I'm one of three people on this Earth that actually likes the Thor movies. Seriously. I don't have much against them at all. The first one was a solid redemption story about Thor learning not to be a petulant child and grow into a real leader like he was supposed to in the first place while his jealous brother discovers they're not really related and plots to take over the throne of Asgard. Aside from an abuse of Dutch Tilt by director Kenneth Branagh, it's really not a bad movie.
I actually like Thor: The Dark World better than the first movie, despite the fact that the villain is weaker. Thor is stoic and "himself" for the whole movie having grown from the first one and becoming part of the Avengers and there is an even better blend of the science and magic in the movie than there was in the first one. It's not a great movie by any means and it's lower on the list with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films but it's still solid. I liked the majestic nature of Asgard and the regal tone that both Thor movies showcased.
So no, I'm not really keen on what we are seeing in the first teaser for Thor: Ragnarok, which indicates an almost complete reversal in tone and theme from the previous two movies. Now it looks as though the Asgardian regality is being cast aside for frivolity and sci-fi high jinks, which is what I'm expecting to watch on May 5 when Guardians of the Galaxy 2 comes out, not on November 3 with this movie.
I understand that the Thor movies are not the most popular fare of the MCU and that fans are largely welcoming this clear change of pace that Ragnarok certainly appears to be bringing, but it's just a bit disappointing for me as someone that didn't really want a course change and is also confused as to why you would cast Cate Blanchett as the villain Hela if you were going to take more of a whimsical approach with the material. I had written a post last year suggesting that Marvel Studios was trying to win an Oscar with the amount of talent, particularly British and Australian that was being brought into this movie. Adding Blanchett and Karl Urban to a cast that already features Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins gave me the impression that we were headed for a "Lord of the Rings" style Thor movie which would have been a fantastic idea. That's not what this new teaser looks like, though.
I mean, I didn't hate the teaser and there were definitely some cool shots in it, mostly involving Blanchett herself. I like the "Maleficent" look of Hela with the huge head dress and it was more than a little stunning to see her just destroy Mjollnir with one hand. Am I the only one that thinks it really hasn't been the same since Vision picked it up in Age of Ultron?
The VFX of the movie and set design certainly look good as they always do with Marvel, but nothing that stood out as incredibly different in terms of the color and feel of any other MCU movie. That's not necessarily a bad thing especially if you are looking for a very episodic feel to these movies, but I always hope to see something different, at least like the change in cinematography with Doctor Strange.
There's clearly a "gladiator" feel with this one as Thor is going to be made to fight his buddy Bruce Banner/The Hulk, which results here in a cringey line from Hemsworth of "We know each other! He's a friend from work!" I could have done without that, but it's standard operating procedure for the brand of humor that all MCU movies feature. I do like Thor's new helmet, though. Here's hoping he keeps it for Infinity War, eh? As for the rest of the cast that we see so far, Jeff Goldblum is Jeff Goldblum so nothing wrong there and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is clearly working for his character The Grandmaster and has brought Thor to whatever arena they are on for competition. There's a quick shot of Karl Urban bald-headed firing a pair of assault rifles at someone and Idris Elba's Heimdall has clearly grown his hair out for this one.
Seriously, this teaser could not be any more different than anything else we have seen from the Thor movies at this point and if that was the intent then Marvel Studios glowingly succeeded. We've still got much more to see as this is just the first teaser and not even a full trailer for the movie, but if you're someone that appreciates the GOTG turn that Thor: Ragnarok is clearly taking then you've got to be ecstatic right now. Me? Not so much, but I'll still see it as with anything else.