It’s hardly an original thought to say that I found Marvel’s second Thor outing to be one of their more execrable “efforts.” Thor: The Dork World was an excruciatingly poor follow-up to what was, let’s be fair, not the strongest or most noteworthy debut film for the God of Thunder. On the plus side, none of the flaws of those films are to be laid at the feet of the extremely game Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who consistently provide value above and beyond the material. Now we have the first real trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, the third movie for His Mightiness.
So as not to bury the lede: It looks like Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy had a baby.
There’s a lot to unpack here; since Jeff Goldblum was cast, I’ve been wondering how they planned to use the Grandmaster character. We all knew Mark Ruffalo would be back as Hulk in this film, and this gladiatorial combat (with Loki looking on, no less) looks like it could be a fun rematch. Cate Blanchett is a bit difficult to recognize with dark hair and makeup, but the Hela crown looks, if you’ll pardon me, hella awesome. Admittedly, it doesn’t hurt that the film appears to be wholeheartedly embracing the cosmic side of Marvel – Natalie Portman isn’t returning, and as much as I like Kat Dennings’ Darcy, if the cost of admission is an A-list actress clearly not enjoying herself in a marginal love interest role that waters down the plot… I hear you’ve got a job on a popular sitcom, Ms. Dennings!
Let’s be frank, there’s every reason to suspect that Thor: Ragnarok will be significantly less jovial and kinetic than its trailer suggests, given that there’s a dramatic irony to expose, a new love interest to introduce, a Jeff Goldblum to Goldblum around a bit (let’s be honest, you don’t buy yourself a Jeff Goldblum unless you want him to Goldblum) and a cameo or two to jam in. With this trailer, however, I’m more than willing to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt, especially with a new director at the helm who doesn’t come in with a lot of baggage. Taika Waititi was a screenwriter for Moana, another film I rather liked, and if he brings the skilled pacing and the ability to handle a demigod with levity over from that film to this, we should be in for a solid time.
Thor: Ragnarok releases in the United States and Canada on November 3.