Woo-hoo! Three Marvel movies in one year! Everyone’s been celebrating 2017 as perhaps the best year for comic book movies in history, with every single one thus far either meeting or exceeding expectations. I understand the hype, as like the last couple of movies in the MCU, Thor: Ragnarok features lots of good comic timing thanks to director Taika Waititi’s (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows) effort in staging sound to time each gag. The excitement goes nonstop as the hero fights demon after demon against screaming rock music to put the final cherry on the sundae.
The continuation of the heroes’ journeys will expectedly keep committed fans raising their foam fingers of approval; when we first see Thor, he is chained over lava, face to face with a fiery demon, but without a hint of fear. When he meets his evil sister, she breaks his sacred hammer, and he’s later pit into a gladiator arena against a familiar green face, escalating the thrills with each new spectacle. The Incredible Hulk even has his own great moments faithful to when we last saw him, particularly in how he remained green and mean for the past two years.
But that doesn’t excuse Ragnarok’s empty sense of humanity. The lack of consistency essentially starts with Thor’s father passively dying, leaving his evil daughter to rule over Asgard, a “sad” moment standing as a mere plot motive with no hint of trauma. As for the Hulk, what exactly does he think about forgetting the last two years of his life? Apparently nothing, as all his self-doubt gets insultingly contradicted in his final moments on screen. A couple of other new members join Thor’s team, including Valkyrie. Right upon her introduction, she falls off a platform drunk, setting off a damaged amount of sympathy for her shallowness that carries on with every other new character thrown in without consideration.
For a majority of the feature, each supporting individual says their exact thoughts in service to exposition, even at the cost of satisfying closure to their stories. While I certainly learned plenty about what these new characters are, I learned little about who they are beyond funny caricatures. These characters needed to be more than comic relief against flashy colors to last longer than a month in audience’s memories. The laws of physics and social order make as much sense as the humanity, appearing a little too conscious about who needs to stay alive and who needs to stay beautiful after going through chaos. As a result, too much goes on in the climax to keep everyone active.
Marvel’s new freak of art does nothing valuable beside combine Greek mythology with visualized techno music, two things that should never go together. As a result, the world looks uglier than ever before, even for a comic book movie, from the stupid historical paintings decorating Asgard’s capital building to Hela’s overdesigned “crown” or whatever you call it. People already care so little about ancient cultures, so once it’s time for kids at school to learn about Greek history, they will think about something less valuable instead.
Although I most want to talk about the acting, an overstated aspect that the entire Marvel series in actuality does dreadfully. Chris Hemsworth deserves no praise for his awful performance; he just stilts around with a charming smile plastered onto his spray-tanned face as if waiting for an awkward school photo. The film’s comedic charisma has no thanks to give to him, an actor praised only because he’s handsome without being annoying. But Jeff Goldblum was the absolute worst casting decision; his instantly forgettable role simply felt awkward to watch, as he created the most painful attempts at humor. I can’t remember a time he has ever put on a good performance, and I wonder how he’s still getting cast in big movies today.
The nitpicks go on much further than you may assume:
- Teenage boys might complain about the fake looking graphics fit for the X-Box.
- Long time Marvel fans might complain about Doctor Strange’s underuse in an easily rewritable four-minute scene.
- The more artsy viewers might complain about Hulk’s dumb looking gladiator armor.
- The older viewers might complain about some of the seemingly never-ending jokes.
- Women might complain about how Hela insults middle-aged women everywhere who want representation beyond roadblocks to men’s triumphs.
- And parents might complain about the bad role model Thor sets for younger boys.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
The Credits. “Thor meets an old friend in the gladiator's pit, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).” Digital image. Where to Watch. MPAA, 31 May 2017. Web. <https://www.wheretowatch.com/2017/05/gladiator-hulk-and-more-awesome-images-thor-ragnarok>.
Thor Ragnarok. Marvel. Web. <https://marvel.com/thor>.