Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

Movie Name: Thor: Ragnarok
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Taika Waititi
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ray Stevenson, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, Rachel House
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2
View Trailer

Marvel's filmic output continues, this time around with another adventure focused on the character Thor, after the previous two films respectively directed by Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor. This time around, Thor finds himself looking for his father, only to discover Odin has chosen to disappear and not resume his ruling. This causes for a new character to make her way into the plot: Odin's oldest daughter, Hela, the goddess of death. She manages to defeat both Thor and Loki, and heads to Asgard, in order to pursue her ambitions of ruling the entire galaxy. It's up to Thor, with the aid of Hulk, Loki and Valkyrie to thwart her plans.
Director Taika Waititi is known for his comedic films, particularly the most recent "Hunt for the Wilderpeople". He tries to infuse the film with a light and comedic tone, after the more somber tones of the previous tomes. However, as much as the film adopts a rather crass and trashy aesthetic (how is it possible that a film that costs so much money looks so incredibly cheap), the humor is never derived from situations being funny - they are more of a result of the director looking at the audience, winking and saying "see, even really powerful beings are silly and childish". This could potentially work for a film that toyed with the idea of comic book characters having every day foibles and issues, but the film never finds a right tone: the nemesis of it all, Hela, kills a ton of people, while still trying to be sarcastic, something that Cate Blanchett does like no other, but still she massacres cardboard characters, always tongue in cheek (is the film suppose to be a dark comedy at this point). Sadly, there's a lot of threads, and tones competing for attention (the whole section with Jeff Goldblum feels especially conceived to be part of "Guardians of the Galaxy"), and they never quite gel. The film is never really enthusiastic, and even the production design looks garish and cheap. With such a talented cast assembled, Cate Blanchett manages to walk away with what little her character has to do.  One of the worst Marvel films to have come out yet.