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Apocalypse, But Not the End......

Posted on the 07 May 2018 by Jamesswezey
Apocalypse, But Not the End......I will probably be once again in the minority when I state that I did not care for Thor: Ragnarok. How far the franchise has....changed since Kenneth Branagh back in 2011; that was seven years ago. Although I won't write what happened in this latest, and perhaps last Thor film, it was stylistically closer to Guardians of the Galaxy than the original Thor film, which for me was not a positive. So Thor is looking for his father and happens across Hela, the goddess of death, who then attempts to kill him and Loki and during the scuffle destroys his hammer. During their escape Thor gets lost and gets stuck on a world where he must fight a gladiatorial match against the Hulk. Eventually they escape and attempt to stop Hela from annihilating all of Asgard. That's it basically. So Chris Hemsworth, who knows if the man really possesses any good acting talent, reprises his role as Thor yet again. Unlike the first inception where he grows and changes, in this film he is deprecating, stupidly sarcastic, and not the noble god that he originally was in the first film. His character attempts to emulate the successes of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark and Chris Pratt as Star Lord/Peter Quill as the sarcastic, self-deprecating, humorous, witty super hero.....although it came across as forced and unlike his character. Tom Hiddleston as Loki was equally, if not worse with his character, Loki. Not threatening whatsoever; in this film he is merely a comic foil to Thor, and that's it. I don't know what's up with his character, but it is a far cry from what happened in The Avengers film or even the second Thor film. Of course Cate Blanchett as Hela was perfection; there were times when she went a little over the top with the dialog, but for the most part she meant business as a villain, and she wasn't afraid to kill scores of people and characters to meet her end. Unfortunately, her character was typically static and there was no exploration of what was indeed a rich backstory. Perhaps one of the best parts of the entire film was Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster; he was amazing with his lines and how he treated the character. He will definitely be long remembered for his role as time and people forget Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie, who is a washed up drunken warrior with a lot of talent and an intensely dark secret. She did a good job, but for the most part I found her character quite boring; she after all was playing a story stereotype, so there was nothing incredibly interesting about her. Karl Urban, who is a very talented actor, somehow got stuck with an obnoxious, and useless character, called Skurge. I am not certain what the writers were thinking, but they failed extraordinarily. Mark Ruffalo played the Hulk/Bruce Banner; and that was it. Nothing new and nothing different. Anthony Hopkins as Odin was more than useless in this film; unlike the two previous films, he had lost all of his physical authority and power as king, so it really damaged his character. Definitely a poor writing choice. Even Idris Elba as Heimdall was a complete waste unfortunately. But what Marvel film would be complete without a Stan Lee cameo, and somehow everyone keeps finding a place for him in all the films, and it always comes across brilliantly. Hopefully he can remain alive long enough to keep it all coming.Apocalypse, But Not the End......The director, Taika Waititi, did a great job bringing his vision alive on-screen; I just happened to disagree with that vision, but film itself wasn't dreadful, and I suppose could be construed as "good entertainment." As I mentioned above Kenneth Branagh who directed the first Thor film and this gentleman had a much different perspective on the character and series. I guess you could think of it almost in a kind of era; the first Thor film was more romantic and akin to Feudal Europe; Thor: Ragnarok was self-deprecating and like the 70's or 80's here in the United States of America. This self-deprecating, not taking the material or characters seriously has become very popular and not just in comic book based films (Marvel & DC alike) but other films as well, such as the new Star Wars films, and especially the atrocious The Last Jedi film. In American culture at least, there is very little sense of true honor and nobility left; everything must be mocked and taken down by verbal insult. It is very sad. I suppose for that reason I shouldn't be surprised that this is occurring in popular film media, but at the same time that doesn't mean I have to like it. Obviously in my opinion the writing was poor, not dreadful, but definitely poor. The story lacked gravitas and banked on cheap shots with their humor and characters who mocked themselves and others; Saturday Night Live does a much better job with this. As for the technical elements of the film, the music by Mark Mothersbaugh was less than.....well something good. I suppose I am a fan of John Williams orchestral themes and grand, moving film scores than a jazzed up pop soundtrack. The cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe wasn't terrible, but the overall look of the film and color saturation reminded me of Easter candy; very smooth, pastel color palette, and that superficial look. The costume design by Mayes C. Rubeo was I have to say pretty good; Hela and the Grandmaster being the standouts of course. The action was....well, it was okay. But senseless bashing of the bodies doesn't really interest me after seeing probably well over a hundred action films where they all do some variant of that. It wasn't very dynamic, and Hela's abiltiy to throw very sharp speared objects was kind of lame honestly, despite its effectiveness. So I didn't care for Thor: Ragnarok and although it wasn't a dreadful film, I really have no desire to see it again....except the parts that have Jeff Goldblum in it, and maybe Cate Blanchett. It wasn't a bad movie, I simply didn't care for it for the aforementioned reasons. And once again, all of these comic book films are really starting to mirror each other very similarly, and for me that isn't very entertaining or interesting. But for those of whom enjoy it, please do.
Thor: Ragnarok clip
Thor: Ragnarok documentary
 Robin Hood trailer (looks positively dreadful)

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