The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review: Pom Klementieff, Bautista are a CRACKLING Christmas combo

Read Pinkvilla's review of the Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista starrer The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special below. The James Gunn directorial also stars Kevin Bacon as himself.

Updated on Nov 25, 2022 01:53 PM IST  |  63.4K
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Chris Pratt reprises his MCU role as Star-Lord/Peter Quill in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Name: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Director: James Gunn

Cast: Chris Pratt,Pom Klementieff,Dave Bautista

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Streaming Platform: Disney+Hotstar

Language: English


Giving us a brief glimpse into what the Guardians of the Galaxy are up to between the events of Avengers: Endgame-Thor: Love and Thunder and the highly-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special takes place during Christmas time. Inspite of it being festive season, Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is in a downtrodden state of mind. To cheer him up, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) take it upon themselves to give Peter the best Christmas gift ever; Quill's childhood hero Kevin Bacon! As expected, Mantis and Drax get into weird shenanigans when they descend upon Earth, specifically Hollywood. Hilarity ensues as they kidnap a freaked-out Kevin Bacon, but thankfully also becomes a lesson or two on friendship along the intergalactic adventure. Furthermore, Mantis has an ulterior motive behind her relentless attempt at making Peter happy...


The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special could not have come at a better time as it's the perfect re-introduction (of sorts!) to the Guardians of the Galaxy, especially with how Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out way back in 2017. Given the massive amount of content being churned out by Marvel Studios and the subsequent superhero fatigue plaguing fans, it could be difficult to keep up with the mischievous superhero gang. However, thanks to the heartwarming Christmas special, the excitement for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has significantly risen. With a duration of 44 minutes, James Gunn manages to churn out a relatively cheesy yet emotional story on the genuine friendship between drastically different characters, who found a family in one another. The fact that it's a Christmas movie is just an added bonus, instantly giving me all that warm, fuzzy feeling that interlaces the holiday season.

What boosts The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for me as a terrific watch - and different from the many, many Christmas outings coming out now - has to be the endearing ensemble performance, headlined by the talented Pom Klementieff as Mantis, who up until now was relegated to a supporting character. Pom is absolutely infectious to watch on-screen as her constant bickering with Dave Bautista's Drax elevates the MCU humour we know and love. Seeing the eccentric pair's "fish out of water" sequences when they land in Hollywood on the hunt for Kevin Bacon is a genuine highlight. Bautista has a ton of fun as Drax, a fan-favourite, and one can clearly tell. On the other hand, I do hope the character development Mantis embraces in the Holiday Special leads to more screen time for the loveable character in the near future. Speaking of Kevin Bacon, there couldn't have been a more apt starry addition to mingle with the GOTG gang as we get a more OTT characterisation of the veteran actor. As James Gunn upholds Guardians of the Galaxy's prowess when it comes to its addictive soundtrack, Bacon gets to show off his vocal skills in a festive-centric performance that will surely leave a huge grin on your face as it did mine.

Chris Pratt, surprisingly, takes more of a backseat this time around in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (as do Karen Gillan's Nebula, Bradley Cooper's Rocket and Vin Diesel's Groot). Nevertheless, the scenes Peter Quill is in, pack an emotional punch. The animated opening where we find out from Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn) how Yondu (Micheal Rooker) "ruined" Christmas for Quill and the subsequent hammering of what Christmas and Santa Claus means with an electric, funny band performance is sure to leave you laughing out loud. The *SPOILER* reveal at the beginning and end of the special, though heartwarming, doesn't manage to grip you as much as it should have. It almost felt anti-climatic from the get-go. And that's mostly due to the underdeveloped script (there are a few dialogue exceptions that are hysterical!), which you can tell wasn't nourished enough. However, the spirit of Christmas - as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise's eclectic, trademark "James Gunn" charm - shines bright through and through. And, at the end of the day, that's what makes The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special one of the best Marvel outings in the chaotic multiverse-driven MCU Phase 4. There are a few easter eggs here and there, but it never gets overindulgent. Rather, we get a Christmas spectacle to revisit again and again...

Plus Points:

Up first, it has to be the heartfelt ensemble performance in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, particularly Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista as Mantis and Drax. To see the outlandish combo bicker through the streets of Hollywood with a childlike innocence is super entertaining to watch. The addition of Kevin Bacon is witty writing at its finest, as is Chris Pratt's short yet sweet screen presence. Unsurprisingly, James Gunn gifts us with yet another stellar GOTG soundtrack that is sure to become a Christmas staple, while the crisp emotional quotient in the storytelling is fine-tuned just right.

Minus Points:

The big reveal in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special might leave you a bit teary-eyed, but doesn't impact you the way it should. The storyline also feels a bit underdeveloped, with a lot less Rocket, Groot and Nebula than we would have liked.


  • Pom Klementieff is given the center stage to shine with a delightful performance alongside a hilarious Dave Bautista.
  • Kevin Bacon! Kevin Bacon! Kevin Bacon!
  • Inspite of the short runtime, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special infuses everything we know and love about the beloved superhero franchise.


In finality, James Gunn masterfully weaves his magic in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, making it the perfect Christmas watch for MCU fans, while Pom Klementieff and Dave Bautista are THE quirky pair we didn't know we needed.

Pinkvilla Movie Meter: 70

ALSO READ: Chris Pratt honours fans as he celebrates 8 years of Guardians of the Galaxy: It’s all because of YOU

Credits: Pinkvilla, Guardians of the Galaxy Twitter

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