was satisfying Marvel before Thanos and after, it just needs a bit of that Kevin Bacon confidence behind the scenes. “Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” is an adept use of cast, story and format that the creators at Marvel should be sticking with going forward. What if this project was bigger or smaller? What if it didn’t require battles and arbitrary blows? The possibilities are endless and the results, when it all adds up, are a gift.

Also, Groot is thicc now.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” is now streaming on Disney+.

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