The Phantom of the Cineplex: Thor Ragnarok

I just saw Thor Ragnarok on opening day. I think that Marvel’s cleverly deceptive advertising and how their deliberately misleading trailers have effectively outed many prominent YouTube reviewers as, basically, frauds. Several big name movie reviewers clearly wrote up their reviews beforehand based almost entirely on an impression made by the trailers, only to have the rug yanked out from under them by Marvel pulling some switcheroos with the scenes from the trailers in the movie itself. I guess that they wrote their material prematurely so that they could get to press sooner, and for the same reason they just stuck to their scripts despite the discrepancies with the film once they had actually SEEN it. Here are a few of the lies these liars where telling when they got caught lying.

First, that Taika Waititi copied James Gunn and that Thor Ragnarok (now known as TR) looks exactly like Guardians of the Galaxy (now known as GotG). This was a supposed insider rumor to which we were all somehow made privy and most movie commenters just thoughtlessly swallowed this tidbit without chewing. Yes, TR is colorful like GotG was colorful, certainly more colorful than The Dark World or Thor. But, the color pallet is very different. Guardians used a lot of secondary colors, like teals and fuchsias, whereas TR’s primary color scheme is clearly dictated by the Kirbyesque aesthetic of the old seven-color-comic process. The absolute proof that this is the reason for the style is discovered while watching the movie and seeing Waititi’s portrayal of Thor as an advanced space-traveling alien who uses technology very adeptly instead of a magical creature from a pagan religion, just as Jack Kirby originally depicted the Asgardians when that coloring process and that art style were the standard.

Second, that TR was just a comedy. A couple of high-profile YouTube reviewers really blew it when they repeated the hive-mind belief that the movie was overly comedic and that the script was weighed down with too many jokes. Actually, there are hardly any real JOKES in it. The movie is humorous, yes. It is lighthearted and funny, but there are practically no jokes in it. Jokes have setup and come to fruition with some punchline or physical humor. Jokes have to be written into a script and the danger there is that they can feel forced. Pretty much all the humor in TR is the very natural sort found in causal conversation between naturally funny people. Almost none of the funny stuff is the result of added material. There was no “joke material” that some writer in the pool was hoarding for just such an occasion and which had to be shoe-horned into the script. When the Grand Master’s explanation of the planet Sakar’s time dialation effect just peters off into a funny face, that is literally just Goldblum finishing on a funny face and not completing his line. When Thor is dangling in front of Surtur and spinning around on a chain and asks Surtur to interrupt his villain’s soliloquy until he orbits back around to face him again, that is really just Hemsworth having fun with the physical situation and camera direction. Most of the humor is probably just off the cuff and spontaneous. Claims that the movie is heavily leaden with forced joke writing is rubbish.

Third, that the general plot of the movie was contained or spoiled by the trailers. Marvel really passed a poisoned pill with some of those trailers, and boy, did some fools swallow that poison! Here is a short list of false claims about plot points based solely on trailers: Thor battles Hela in a New York alleyway; Hela kills Odin; Hulk beats Thor, is stronger than Thor, or really that Hulk even helps that much to defeat that bad guys (in fact, Thor even humiliates Banner when Bruce can’t fly a spaceship which, apparently, Thor does very well); Thor is weakened or humbled by the loss of Mjolnir; the valkyrie in the movie is actually the character named Valkyrie in the comics (she’s not, she’s literally just some rank and file valkyrie redshirt); Hela gains power from killing Asgardians, sucks the life force from them, and then reanimates those whom she has killed (in fact, the zombie Asgardians were previously entombed by Odin and Hela actually attempts to spare the civilian population). Major YouTube personalities actually ran with these claims afters having supposedly watched the movie.

It’s a scandal, I tell you! You can call it “movie gate” or “reviewer gate”, but I like the humor in “trailer gate”.

 

Addendum #1

I should add that, on point #1, claiming that Waititi copied Gunn or that TR looks like GoTG is as stupid as claiming that Schumacher copied Burton or that Batman Forever looks like Batman Returns just because they are colorful and look comicbookish. Burton’s colors were found in vibrant cloth textures while Schumacher’s neons were source lighting effects. Only an idiot would make the above claims after having watched both.

 

Addendum #2

One last thing. Just like #1, #4 is the claim that Waititi copied Gunn’s use of classic rock. Actually, besides Immigrant by Led Zepplin, not much else was used or recognizable. Waititi simply DID NOT rely on or make much use of classic rock, though that exact claim is, again, being made by several of the higher ranking YouTube reviewers. Funny enough, according to the credits, most of the music was re-purposed “Dark World” themes.

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