Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

Thor and Hulk’s Big Adventure

I saw the premiere of Thor:Ragnarok tonight at the IMAX theater at Assembly Row in Somerville, MA, USA tonight. Some initial thoughts.

==spoilers==
==also, I’m assuming you have seen the movie or already know the basic plot==

The 2 hours plus seemed like an hour, so it definitely did not drag. And some people remained in their seats even after the second stinger at the end of the credits, so they might still have been processing their queue due to information overload.

Kudos to Disney and Marvel for letting hundreds of millions ride on such a strange film by such a strange director. I will definitely go see Waititi’s other films now!

The film is almost a montage and somewhat defies conventional analysis but here goes.

Plot. Yeah there is a plot, two in fact. An “A” plot which is an abbreviated retelling of the Planet Hulk story and a “B” plot which is the eponymous Ragnarok, the Norse Twilight of the Gods.

The Planet Hulk story takes up the majority of the time, but it seems curiously pointless as the story’s climax and epilogue of how Sakaar was liberated and ruled by Hulk has fallen out. Similarly, Miek, who provides the comic relief and had a nice character arc, here is voiceless and kind of a pointless CGI creature/bug/person/thing.

The “B’ plot, such as it is, amounts to “evil throne usurper sibling syndrome” so that’s mostly predictable, though there are some nice aversions.

The characterization is accomplished through physical comedy, the budding bromance of Hulk and Thor, and by some pretty wonderful and loose acting by everyone except Anthony Hopkins, who seems like he was stuffed and reanimated for his bit.

The Sakaar setting is a Jack Kirby delight and includes shoutouts to everything from 2001 to Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Asgard is rather boring and CGI-ish but serviceable.

Looking back at my first reaction piece to the first trailer, I got most things right, so pat on the back for me. Thor Ragnarok Teaser Trailer Looks like Big Fun

Where I think this movie works is as a comedic deconstruction of the Thor movies, cartoon movies and movie tropes in general. There’s a lot of trope aversions and one extremely meta scene near the beginning. The acting is really delightful and in a way it reminds me of District Nine in the brave way the script got trashed and replaced with some very funny improvised bits.

Given the way the stock characters from the comics are manipulated for satirical and humorous effect, this film might be termed a “superhero comedy of manners.”

I’d say don’t get your hopes up too high, and maybe be a little loose and relaxed before you go, and it will be a fun time. 4/5 stars.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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3 November, 2017 Posted by | comedy, movie, scanlyze, Thor, Waititi | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avengers: I enjoyed this movie even more than I expected

Avengers: I enjoyed this movie even more than I expected.

My criticisms are mild: it is a superhero movie and so you know how it ends, pretty much. World saved. More bad guys incoming.

Robot monsters attack Manhattan. They proceed to devastate earth’s critical strategic assets, namely its Manhattan yellow cabs and NYPD police cars. Cue running civilians ala 9/11 or Godzilla. Like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, only with a plot and writing and acting. Hilarity ensues as HULK SMASH.

What I thought was splendid, though, was the script. It is LOL funny and has a certain tenderness to it. Like Firefly with super powers. Even the bit players get their moments to shine. And how nice to see really good actors enjoying their roles and having fun working together. Hiddleston is the cement which holds the moral compass together as Loki, the smarmy, fucked-up jealous kid brother evildoer with a God complex. Well, ok he is a God, but, notwithstanding, is trash-talking the enraged Hulk a good tactic? Not so much.

A few preliminary intra-team skirmishes establish the heroes, their motivations and assets. Iron Man vrs Thor. Thor vrs Capt. America. Hulk vrs Thor. Hulk vrs. Black Widow. Run Scarlett run!

Two huge set-piece fights, first one, they do not fight as a team and it is a somewhat mitigated disaster. Second time, a charm. Did I mention HULK SMASH?

Well worth seeing in the theatre, in 3D, with friends.

The Avengers – Official Trailer #2 (HD):

Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy

8 May, 2012 Posted by | Avengers, Hulk smash, media, movie, review, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment