By: Russ Matthews at Reel Dialogue

3 out of 5 stars

Over the years, one grab that still continues is the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon (or Bacon’s Law). Film fans worldwide attempt to get back to the iconic actor by connecting his former co-stars to him in seven steps or less. The Guardians of the Galaxy have taken this game to a new level with their latest Holiday Special. During the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, James Gunn got the band back together to celebrate the season with a bit of galactic hi-jinks. One that officially introduces the Footloose actor to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Summary: After the attack on Knowhere and the reversal of ‘the snap,’ the Guardians team purchased the spaceport from the Collector. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) leads the rebuilding process and seems to be experiencing the signs of the holiday blues. Most of the Guardians hear the story of how Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker) spoiled Christmas for Peter as a child from Kraglin Obfonteri (Sean Gunn), So, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) put together a plan to lift their leader’s spirits. This unlikely pair heads to Earth to find Peter’s lifetime idol and bring Kevin Bacon back to help celebrate the season. Even though their plans are meant for good, this duo does wreak havoc on Los Angeles and neglects to realise how their actions will impact everyone involved.

Review: One of the many advantages of the Guardians’ placement within the MCU is how James Gunn has based their storyline in the comedic realm and enhanced it with a fantastic soundtrack. These elements provide a somewhat believable background for this holiday special, as it leans into the campier aspects of this unlikely band of alien warriors, since audiences have come to expect the unexpected. The setup takes some time, and the first two acts contain ridiculous considerations that make way for a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. As Marvel attempts to touch on every aspect of cinema with this Disney+ infused era, it makes sense that they would try to make a Christmas special. Not that it breaks any new ground for the overall MCU arc. Still, some components make this a must-see for fans and seasonal fun for those just coming on board. This film contains mature content that may not be suitable for younger children.

Reel Dialogue: Bringing home the real inspiration of Christmas

Peter Quill may wish to have Kevin Bacon join him for Christmas dinner, but most of us might want to consider someone else to invite this year. For those who celebrate the holiday, the top of your guest list may contain family and friends. These choices may give us all a glimpse of the spirit of Christmas, while in the end, they may leave you less than satisfied. Have you ever thought of inviting the person whose birth is the true meaning of this time of year to your festivities?

For an authentic celebration of Christmas, Jesus has to be at the centre. Gifts are lovely, food can be fantastic, and time with family can be enjoyable. Yet, to experience the reason for the season, give time to acknowledge what the angels celebrated on this day years ago. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” That is a celebration like none other since it is the meaning behind the holiday. Regardless of how the food turns out, this gives this time of the year a richer and more fulfilling purpose.

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:14