‘THOR: RAGNAROK’ teaser speaks to the “James Gunn-ing” of Marvel & that’s a very good thing

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Chris Hemsworth in THOR: RAGNAROK. Courtesy of Marvel.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

If you’ve ever seen a film directed by Taika Waititi, then you already know that he’s got a masterful vision of what storytelling should look and feel like. If you haven’t, well, you need to get on this because you’re missing out on some truly wonderful films like EAGLE VS. SHARK, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS and, my #1 favorite film of 2016, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE. His latest is for the Marvel machine and by the looks of it, THOR: RAGNAROK is going to blend the filmmaker’s eye for scale, scope and humor beautifully.

Unlike the other, fairly snoozeworthy entries in the Norse god’s saga, RAGNAROK looks and feels completely different – and that’s a very good thing! Since James Gunn was able to magnificently land his vision (offbeat humor and all) with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY back in 2014, and make a boatload of cash worldwide doing so, it’s wonderful that Marvel is letting other filmmakers do the same. Earlier this year, Scott Derrickson also made a Marvel-esque hero’s landing with his trippy, epic vision with DOCTOR STRANGE, which also did very well for the brand.

It’s hard to deny that both GUARDIANS, STRANGE and RAGNAROK don’t all share the same space operatic aesthetic. They all bliss out on scope and breathtaking special effects in order to emphasize it’s a transportive, otherworldly adventure. Also, much like GUARDIANS, RAGNAROK’s trailer soundtrack is reliant on slamming 70’s sounds, here being Led Zepplin’s “The Immigrant Song.”

I’m so happy that bland, generic visuals and stuffy, unenthusiastic storytelling now seems like a thing of the past for Marvel. Their evolving nature is second to none – and it’s time we all wake up to this.

THOR: RAGNAROK opens on November 3.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.