THOR: RAGNAROK [2017]

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2017 has seen two superhero films that I actually enjoyed. Considering that apart from The Watchmen, I’ve never enjoyed one of these films on any level, this seems quite the achievement. Even better, Logan and Ragnarok couldn’t be more different despite both coming from the Marvel universe.

Logan is a dark, gritty, emotionally resonant film and despite the mutant element, it is very human with searing dialogue that hammers home the emotion of the film and the characters within it. Each character has their flaws and they feel more human because of this.

Ragnarok however is simply fun, right from the beginning. I won’t pretend to know the cinematic history of the character because I don’t. But having seen both Avengers films as well as the god-awful Captain America – Civil War and its predecessor, I had a pretty good idea of the characters I was watching and their motivations. Not to mention that apart from Loki and Thor, with a small appearance by Banner/The Hulk, Ragnarok is filled with new and interesting characters, the best of which is easily The Grandmaster, ruler of the realm that Loki and Thor find themselves in after a trip to Asgard is interrupted violently as they are thrown from the beam bringing them home by their sister, the Goddess of Death, Hela, who has been unleashed following the death of Odin, Thor’s father.

Why? Well, these films need a villain, and here the film falters as we are presented with yet another underwhelming villain, who has the looks and the moves to accompany her role, but is a very thin character; all we know is that she is the first born of Odin. Or who knows, perhaps that is a deep character when it comes to these films, I lost count a long time ago.

Two elements stand out brightest from the rest of Marvel’s shoddy output. Firstly, it is actually funny, from the very first scene in fact, as Thor is locked in a cage, talking to a long perished skeleton. So he is essentially talking to himself and the laughs are already coming.

Thankfully, there is little to no PC, ‘offensive’ user-friendly garbage here; while this isn’t exactly a dark comedy, Kiwi humour is its own beast. It isn’t afraid to poke the audience, unlike Marvel’s entire output for the most part. Landing perhaps somewhere between Aussie humour and Pommie humour, one-liners, clever inside jokes that even I was able to follow, great banter and slapstick comedy rule the roost, often appearing completely out of context within a scene, the juxtaposition creating an increasingly daft situation.

At first I was disappointed that one of my favourite directors was turning to a superhero film after the fantastic and funny What We Do In The Shadows and the very different but also funny Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

I am no longer disappointed. This is the first superhero film to make me laugh since Suicide Squad, which most seemed to hate. On the other hand, I thought Deadpool was an exercise in idiocy. We all have out own tastes I guess.

In addition to being absurdly funny, Ragnarok is easily the most bright and colourful movie of its ilk that I have ever seen. I’m sure it has been seen in previous films, but the city of Asgard is built with painstaking detail using what I assume is CGI, while there are a couple of scenes that are almost like digitised versions of 2001’s Stargate. The colour scheme is an odd mix of the colour design of The Zero Theorem (Gilliam’s last film) with the bright, vivid colours found throughout The Fifth Element.

There is also some excellent cinematography to enjoy, including extended shots of Thor and Hela doing their thing – particularly memorable is near the beginning of the film, with a reprisal later on, where we watch Thor thunderously kick arse to a Led Zeppelin tune. A couple of aerial shots showing the combat are also memorable, as are a few select static shots, such as when Hela first walks through the portal instead of Thor.

And of course one has to mention Jeff Goldblum, who as The Grandmaster not only steals every scene he is in, he proves that no matter the film, no matter the genre, he delivers. His comic timing is especially impressive, as are the lines that he is given to chew on.

One also must mention that the Kiwi accent is by far the best sounding accent when saying the word ‘bro’. There simply is no comparison.


It seems we finally we have a film of this nature that doesn’t take itself seriously; if anything, it revels in its own silliness and is acutely aware that the storyfive beer(1) is just a tad far-fetched. Even as the story heats up, the humour doesn’t dissipate. The end of the film sets up yet another entry into this universe, and we can only hope that Taikiti hangs around for the next installment, or at the very least another talented, unique director is chosen to further separate these incredibly similar films.

One short of a sixer

5/6

10 Comments on “THOR: RAGNAROK [2017]

  1. I’d really really recommend going back and giving Deadpool another try. Jordan, you and I both have very vulgar tastes in humor. HOW DOES THAT MOVIE NOT WORK FOR YOU!!! 😉 😀

    Some advice for that, too. Don’t watch it for the plot. Watch it for the exchange of dialogue. The banter is ridiculous, even if that itself doesnt make the overall piece entirely unique. It might improve on a second viewing. If not, I’ll send you my address and you can come over and kill me. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha my taste in humour is more dark and twisted. I mean, I found A Serbian Film one of the funniest films I have ever seen =P

      Vulgar is guess I see a bit… easy? Low-brow? I spose I’m being a snob. I almost always follow your advice though so I might rewatch that one too. I’m actually gonna watch Black Panther too just to see if Marvel have learned anything from the variety of Logan and Thor. Cos Civil War was painful to watch.

      Like

      • When you say ‘I found A Serbian Film one of the funniest films,’ how do you mean? You realize that movie is a metaphor for the systematic abuse and suffering of the Serbian people? This is like, walking out of a Nazi movie and saying it was funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t know about what it symbolised, If I’d known that I’d have had a different reaction for sure. Not knowing that I just found the more insane parts hilarious. “New-born porn” particularly had me in stitches, but now that I know what it represents I feel bad =/

        But I was mainly try to give an example of what I find funny – disturbing, dark, fucked up stuff. That is why I love Yorgos Lanthimos so much. Not scared to make a joke about a suicide attempt. His latest film is even more bonkers.

        I still wanna watch Deadpool again, I don’t remember it well at all

        Like

      • Yeah I get it man, I wish I could take back my precious comment. Laugh at what you want! Haha! I found A Serbian Film effective to a degree. But yes, it is so violent it can definitely create that kind of reaction. It’s probably too violent. But there’s no denying the director wanted to stick it to the government. A government who has been starving it’s people, if not outright ignoring them and killing them. For years. It’s a movie that makes me feel fortunate to live where I live. We can legitimately complain about Donald Trump, but he is no Serbian dictator nor a legitimate fascist. (Though some people may say otherwise haha).

        Yeah, I’m that way too. I love Yorgos’ absolutely twisted view on social norms. I can’t wait to see Sacred Deer. It skipped my area for whatever reason. I was bummed…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh don’t be silly, it wasn’t like you were accusing me of anything. In fact I learned something new 🙂

        I did not know that about Serbia. Makes me feel a little naive tbh! That is really fucked.

        But yeah, the ‘new born porn’ bit had me hurting from laughter. Its just so wrong.

        Sacred Deer is online bro. Grab it, its fuuuucked. Some super dark humour but its much more focused on being a psych horror film than comedy. It makes The Lobster seem almost normal, but he does keep that almost emotionless way of talking that the Lobster had. Kidman is great too

        Like

      • btw, it says the comments are closed but I love your Blade Runner review. Really insightful mate. I Still haven’t seen it, how, I do not know

        Like

  2. This movie was such a good laugh… and actually I didn’t love Deadpool either. I enjoyed it but I didn’t think it was anywhere near as funny as people thought it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: DRUNKEN REVIEWS: BLACK PANTHER [2018] | THE epileptic moondancer

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