Issues with Thor: Ragnarok
You seen Thor: Ragnarok yet? I saw it two days ago, and I wasn't all that impressed.
I say this as someone who loved Taika Waititi's other movies. I've been a fan since Flight of the Conchords. The guy is seriously funny when working from a script that he himself wrote.
To me the biggest problem with Thor 3 was the screenplay. Keeping in mind the fact that Waititi undoubtedly added some of his signature humor to the mix, I doubt the screenplay was all that focused to begin with. As a story it's all over the place, and displays little coherence with regard to either the characterization in this movie or the characterization established in previous MCU films.
And this isn't just another "not like the comics" argument. When you compare the Thor trilogy to the Iron Man or Captain America trilogies, it's obvious that everyone's favorite Norse god is the least understood of the Marvel properties.
I mean who is Thor, really? Is he the godlike Viking we remember from our youthful forays into comic books? Or is he some kind of frat boy comedian? Is he a female fantasy, or a "hotheaded fool" who rushes into trouble? Is he a fish out of water, or is he comfortable thinking of Earth as his adopted home? When you think about it, it's impossible to determine which of the above alternatives Thor really is. I'm not saying that personalities don't shift and change, I'm not arguing against character arcs, I'm just saying that people tend to be one thing or the other most of the time. This is how we come to identify with them. Yet when you compare the Thor seen in Thor: Ragnarok with the Thor seen in the first and second films it's impossible to reconcile the three different versions of the character.
It's the same problem with Loki, although he gets a pass because he's inherently deceptive, and also the god of mischief. Even so, Loki's constant character switches make it hard to sympathize with him, and in Ragnarok he's little more than comic relief.
There are also the problems of both cosmology and geneology present in the script. How the hell (excuse the pun) do Loki and Thor not know about Hela if she's their sister? It was relatively easy for Loki to discover his origins as a Frost Giant in the first film, why then would it take three for both him and Thor to learn that they had a sister that helped their father subjugate the Nine Realms? And wouldn't Loki have figured out there was a secret room beneath the palace where Fenris and Hela's entire army was kept? Didn't he know about all the secret entrances/exits into Asgard?
Hela though. As sexy as Cate Blanchett was in this movie, I found it difficult to take her seriously as the goddess of Hel.
And where is Hel, exactly? Does it only consist of that room beneath the palace? And if so, and if she "draws her power from Asgard," doesn't that make her the goddess of Asgard, not Hel? Surtur, although misused in this movie, at least had his own realm to speak of. What does Hela have, aside from ill-defined powers and some serious daddy issues?
This issue aside, there's also the centerpiece confrontation between Thor and Hulk. Of course everyone loves it when Thor and Hulk fight, and the fight itself is worth seeing, but everything coming before and following after this fight is problematic.
For one thing, the Hulk seen in Thor: Ragnarok is just as annoyingly jokey as Thor is. Sure, a lot of his humor is "unintentional," but it's jarring nonetheless. Who the hell wants to hear the Hulk say funny things? Anyone who knows that character, anyone who loves that character, would find his corny lines in Ragnarok hard to take. Want to make Banner crack one-liners? Fine. But even that scene with Loki in the first Avengers was pushing it. Joss Whedon could, to some extent, get away with that kind of thing, but in the scriptwriter's (or Taika Waititi's) hands the Hulk is just silly, and far from the monstrous creature that many of us know and love.
This, and they totally screwed two classic comic book storylines by smashing Planet Hulk and Ragnarok together. Not only are we now deprived of any sort of World War Hulk movie (yes, I know about the "rights" thing with Universal), but we'll also never see Surtur unleashed in all his worlds-ending glory. For the sake of jokes, two wonderful opportunities for a truly great Hulk or Thor movie have been ruined - completely - for the duration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Shit, man. I really hope Justice League is better.