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Reviews Comments: Disappointing, Part One Thor Ragnarok film/book review by Erik Modi

I was disappointed. Now, I\'m a huge Thor fan, be it comics, movies, mythology, whatever. Thor is my bro. I liked the other two Thor movies, yes, even Dark World. But this film was just lackluster all the way around.

First, the comedy. As noted under Broken Base, it\'s too pervasive. A lot of it is actually very funny, and I have no problem with it in that respect. But it\'s all over the place. The laughs come so hard and so fast there\'s no time for the drama to breathe, to be it\'s own thing, to get any kind of emotion from the audience. Even what are supposed to be the big dramatic drops of the film (Thor telling Valkyrie Odin is dead, for one) are sandwiched between punchlines.

Not only does this suck the dramatic tension from the audience, it does it for the characters themselves. If Thor spends the entire movie cracking jokes, how am I supposed to believe that there are any stakes involved? His only reaction to having his hammer destroyed is to crack jokes about it. His only reaction to Hela booting him out of the Bifrost and to the ass-end of space is to crack jokes about it. His only reaction to knowing that Hela is on Asgard destroying everything his father built is to crack jokes about it. Hela\'s only reaction to what she\'s doing, and how people are reacting, is to crack jokes about it. If the characters themselves can\'t take the situation seriously, how are we, the audience, supposed to?

This leads to another complaint, which I feel I have to lay solely at the feet of the director: the acting. While none of the performances are bad, per se, none of them are as nuanced as they should be, especially coming from actors like Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchet, and Sir Anthony Hopkins, who we know can give excellent, nuanced performances. None of the characters seem to be operating on more than one emotional level at any one time, and that emotional level is usually \"what can I do that will be funny?\" There\'s no conflict within the characters, so the conflicts between the characters are undermined. Any potential emotional center for the characters and the film as whole is just absent.

(Continued In Comments)

Comments

  • ErikModi
  • 12th Nov 17
Even the character conflicts just seem to be going through the motions. Thor and Hulk argue, insult each other, and make up in the space of literally two minutes. Their conflict is as manufactured as it gets, and because it had no genuinely satisfying cause, it has no genuinely satisfying resolution. The scene could be axed completely and not change a single thing. Thor and Loki similarly don\'t really earn each other\'s respect, Loki doesn\'t really earn his way back in. Loki became \"predictable\" for no good reason, other than that he needed to try and betray Thor yet again for Thor to outsmart him, deliver a speech about being predictable, and give Loki impetus to have a Big Damn Heroes moment to. . . prove Thor wrong, I guess? Instead of exploring the legitmately interesting conflict of how Loki feels about Asgard and its people, what he\'ll do for them despite feeling (somewhat rightly) that he\'s always been The Unfavorite, the film apparently decides that Loki will turn heroic just because Thor doesn\'t think he will. It\'s almost like the film is actually a Stealth Parody. In fact, looking at it as a parody might make it more enjoyable.

The stakes of the film are again undermined by the casual way in which all impactful moments are treated. The Warriors Three are dispatched so effortlessly, and with so little fanfare, that I actually thought \"okay, this means there\'s a Reset Button to be pushed at the end, because it\'s just impossible that these moments are being discarded so irreverently.\" Well, no, no reset button. Just an utter contempt for anything actually dramatic to happen in this film.

Now, don\'t get me wrong, I\'m glad I saw it, and I\'ll be owning it on Blu-Ray because it\'s a Marvel movie. But really, this is the weakest movie in the MCU, bar none. Iron Man 3 at least tried to play on the drama of its premise. This film, Thor: Ragnarok, about the end of the Norse Gods, the destruction of Asgard and the rest of the Nine Realms in the biggest Mutual Kill in history, was not the right time to make a Mel Brooks movie.

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