Monday, April 10, 2017

'Thor: Ragnarok' Trailer: Chris Hemsworth Meets A Friend From Work

Marvel movies have a reputation for being overly same-y, and it’s a reputation well earned. Hell, just look back at their last movie, Doctor Strange, which, visual flourishes aside, is basically Iron Man with a dose of mysticism thrown in. We can get into exceptions (Guardians of the Galaxy) and what not, but that’s been done to death and I don’t really care. What I do care about, however, is this new Thor: Ragnarok trailer. Not only does it look like a different kind of artifact, it’s the most fun Marvel has had maybe ever.

I only hope that Thor: Ragnarok is a fraction as fun as this trailer and maintains the 80s throwback fantasy vibe. It’s got gothic, heroin chic Cate Blanchett kicking the crap out of Thor and looking gleefully maniacal while she does (fingers crossed this helps alleviate Marvel’s mediocre villain problem), massive destruction, weird-ass creatures, and chaos. (And Thor with a haircut!)

Heimdal looks like he’s gone a bit off the rails, Asgard is in trouble, and even the stuff that should feel overwrought somehow works. I should hate that slow motion shot of Loki flipping his knives and the flagrant abuse of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” But instead of “Oh, fuck,” I was all, “Oh, fuck yeah!” I even enjoy that overused, record scratch, “I bet you’re wondering how I got here,” moment. And then I saw Jeff Goldblum and I exploded.

And we’ve heard that there are going to be pieces lifted from Planet Hulk, but hell yes, all of that at the end just gave me the giggles. Many folks have described Thor: Ragnarok as a kind of interplanetary road trip/buddy comedy with Thor and Hulk, which sounds awesome. Perhaps this, “We know each other, he’s a friend from work,” is where it all kicks off.

Director Taika Waititi’s last movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, falls on the opposite end of the spectrum from Thor: Ragnarok, scale wise. It’s a small comedic drama from New Zealand. But watching it made it apparent that he has a lot to bring to the table. Set in the New Zealand bush, there’s a sense of grandeur and scope—he truly captures the vastness of the wilderness. It’s funny and moving, charming and adventurous, and I sincerely hope that Marvel doesn’t pound that out of him and deliver another moderately fun, but ultimately flat comic book episode. Ideally, Waititi brings a fresh perspective to the MCU, and from this trailer, his personality looks to shine through.

While you digest all of this, here's the synopsis:

Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor's quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

We still have quite a while to wait until we find out, though, as Thor: Ragnarok doesn’t open until November 3. I tend to think the Thor movies are underrated in the MCU, so between that and this, I'm all in.