Well, I know I’ve been falling a little bit behind but sometimes that’s what happens when you trying to write a novel. So I may not be getting in the one post a week but I’m somewhere in the ballpark.
Last weekend, I went to see Thor: Ragnarok. As some of you may know, I like to look at the films that are in my genre and comment on the writing since, well, that’s what I do. I’m one of those individuals that always pays attention to the details beyond the acting. Writing for me is crucial because if you don’t write a good story then you really don’t have a good film. It doesn’t matter how many’s special effects or top name actors that you have it. It all starts and ends with the story. Being as these genres are things that I’m quite familiar with and right to a degree (their close cousins to the things I create), it’s right up my alley to give my 3 1/2 cents on what the writing in these works.
The first thing that I have to note is that when the movie was released to the critics, it got a whopping 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Color me impressed. When I had seen the trailers, that is not what it looked like to me but maybe I was missing something so when I got ready to go see the movie, there was a part of me that were is waiting to be surprised.
I was surprised. I was surprised that it wasn’t that good.
I am definitely the odd man out on this. The movie has been doing well at the box office and comic fans are salivating over it. I’m just not one of them.
It’s not that the movie was awful. It wasn’t. The abject silliness that went throughout the whole movie just got out of control. There was a one-liner and then another one-liner and then another. It didn’t take the ramifications of what was happening seriously. I mean, we are talking about Asgard’s total destruction. Yes, there needs to be some comic relief but for the whole movie to be this comedy-fest just brought it down to the dregs of mediocre. It certainly wasn’t a build up to a great climax for a trilogy.
Another thing that bothered me about the whole film was in fact that it didn’t stay true to the source material. Again. Hela being the goddess of death was ridiculously powerful and you can add to that deeply shallow. The Grandmaster — an Elder of the Universe — (extremely powerful beings in Marvel) was a bumbling idiot. I normally like Jeff Goldblum but it was a travesty to see such a powerful character brought to such stupidity. Major supporting characters (Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun) were killed quickly, without any kind of respect. It got to a point where if you didn’t know anything about the source material, you really didn’t care about Asgard’s destruction. That was all the back drop for a good laugh. That is because of bad writing though it was because of bad decision making at Marvel Studios for the expense of a buck. Big bucks in telling, superficial, hokey, banal stories.
All fiction writers, to some degree, have to perform research in order to build a believable world. When doing movies based on comic book heroes, the source material is where they should go for the major plot points of anything that goes on with that hero. To deviate so far away from Thor in terms of the character as well as how seriously Asgardians took the coming of Ragnarok, the whole movie was an exercise in how lazy somebody can be as a writer and how patronizing they can be to the fans.
All in all, at its best, the movie was mediocre. C or C-. I’m not real sure why it was so popular with the critics but I can guess it’s because the source material has been jettisoned for other reasons that the scope of this post can’t cover.
I’m looking forward to Black Panther because I’m confident they are going to take the first black superhero seriously.
A lot has been happening but for now, it’s time to get back to work. I’ll let you know here real soon.
See you in the Tapestry!
4 thoughts on “Thor Ragnorok and Writing”
I’m glad you said this. I’ve been saying the same thing (about the silliness factor). I loved the first few Marvel movies BECAUSE they were serious. Then all of a sudden Ant-Man came along. It was funny and it felt like it didn’t exactly fit in the mold. Then there was Guardians of the Galaxy. That movie was funnier and verged on silly. I still didn’t completely mind because it really did feel like a different movie for a different audience. I guess I didn’t fully grasp that someday the Guardians would meet the Avengers. And then what? Well, now I think we know. Apparently the studio decided that this is what audiences want. The latest Thor movie felt WAY more like another Guardians movie than another Avengers move. I’m not sure I approve. I think a C- is a fair judgement. I am hoping Black Panther will redeem the Universe.
Thanks for posting Tom.
That progression that you spoke of was something I didn’t see quite as well as you did. It has progressively gotten sillier with each of the movies. I really didn’t see it coming with Thor: Ragnorok since the last Thor movie was nothing like this. If you start off like that like Guardian or Ant-Man, that’s one thing. But when you have this wild departure…yeah. Not helping. Not helping at all.
Black Panther looks amazing and they are obligated to take it serious. We’re talking about the first black superhero. They dropped the ball on Luke Cage so they have to redeem themselves. I’m sure they’ll get back to business with that and Avengers: Infinity War – Part I. In the meantime, we’ll have to see if DC gets it right with The Justice League which has come in with awful reviews so far (officially 43% according to Comicbook.com). That doesn’t bode well. DC just can’t seem to get it right. *sigh*
Yeah, I don’t know what it is about the DC movies. I loved Wonder Woman and Man of Steel, but something just didn’t click with Batman vs. Superman. I wanted to love it but I didn’t.
You know, I’m in the same exact boat. I loved Man of Steel because it was much better than I thought it was going to be. I predicted the fall of Batman vs. Superman. I just knew it wasn’t going to be good. Did the same thing for Suicide Squad which I still have not seen. When I went to see Wonder Woman, I went would bated breath. I was pleasantly surprised the movie was as good as it was. Still some bumps and bruises along the way but not bad overall.
When I saw the first Justice League trailer, I made my prediction that the movie was not going to do well at all. Then the second trailer came out. I thought maybe that they had made some changes but still wasn’t convinced that it was going to do all that well. However, the second trailer had convinced me to go ahead and give the movie a try so I’m planning on going to see the movie on Saturday. But with this new revelation, I’m going to go expecting to be underwhelmed. Which is sad really because we know that they can make some decent movies if they get a decent director and they just haven’t gotten a decent director. More than that, the writing has been atrocious which is really what has been the major issue with their most recent movies: bad writing.
On top of that you have Ben Affleck playing Batman and that to me is a travesty and it doesn’t seem like he’s making it any better as we get further along into the franchise. But, such is life. Justice League will not do well and the decline of the DC Comics line of movies will jade people and they will expect mediocrity at best from them.
Having said all that, I could be wrong. It would be nice if I was wrong. But the way things are going, it looks like this is going to be an of attrition through bad writing, acting, and directing.