Author Topic: Thor: Ragnarock  (Read 246 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 11:07:39 AM »
The sidekicks in WW are a mess of forced cultural stereotypes that are never evolved into fully fledged characters. Granted, Valkyrie is not exactly layered and complex, but everyone on Team Thor is enjoyable and has a reason for being there.

And if gods punching each other makes for boring action, surely WW has the most egregious of those scenes.
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AliceGuyBlache

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 03:57:22 AM »
Bringing out the knives for DCU, eh, DH?

The sidekicks in WW are a mess of forced cultural stereotypes that are never evolved into fully fledged characters. Granted, Valkyrie is not exactly layered and complex, but everyone on Team Thor is enjoyable and has a reason for being there.

And if gods punching each other makes for boring action, surely WW has the most egregious of those scenes.

Yes, but they're human and they actually face threats to their lives - which is what you need to build tension. I actually cared when Steve died. That's mostly due to a characterization that is far more complex than you imply. Pretty much all of the leads in THOR are invincible. There's no tension for the majority of the movie.

We know that Valkyrie went up against Hela and didn't die. Beyond that, she doesn't have much characterization. She's sad about her friends dying. That's about it.

Why does Loki stay there? Why does he care? He betrays Thor near the end then just decides to help him because that's what the plot needs him to do? Why does he care about Thor at all? Blame and guilt? Again, that justification works and doesn't work whenever the plot decides it to. No real rhyme or reason. No logic. His redemption doesn't make any sense and gives me little reason to believe that it will stick - is that the point? Then why does it happen? Why does the film treat it like a big moment? Also, Loki is invincible for the majority of the movie. There's no tension in him being killed.

Steve, on the other hand, is aware that the world is complex and morally grey and is still fighting on. The other ones are cultural stereotypes, sure, but they're also a bit more than that. The Ewen Bremmer character Charlie suffers from PTSD. Chief Napi actually makes a comment about the suffering of Native Americans. It's not a full blown subplot, but it does humanize him.

Also, it's less egregious in WONDER WOMAN when it's literally the last 20 minutes of the movie. THOR: RAGNAROK is literally just invincible people fighting invincible people for the entire movie. Then there's Hela at the end, but she still barely poses a threat to any of the major characters.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 05:14:11 AM »
Loki's motives are often murky but he's always been seen to care about his brother. His overall arc is wobbly but it makes sense that they would end up where they do.

The side characters in WW are humanised, yeah, but is that what we want? Except for the Scotsman, none of them should realistically be there, and yeah, we get scenes where we find out more about them, and they're real people with problems and so forth, but that's where it ends. It doesn't bring that much more to the movie. There is not much pathos in Ragnarok, but the characters are all fun. Valkyrie could have been used to say something more poignant about the nature of war or survivor's remorse or something, absolutely, but at the end of the day these people are making me laugh.

As for the action, yeah, I didn't expect anyone on the team to die at any moment. Thor loses an eye though, and Hulk is possibly stuck in that form for ever. Even if you disregard that, do I want to believe in a real threat to the characters? Not necessarily. An MCU movie is never going to subvert the genre much, because these are the movies that set the rules of the genre. Not many supers are going to die. That doesn't make their fight not fun. The arena scenes are hilarious and well choreographed. In fact, most of the action is played for laughs, because these are comedic scenes.

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AliceGuyBlache

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2017, 09:11:41 PM »
If invulnerability is to be assumed, then why do these movies present a threat that appears insurmountable at all? This is my problem with the film - it can't have it both ways. It wants there to be drama with the Asgardians, but I don't care about the Asgardians. Who does? It's threatening this big dark genocide, but since you invoke that we should assume invulnerability from the onset, then that drama is undercut. It's silly, but it's not presented that way. It's presented as harrowing. Why?

See, I would totally sign up for a buddy action comedy between Thor and the Hulk where that invulnerability is assumed and it's just a good time. But this movie concerns itself with so much BS - don't care about Heimdall, don't care about Valkyrie, don't care about family politics, don't care about Benebore Overactorbatch, etc. All this stuff clogs up all of the supposed fun I am supposed to be having - that you had. It's pretty similar to my problem with DEADPOOL and SUPERMAN: HOMECOMING - there's so much boring plotty stuff added for THE PATHOS that ultimately gets in the way of the fun. It takes 45 minutes, maybe an hour for us to get to the Hulk. It should've taken 15 TOPS. Do you disagree? Or can you answer me why all this other stuff needed?

1SO

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2017, 12:01:11 AM »
If invulnerability is to be assumed, then why do these movies present a threat that appears insurmountable at all? This is my problem with the film - it can't have it both ways. It wants there to be drama with the Asgardians, but I don't care about the Asgardians. Who does? It's threatening this big dark genocide, but since you invoke that we should assume invulnerability from the onset, then that drama is undercut. It's silly, but it's not presented that way. It's presented as harrowing. Why?
I didn't see any drama with the Asgardians. Over the three films Thor is growing up to be the leader of Asgard. In this film he learns that he is protecting their people, the place doesn't matter. I'm curious what you think is presented as "harrowing"? It could be my obsession with word choice but that sounds harsh for what I was seeing, which I thought was very silly and all in good fun. Thor believes he has to defeat the undefeatable. Even though he is a God and cannot be killed he also cannot stop Hela from destroying Asgard and its people, so he comes up with an interesting solution to the problem. It is Loki who actually gets it. When he arrives, announcing himself as their savior, he isn't there to stop Hela but to rescue the Asgardians.

Unlike the DC films which are stuck in epic battles of destruction, Taika Waititi gives us stakes that are not life and death. He invites us to join in the fun of this indestructible God who needs to learn how to be responsible with his power. (Something Branagh also did with the first film and the failing of The Dark World.)


See, I would totally sign up for a buddy action comedy between Thor and the Hulk where that invulnerability is assumed and it's just a good time. But this movie concerns itself with so much BS - don't care about Heimdall, don't care about Valkyrie, don't care about family politics, don't care about Benebore Overactorbatch, etc. All this stuff clogs up all of the supposed fun I am supposed to be having - that you had.
I agree about the unnecessary inclusion of Doctor Strange. Even though that's one of my favorite characters, removing him would streamline getting the party started by bringing Hela in sooner. I can't think of anything in Ragnarok that was there for pathos. Maybe Hopkins dying, but even that is glossed over to get to the main story. I saw Ragnarok as a comedy, even more than either Guardians film.

...and I liked Valkyrie. Making her a drunk was a deep well of jokes.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2017, 06:01:12 AM »
I was quoting Minchin. :)

Always good to quote.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2017, 06:54:05 AM »
1SO is right in that the movie never tries to evoke pathos or be dramatic. It's comedy where the heroes have to solve a problem, but you're not supposed to feel the stakes that heavily. I wish the movie had spent more time on Hella, developing her character and giving us a better idea of what was going on in Asgard. Genocide should not be so completely glossed over. She is not a space Hitler however. We are not meant to see her as a monstrous incarnation of human evil and horror, but a larger than life, eccentric maniac who is fun to fight against.

1SO is wrong about Doctor Strange. That entire scene is heaps of fun and does not deserve to be retired. There would be merit, though, in making more space for Hella, but I could do with an extra twenty minutes of movie. What you see as plotty nonsense are fun meanderings for other people. There is great material in Deadpool in the pre-powers scenes, and Spider-Man is not meant to be about the main plot and conflict, it's about the character.

That's true about a lot of these movies; the fans want to spend time with the characters, even if they're not doing anything. Sometimes, that's more fun. As new additions go, and there must always be some, Valkyrie was pretty fun. Hopkins and Heimdall less so, but that is because of the subpar movies that came before, and they could not be overlooked.


I was quoting Minchin. :)

Always good to quote.

Word.
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AliceGuyBlache

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2017, 10:26:50 PM »

That's true about a lot of these movies; the fans want to spend time with the characters, even if they're not doing anything.


I think this sums up our differences on these films entirely: I want to see characters do something while you just want to see the characters for the sake of their representation. I would argue, however, that this throws out any kind of criticism you have towards WONDER WOMAN out the window because I would venture to guess that your distaste for it shows more fundamentally that you're not a fan of Wonder Woman as a character. If you were, her representation would be enough as shown in this above comment.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Thor: Ragnarock
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 11:34:45 AM »
I like the character, I just don't think she is very well written. I don't think the movie passes the What would an Amazon do when she gets to 1910s London? test. Her inability to question what she thinks she knows and her stubborn refusal to learn anything about the outside world until the realisation of humanity's vices is kicking her in the shins is, at the very least, annoying. I don't buy that someone curious enough to read ten books on female sexuality would not ask Steve two questions about England before getting there.

As for Marvel movies, I enjoy the characters. That means I enjoy them when they're hanging out and when they're doing stuff. I don't want them to criticise characterisation to make sure the movie is packed with movement and plot and action.
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