Hot Ice and Blorb is a discussion series with writers Josh Beard and Kerry Craig. Today they’ll be reviewing Taika Waititi’s greatest masterpiece, Thor:Ragnarok.
Josh: Hey! Look we’re back again and this time with a super amazing review of Thor: Ragnarok! Be forewarned my beautiful people, this review is pretty much just going to be Kerry and me wanking it over what is, in my opinion, the best Marvel movie to date. Thor: Ragnarok is the perfect superhero movie for me. I don’t need dark and broody. I don’t need major ethical dilemmas. Just give me a movie with that New Zealand deadpan humor, badass action scenes, and an almost 80’s theme to it; and that’s exactly what Taika Waititi has done with this movie.
The best way I can sum up this movie is this: take the humor from What We Do In The Shadows/Flight of the Conchords, some of the style/theme from Guardians of the Galaxy, and some of the best wide shot action sequences I’ve ever seen, and that’s what Thor: Ragnarok is. It’s the perfect movie.
So much of Waititi’s signature style is infused all throughout this movie and it just works so well. From the first scene with Thor talking to a skeleton and spinning around in chains, to the dry dialogue at the end of the movie between Chris Hemsworth and Waititi’s own character “Korg”, this masterpiece had me rolling so hard for the entire 135 minutes.
His ability to juxtapose the macabre and casual death with that NZ deadpan makes for some of the most ridiculous scenes. It almost makes me wish he had directed every other Thor movie, and even some of the other lesser Marvel films. The interactions between Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Thor made me want to petition Marvel to go back and reshoot Dr. Strange with Waititi as the director.
Could you imagine Taika Waititi directing Ant-Man? It’d be an effing match made in heaven to be able to combo Waititi with Paul Rudd. I WANT MORE TAIKA WAITITI IN MARVEL! That’s really what I’m getting at here.
Kerry: There’s really no other way to say it is there? This is the best Marvel movie and it’s not even close. You can’t convince me there is a more entertaining film in the MCU than Thor: Ragnarok. It actually kind of pisses me off that more movies didn’t allow their directors to infuse their own style into it. Then again, maybe Taika Waititi just has such a unique vision that he’s the only one who would be successful. Make no mistake, I went to see this movie because I think Taika Waititi is amazing, not because I like Thor. But now I DO like Thor, and it’s all Taika Waititi’s fault.
Let’s talk about the creativity in this movie for a second, and the way EVERY actor in it was able to be funny and still be true to their character. Because you could absolutely tell how much fun everyone was having making it. They all just seem so happy with what they’re doing that it made me enjoy it more. When Anthony Hopkins is able to make me laugh, something good is happening.
My favorite part of the movie was all the new and interesting characters, and how they were allowed to just be themselves and it was amazing. Tessa Thompson was fantastic as a badass warrior. Jeff Goldblum was a delight, as usual, and provided many moments of levity and wit. Cate Blanchett was INSANELY hot and also scary (thus contributing extra hotness). And of course my utmost favorite marvel character of all time, Korg the gladiator played by none other than Taika Waititi himself. Every moment this character was on screen made me all giddy inside. I want him to be in every Marvel movie from here on out.
Josh: I totally agree. It will be a major shame if other MCU movies with Thor don’t find a way to incorporate Korg into the movies somehow. If I don’t see a Korg cameo in Avengers: Infinity War I will literally find every big time decision maker for MCU and shit on their lawns. This is a movie that I could watch over and over and over again without ever getting sick of it. There are so many amazing subtle bits of humor all throughout the dialogue that sneak up on you that I feel like this is a movie where a different part will make you laugh your ass off each time.
One or two viewings just isn’t enough for a movie like this. I look forward to seeing it another couple of times in theaters in 3D, because as funny as this movie was it was so visually stunning, and then watching it incessantly once it comes out on DVD. There isn’t a single Marvel movie that I’ve seen where I say to myself, “I HAVE to watch that so many more times!” The only ones that might be close is the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, but even then I didn’t have as much of a hard on for those movies as I do Ragnarok.
You’re spot on with all of the characters being written and performed so well. They all had their little moments and quirks that made for phenomenal interactions between them all. I can’t decide which pairings were funnier. Was it Thor and Hulk with their macho banter, Thor and Bruce Banner, with Mark Ruffalo doing such a great job portraying a freaked out Banner trying to wrap his head around everything that’s going on? There was just so many great moments between all of the different characters to where I can’t choose just one interactions and definitively say, “That was the best”, because they were all great.
The only part that felt forced to me was trying to tie in Dr. Strange, since they had the teaser at the end of his movie with Thor drinking the beer. It felt like a throw in scene just because they had to make the post-credit scene from Dr. Strange “make sense”.
But even then the interaction between Hemsworth and Benedict Cumberbatch was outstanding. One of the best moments in the movie came from that scene with Dr. Strange randomly throwing Loki into an endless pit only to finally release him after a good amount of time. I loved it.
Kerry: It does say how good the movie was when the only scene that seemed slightly out of place was still a hilarious and witty tie-in. Every character was having fun still, and it keeps some of the MCU in your mind during all the other events.
It’s funny you should mention the visuals, because that is usually my biggest complaint with these movies. I can’t stand giant CGI crap all over the scene. It either forces you out of the action by having close ups of obvious CGI, or it forgets about the character reactions in favor of a wider scope of the battlespace. Somehow, Waititi was able to blend both, and do it while still maintaining the feel of the rest of the movie. Even in some of the more serious scenes, it didn’t feel out of place. It was almost reverent.
I know it may be hard to pick one particular interaction between characters as your favorite, but for me I’m going to go with Korg and whoever else he happens to be talking to. I know, I’m fawning all over the character, but there’s a reason for it. I love him, maybe even in a sexual way I’m not sure. Regardless, he sticks out in my mind long after the movie has ended, and if they don’t have him at least in some sort of cameo, I will piss in their pool while you shit on their lawn.
One thing that I didn’t expect to be impressed by was the music. Sometimes it had that kitschy 80’s feel, and sometimes it would switch to an epic score during a fight scene. Both were fantastically done, and now I can only picture Jeff Goldblum in front of turntables making silly music saying, “Huh? How bout that? You like that, Sparkles?” The only thing that would make it better is Taika Waititi singing “I come from a land down under” right beside him.
I know I give a lot of shit to Marvel occasionally for making movies that feel too generic, but I will be the first to congratulate them for allowing one of my top 5 favorite movies to be made. Here’s hoping they keep allowing the creative juices to flow for the next few. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’m actually excited to see Black Panther now.
Josh: I’m honestly glad you feel so strongly about this movie. I was afraid I was just being overly hyperbolic and falling right in line with my “victim of the moment” mentality when I said it was my favorite Marvel movie. I’m leaning toward it possibly being one of my Top 5 All Time as well, but that list is so subjective based on the mood I’m in. I definitely know it’s strongly in my Top 10, I just need to see it a few more times to figure out where in the Top 10 it lands.
So now that I know, or at least can safely guess, that this is your favorite Marvel movie, where do you rank it as a Taika Waititi movie? As much as I love Eagle vs. Shark and What We Do In The Shadows, I think I still have to put this at the top of the list. I haven’t seen Hunt For The Wilderpeople, so it can’t be in consideration, but even so I doubt it was as strong as this movie was.
Just the plain fact that the humor and dialogue was every bit as good, if not better, than any other Waititi movie, the cast list is amazing (with amazing cameos to boot), and then they added in shiny, pretty action scenes that make my downstairs shiver, puts this movie far and above the others that he has done. So now you, where do you rank this as a Waititi flick?
Kerry: The first thing I was going to do was accuse you of being a victim of the moment, but you fessed up to it. I’m proud of you. You really are maturing, albeit at a much slower pace than anyone else.
Even though What We Do In The Shadows will have a special place in my heart, that movie doesn’t break into my top 5. That space is usually reserved for much more serious fare like The Raid and Last of the Mohicans. However, I felt so happy when this movie was over that it took my icy black heart and forced its way inside like one of those Amazon parasites that embeds itself in your penis. I have got to watch this movie again, and that’s such a rare occurrence that I feel like maybe Taika Waititi is speaking to me…..in a deadpan New Zealand accent….telling me to watch it….if I want….as long as I don’t feel too inconvenienced. It’s definitely my favorite of his works.
Josh: God I hate you so much sometimes, but alas I’m stuck with you. Guess what I DON’T hate though? Yep, that’s right, Thor:Ragnarok. It’s time to end this so I’ll speak for both of us when I say it’s a 10/10, a 5/5, a 42/41. Whatever ranking system you want to use this movie us absolutely perfect in every way. Thor:Ragnarok has set an impossible standard for any other MCU or DC movie to reach. Good Luck Justice League….