The latest trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was easily one of the highlights of Comic Con 2017. Similar to the first trailer, which uses Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song to great effect, this second trailer also contains a fantastic track and a humorous tone. From the looks of things, based on all of the promotion for the movie thus far, Ragnarok is promising to be unlike the past two solo Thor films or any MCU movie thus far. Ragnarok looks and feels like a refreshing, total departure from what audiences expect from the Thor films, and that makes sense given who’s directing it.
Taika Waititi was an unusual and brave directorial choice by Marvel Studios. Waititi has a particular filmmaking style. Eccentric characters and worlds, zany humour, outlandish plots and striking cinematography are all trademarks of his last two movies: What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. This is all evident in the most recent trailer for Ragnarok. There’s an overuse of green, pink, white, and blue colours, the dialogue seems quippy, and the story is arguably the most fantastical one yet in the MCU, akin to Guardians of the Galaxy.
It’s already been confirmed that Hulk will actually talk quite a bit in Thor: Ragnarok, and that’s a great example of what fans will be getting into with the Marvel hero this time around. Hulk/Bruce Banner jokingly pokes fun at how puny Thor is compared to him, and this humour is character driven. It works wonders because fans are already over familiar with Thor and Hulk and their strange relationship. One obvious sign that this is indeed a Waititi film is the fact that Jeff Goldblum is in it, and he was cast as the Grandmaster. This is a great example of where Waititi’s headspace is at with Ragnarok, and just how much creative control Marvel is handing to him.
The director’s big coming out party was 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows, a hilarious mockumentary about a group of vampires all living together as roommates. It’s offbeat, highly original, and a damn good time. The vampire Vladislav, played by Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords (for which Taika Waititi directed a few episodes), is the standout character. He’s hundreds of years old, has had a bloodlust for most of his life, and now is starting to feel insecure about where he is and his lack of accomplishments.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the most recent project from Taika Waititi, follows a strange and goofy orphan boy named Ricky (Julian Dennison) who goes on the run from authorities with his foster father Hec (Sam Neill) and heads into the New Zealand bush. Like What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is very character driven, with Rick and Sam’s tenuous relationship being the highlight. How they interact, work together, fall out, and ultimately understand each other is a great piece of storytelling.
Another important facet of Waititi’s directing style is his unique brand of quirky, New Zealand-specific comedy and references to Kiwi culture. What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople both take place in New Zealand and poke fun at Kiwi culture. Waititi has even managed to sneak in some Kiwi slang graffiti into the arena where Hulk and Thor duke it out (Skux life=Thug life). The self-deprecating, deadpan style of humour made famous by Flight of the Conchords seems to be present in Thor: Ragnarok, and will most certainly add a unique and particular flavour to the Marvel formula.
The CGI effects and massive action sequences are also looking to be fantastic in Ragnarok. But what should most excite fans is how Waititi will approach each character in the movie, from Thor and Hulk to Valkyrie and the Grandmaster. When a filmmaker like Taika Waititi is given control over a massive Marvel property, the possibilities are endless and so far it shows.
To make Thor: Ragnarok even more highly anticipated, it turns out, according to Chris Hemsworth, that you’ll have to watch it to fully understand Avengers: Infinity War. This makes sense given the fact that Ragnarok will be the last film before the epic battle against Thanos and going from the leaked trailer for Infinity War, Thor’s cosmic adventures cause him to run into the Guardians of the Galaxy, who will have a big role to play in taking down Thanos.
Audiences will have plenty to look forward to come November 3 when Thor: Ragnarok opens in theatres.