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11/29/2017 06:23:27 •••

A great slapstick parody of Thor

Remember how everyone hated 'Batman and Robin' for being too silly? How the times have changed. 20 years later the grimmest page in a superheroís history gets turned into Ghostbusters 2016-like comedy and critics and many members of audience claim it to be the best thing that could be done to him.

At first the comic mood works great, but it gets increasingly annoying as the film goes on and the stakes are supposed to rise. Every time drama temperature starts to build, it quickly gets broken with another joke. After a while you realize that it wasnít 'the calm before the storm' Ė the whole movie is the calm during the storm. Even the deaths of Warrior Three, Scourge's Redemption Equals Death or Asgard's destruction end up leaving zero emotional impact. The inability to take the movie even a little bit seriously also results into characters looking like parodies of themselves. And in case of the titular character it ironically hurts his appeal. Unlike Tony Stark or Peter Parker, Thor is a pure Wish Fulfillment character running on Rule of Cool: the mightiest Warrior Prince of a superhuman race with a cool weapon, who travels between the worlds and fights larger than life threats. Every time he is portrayed as a comic loser, it cuts down on what makes him fascinating in the first place!

Thor isn't the only one who suffered Badass Decay. Asgardians in general are supposed to be a Proud Warrior Race. When someone comes to invade Asgard, its entire population should be out there fighting. Yet, Hela is resisted only by a group of armed guards, while the rest of Asgardian population can only run into cover. To be fair, given Marvel's statements that these guys aren't actual gods, but Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, it makes some sense that their society has more in common with modern West than with actual Vikings (politically correct faces among them certainly help this view)... if not for the movies being really inconsistent about that. Thor and Hela are constantly referred to as 'God of Thunder' and 'Goddess of Death', their powers don't get any other explanation, Odin guides Thor from beyond the grave... Are these guys gods or aren't they? Make up your mind Marvel and stick to it!

Not all is well with the filmís structure either. Planet Hulk, while a great story on its own, has absolutely nothing to do with Ragnarok. Once Thor gets to Sakaar, the main conflict of the story slows down until he returns. The scenes on Sakaar are fun and well... but the fact Hela is conquering Asgard at the same time, slaughtering Thor's people, makes it hard to relax and enjoy them. Basically, it feels like two movies crammed into one, and each of them would be better on its own.

As a parody though, this movie would work pretty well, since itís flashy, pretty action-packed and if you donít take the movie at all seriously, it can be rather enjoyable. The problem is, itís stated to be a straight Thor movie. Not parody. And in this status, well, no. Just no.

11/20/2017 00:00:00

...I wonder what\'s up with the disjunction between the neigh-universal praise this movie\'s getting from viewers and critics and the neigh-universal complaints here on this page. Not trying to scream about \"teh bias!!!1\" or whatever. Sincerely curious.

11/20/2017 00:00:00

"politically correct faces among them certainly help this view"

Really? You're really going with that? Am I reading this right? Are you implying a connection between Badass Decay and the diversifying of the cast? Something along the lines of "we were once proud Vikings, and now we're a bunch of whiny special snowflakes"?

If so...yeah, that is certainly a hot take.

11/21/2017 00:00:00

...I didn\'t really read it that way...

11/21/2017 00:00:00

Well, I might have been overreacting, yeah.

"Politically correct faces" still causes me to raise an eyebrow, though.

11/28/2017 00:00:00

@Spectral Time: This is just me Wild Mass Guessing, but I think the disconnect between the people who love this movie elsewhere and the people who hate it here is A) Whether or not they\'re invested in Thor beyond \"comic-book movie\" and B) Whether or not they\'re invested in the movie beyond \"comic-book movie.\"

For the first case, if you\'re interested in Thor as portrayed in the comics, especially during some of his truly dramatic and serious turns, or if you\'re interested in the actual mythological figure this is all based on, this slapstick parody comes off as vaguely (if not quite a bit more than \"vaguely\") insulting. \"We don\'t know what else to do with Thor, so lets turn him into a comic buffoon. BRILLIANT!\" No, not so much.

For the second case, if you\'re looking it the film as \"just\" a comic book movie, and forgetting about all the great drama and character Marvel has pulled out of all their other comic book movies (and especially their Netflix series), then sure, this is a \"proper\" comic book movie: light, fun, funny, good guys win, evil gets its ass kicked, and everyone laughs all the way through. And maybe, just maybe, after the darker tone of a lot of Marvel films and series, it was the right time for a lighter, funnier, doesn\'t-take-itself-seriously movie. Which is fine, but why did they have undermine everything that makes Thor Thor to have it happen in this one?

Or perhaps, everyone\'s been so distracted by the jokes and the comedy and all the fun they had watching it in the theater that they don\'t really realize how shallow it is, that there\'s literally nothing else happening in the movie except jokes. And once people see it again, on Blu-Ray/DVD release, they\'ll realize how underwhelming it all is once you see all the punchlines coming.

11/29/2017 00:00:00

Eh, guess my own review said as much. Thanks.

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