Apologies for those with speech impediments but this has to be the most annoying film to go see at the cinema for those who do.
Marvel film 3 of the year: Thor Ragnarok.
It’s a hard film to review if you base it on the past entries in the MCU. There’s a very different sense of humour going on in this one. Not a bad one, but I’ve spoken to friends who’ve seen it and they really didn’t know what they were getting.
This is the third Thor film in the standalone franchise, and once again it has a different director. Which is understandable after The Dark World became arguably the most by the numbers sequel in the entirety of the MCU. This one is directed by Taika Waititi, mostly famous for his work on Flight of the Concords, but also his superb comedy work on his directorial films including the superb ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ and ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’.
Let me just take an aside to say, watch these. Watch them, and treasure them. They’re brilliant in a very refreshing way. Plot wise, Hunt for…has been done before but not like this, and What We Do is spawning no less than 3 spinoffs from an 80 minute film. Make of that what you will.
Anyway, Thor Ragnarok is why we’re here and aside from repeating that you should watch the above mentioned films ideally before seeing this I’m not quite sure how to approach it. There’s coarse humour, dick and fart jokes, brilliant action sequences and many things inbetween.
I think this is a film (personally) that sits somewhere between Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man 3 in terms of expectation, reception and what it actually gives you. I’ll spoil none of them, but will say that it’s got the scope and style of Guardians (with more 80’s based synth music which I didn’t love but not loathe), the capacity to split audiences like Iron Man 3 (which was Shane Black so I love, and not loathe) and has the balance of neither (which i didn’t love or loathe).
As funny as this film is, and it is, it doesn’t balance serious moments very well against needing to cause a laugh. An early sequence involving significant character loss is less than 2 minutes after a guffaw of a laugh. It’s not really enough time to calibrate yourself for the sombreness of what is needed. I appreciate that’s vague but you really don’t want anything you haven’t already seen in the trailers spoiling for you here.
That wasn’t the only instance of it either, but overall the film was funny enough that I didn’t mind or considered it ruined by it. However I can feel for those who might have felt differently.
Worthy note: How did we get to 3 films before someone managed to lock down Led Zep for Thor? A perfect ten by the person who made this happen!
Second worthy note: The many cameos and of course, Jeff, ah, ah, Goldblum. It’s been too damn long.
Third worthy note: Loki playing Loki. You ‘ll get what I mean later.
As said above, the action sequences are fantastic, and I really found the 3D to be very effective in places. The arena fight between Thor and that other guy was great! Really gave you a sense of scope while they pounded the ever-loving shit out of each other. The scale of the film really came across everywhere it needed to and I was never aware of any terrble CGI faux pas, although admittedly I will let a lot pass if the film is good enough.
I’m honestly not quite sure where this sits in the pantheon of Marvel films at this point, and perhaps its in a required 2nd watch where the decision gets made. But its to its credit that I’m happy to give it another watch so make of that what you will, eh?