THOR: RAGNAROK Trailer Demonstrates Marvel's Superior Taste In Directors

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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THOR: RAGNAROK Trailer Demonstrates Marvel's Superior Taste In Directors

Why has Marvel's big screen output been finding so much more favor than DC's? Well, a lot of it comes down to the fact that Marvel has a coherent plan for it's films, had that plan before they started, and have stuck to it throughout. And quite a lot more of it is simply that they have far better taste in directors. While DC has opted for dark, dour and shallow with Zack Snyder (as opposed to dark, dour and smart in the Christopher Nolan days), Marvel has opted for directors with much larger personalities and given those directors at least a little bit of room to bring their own quirks to things. It hasn't always worked out - see Edgar Wright's late stage exit from Ant-Man as an example - but at least they try and, seriously, can you imagine a world where DC would have ever allowed a director as idiosyncratic as Wright anywhere near one of their properties? Or James Gunn? Or - on the other end of the spectrum - Kenneth Branagh?

Which brings us to Thor: Ragnarok and director Taika Waititi. While Branagh brought a surprising combination of seriousness and quirky humor to the first Thor film that made it work - and work very well - the second Thor film is arguably the worst film Marvel has ever made by a very large margin. And this is a problem given, you know, that they're not done with The Avengers yet and they can't really write off one of their key players. There's a lot riding on Thor: Ragnarok, not just in terms of rejuvenating Thor himself but also because of the much talked about cross over element with The Incredible Hulk. And for this task Marvel tapped the shoulder of Taika Waititi, the New Zealand based director of quirky indie comedies like What We Do In The Shadows and The Hunt For The Wilderpeople. And, good lord, this might be the best decision Marvel has ever made. It's certainly the best since they handed Guardians of the Galaxy to James Gunn.

The first trailer for the new Thor film has just arrived and it's pretty fantastic. The visuals are broad, the villain is compelling, and Waititi has wisely opted to let Chris Hemsworth be funny. Which is a smart move because Chris Hemsworth IS funny. And, yeah, the Hulk reveal is pretty great. I'm all in.

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More about Thor: Ragnarok

Allan KoayApril 10, 2017 10:48 AM

Chris Hemsworth is never funny lah, Todd. Lousy actor, in fact. But under Viago's direction, there might be something worthwhile. BUT FUCK! LEAVE LED ZEPPELIN ALONE, DAMMIT!!!

ManateeAdvocateApril 10, 2017 12:09 PM

Looks like loads of fun.

David PollisonApril 10, 2017 12:52 PM

I disagree. Iron Man 2 is the worst followed closely by the two Hulk movies.

Todd BrownApril 10, 2017 1:48 PM

I might be persuaded to come around to your Iron Man 2 position but Marvel themselves have only made one Hulk movie (the Louis Leterrier / Ed Norton one) and I'll take that over Thor 2.

Also, Kurt will totally fight anyone who looks down on the Ang Lee Hulk.

Todd BrownApril 10, 2017 1:50 PM

Hemsworth has not often been cast to be funny but when you see him in interviews and stuff, he absolutely is. He's been cast a particular way because of what he looks like and I think people have only really started figuring out how to take advantage of his natural personality more recently. He's really funny in Ghostbusters. And this seems a lot more tailored to his own personality than previous stuff did, which would be very much in keeping with Waititi's general approach to things.

Allan KoayApril 10, 2017 2:12 PM

i used to be on Ang Lee's side on Hulk. but i saw it again recently, and it totally didn't hold up.

but it's still way better than any of the others because he and James Schamus found something to say with the character.

Allan KoayApril 10, 2017 2:14 PM

may be true since he seems to try too hard to play the beefcake role of Thor.
but i didn't even find him funny in the first Thor, which was the superhero movie that turned me off superhero movies forever. maybe it was because the humour was juvenile. i think i gagged so many times, someone in the cinema called an ambulance.

ToryKApril 10, 2017 2:15 PM

He is, he's a naturally funny guy. He was absolutely charming in Cabin in the Woods, and he was the best thing in Vacation. Anyone who doesn't think Hemsworth is funny, just watch him save a portion of the National Lampoon reboot/sequel.

Todd BrownApril 10, 2017 2:18 PM

I've never been able to bring myself to watch the new Vacation despite really liking Ed Helms. Is it as bad as the trailers?

Todd BrownApril 10, 2017 2:21 PM

Yeah, but that was also him being directed by Kenneth Branagh who can be surprisingly funny as an actor but is always DEAD SERIOUS as a director. Branagh, to me, always felt like we was half of the right director for Thor. He was able to make the formal language and world of Asgard feel believable but when it comes to comedy he struggles. Same with action, though Marvel solved that by simply giving all the action to a good second unit crew.

whatguythatguyApril 10, 2017 2:21 PM

Like bringing the funny here, like what I'm seeing so far. Hemsworth has been very funny in each of Whedon's Avengers films (so was the Hulk), so I'm hoping they can keep that up here.

Not a fan of Marvel just attempting to ape what they *think* made Guardians of the Galaxy successful though. The 70s-era Superman titles and Led Zeppelin track reek of a bit of marketing desperation. Hopefully this Thor movie is actually good (unlike the last two).

ToryKApril 10, 2017 2:31 PM

...Yyyyyes. But he's certainly the best part. The younger brother is the only other highlight, I'd say. Broad humor that's supposed be funny, simply because it's broad, but it never lands, no personality of its own. It's like the original Vacation channeling Neighbors, only it's not as funny as either.

YojimboApril 10, 2017 4:38 PM

Until now I never knew I had a thing for ladies with antlers.

Todd BrownApril 10, 2017 4:41 PM


Daniel ParedesApril 11, 2017 1:07 AM

Count me in too, As if I needed a even bigger crush on Mrs. Blanchett.

God of JoyApril 11, 2017 2:36 AM

hook line and sinker - i am in. f*cking glam rock jeff goldblum, goth cate blanchet, "i know him from work", perfect trailer.

God of JoyApril 11, 2017 2:37 AM

and to go slightly meta, cross stroke. "the hammer is his penis"

Ard VijnApril 11, 2017 5:41 AM

Indeed it's like Cate Blanchett thought: "Hm, there's this whole section of the audience called 'goths', and they don't love me enough yet... what shall I do?"

Ard VijnApril 11, 2017 5:43 AM

You just know she'll still be enthralling us for at least another half century or so. What a presence!

Daniel ParedesApril 11, 2017 5:52 AM
KurtApril 11, 2017 10:27 AM

I love Lee's HULK because it is a comic book movie for people who don't obsess over comic books, and want the aesthetic fused onto a 'real film' -> it gets most of the way there. Plus the casting in Lee's film is superb.

At the risk of losing all credibility (if that hasn't happened years ago), WATCHMEN has slightly surpassed HULK as my favourite entry in the genre. I loathe just about every other Zach Snyder film (albeit parts of his Dawn remake are pretty good), but I liked his juggling all the threads, images, ideas, and characters in Watchmen...he pulled off the project where Aronofsky and Gilliam failed (and I'm guessing they walked away from the film because with their style of directing, the film would have been impossible to do well.)

While I don't bother with Marvel/DC properties at all. I do like James Gunn's GotG and will happily punk down a few bones to see him do another one. I'm also a pretty big fan of Waititi, and while this feels very much in line with the GotG aesthetic and disposition...I imagine that Waititi to be more sweet and less rude than Gunn in his humour.

FinnfangfoomApril 11, 2017 2:39 PM

Dear critics,

To my relief it turns out that my concerns about the whitewashing of the Hulk proved to be unfounded. But as much as I want to go see this movie after watching this awesome trailer I came to the shocking conclusion that they now opted for a tanned version of Jeff Goldblum’s character The Grandmaster. The Smurfs are still blue in their movie, why is the Grandmaster not? And why is Valkyrie not the correct color? What if we go watch this film and it turns out more characters changed color? Should we make a statement again and skip this film as well? I’m so confused right now. Could you please, in your infinite wisdom, advise us what to do?

YojimboApril 11, 2017 3:33 PM

Dear monster Foom
Could you answer a long standing question of mine.
Who makes your and the Hulks stretchy giant indestructible purple pants?
As to your question in my finite wisdom I would suggest watching the movie in black and white or just watch it as is.
You could always go an a world critic squish and gulp tour if you are displeased.

FinnfangfoomApril 11, 2017 4:10 PM

Ooooh, touché ... As for your long standing question; Foom is wearing Reed Richards for pants. 'But they're not blue', I hear you say. Stretch him to Foom's size and purple he is. But since we're watching everything in black and white from now on, I guess it doesn't really matter as much. Thank you, dear Sir.

MehliensApril 12, 2017 6:01 AM

Yep. If anybody want a fantastic reimagining of a greek family tragedy (drama) with all the supernatural shit? ANG LEES HULK is here to deliver. btw the second act is its weak point because it could be cut out almost completely (military base chapter felt a tiny bit too much like an homage to the 70s show, but its silliness makes up for the pacing problems it creates) without much missing. The third act is what I would except to happen in a Homer-like saga.

MehliensApril 12, 2017 6:05 AM

I thought it was only the second act that makes it look a little dated but the actual story in Lees Hulk absolutely works in comparisons to every other Marvel film that looks and feels ridiculous the day they are released. A slightly more modern re-edit of Hulk would be super easy to do.

YojimboApril 13, 2017 1:45 PM

Dear monster Foom
When Yojimbo was a young cub there was only 3 TV channels his Lone Wolf parent could only afford a black and white TV, cub liked to draw he would imagine the colours.
Cub found that later in life you memory of movies and programs would be in colour even though you had originally seen them in B/W.
Sometimes the movie, program would match your recollection when you finally saw it in colour other times not.
The strangest thing is watching something you remember in colour but it never was in colour it was always B/W.

FinnfangfoomApril 13, 2017 2:13 PM

And that, dear Sir, is pure poetry. If you don't mind, I'll grab a tissue box and, in awe, wipe away my tears of joy.