'Thor: Ragnarok' Is The Film Marvel's Been Trying To Make For Years

'Thor: Ragnarok' Is The Film Marvel's Been Trying To Make For Years

How Taika Waititi's refreshing point of view enhanced the superhero genre.

Which movie is the most well-made Marvel movie? Not which was your favorite or which was the most successful, but which one is genuinely the best stand-alone film? Before this month, most Marvel fans might have said Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

It realizes the importance of character and relationship development, it's the only Marvel movie to really nail Natasha's character down, it's dramatic, well-written, and well-paced. For many Marvel fans, it's the obvious choice.

That is, until Thor: Ragnarok came out last weekend. Ragnarok is essentially the opposite of The Winter Soldier, between its flashy, colorful aesthetic and humor-driven sensibility, but it has succeeded in ways past Marvel movies haven't been able to: it appeals not only to casual viewers but to people who explicitly don't like Marvel's films.

So what did director Taika Waititi do that got it right?

One of the most obvious differences between Ragnarok and previous Marvel movies is the color scheme. Every Marvel movie in the past five years has been desaturated and gray, The Winter Soldier included, as if this might enhance the reality or drama of it all.

Waititi's film, on the other hand, shoots for bold colors and high contrast, an aesthetic that is reflected in the fact that nothing in the film is dull. The plot, the characters, the humor, the finale -- everything is embellished and with purpose.

This contrast between gray and color is most clearly seen in that fact that Ragnarok is genuinely funny. Nearly every Marvel movie sticks to a sarcastic sense of humor, and one-liners seem to be the only currency they deal in. Basically, no matter what character is talking, they get varying degrees of the Iron Man sense of humor.

Waititi's previous films, from Two Cars, One Night (2005) to Hunt For The Wilderpeople (2016), share a sense of humor reviewer Dan Taipua brands "Kiwi humor," a sense of humor that is "distinctly Māori" that carries into Ragnarok. It is deadpan and deprecating, yes, but it is also situational and made up of actual jokes, for once.

Ragnarok doesn't abandon character development for the sake of comedy or plot, though. Every character is at their peak in this movie, especially Thor, who most writers have difficulty utilizing to his full potential. His cocky, slightly oblivious personality is hard to nail and apparently hard to make compelling, but Waititi decision to knock Thor down and let him find his way back combined with his biting sense of humor allows Thor to develop without sacrificing or changing what other writers managed to put into him.

At Thor's side stand Loki, who remains one of Marvel's most compelling characters thanks to Tom Hiddleston's Shakespearean sensibilities, Korg, a light-hearted rock creature played by Waititi himself, and Valkyrie, a refreshing female warrior played by Tessa Thomspon and one of Ragnarok's most important players.

Natasha's role was heavily praised for not being a love interest and being allowed to develop in The Winter Soldier, but Valkyrie takes it one step further by actually receiving her own character arc. Her character goes through the "former hero caught in a depression slump after losing loved ones in battle is called to action again" storyline that is often reserved for male heroes.

When it does come to plot, though, Waititi's use of comedy and character are its driving force. Waititi's films often combine comedy and adventure into aspects of the same genre, a technique that is largely why this film's finale works where other Marvel films don't.

So many superhero movies go too big in their third act and don't know how to stick the landing, but in creating such a vibrant, over-the-top world, Waititi's world-ending finale fits right in.

Taika Waititi essentially takes what exists as a vague idea in other Marvel movies and enhances it through Thor: Ragnarok. The energy, humor, and characters are elevated in a way no other Marvel movies has managed to succeed in. The film even manages to use music in a way other films haven't by using representative musical themes in the film's final moments, when "Sons of Odin" is brought back from the first movie.

Waititi is changing the game not by changing the rules, but by looking at them to see how he can make them better. Hopefully, Marvel will see the success this film has found and realize why the new answer to "Which is the most well-made Marvel movie?" is, without a doubt, Thor: Ragnarok.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube | Marvel

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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