Apr 16, 2018

The MCU Roundtable: Thor: Ragnarok

If you’re anything like us, than you were blown away when the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropped.  The extended Comics Cube family was so excited that we have decided to embark upon a full re-watch of the Marvel Studios film series.  Every week we are going to watch and provide a roundtable discussion about each Marvel movie in release order.  Next, the Lord God of Thunder does comedy!

Countdown to Avengers: Infinity War
Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok was released on November 3 2017, and made $123 million on its opening weekend.  It ended its theatrical run at $315 million in the United States and $854 million total worldwide.

MATT: I actually saw this one in theaters, which was a first probably since Age of Ultron. It was a pleasure to sit through. Goldblum goes a full 5/5 Goldblums, which is thoroughly enjoyable. I do also want to give a shoutout to all the Hemsworth brothers in the opening sketch in Asgard. Even Larry. It is a bit disjointed, but really you have parallel movies going on. Hela scheming in Asgard and Thor trying to get back. The Executioner is a flat patsy, but Hela is a fleshed out villain. We know why she's doing what she's doing quickly and efficiently.

SAMANTHA: So, this is my favorite Thor movie now. It’s also the closest I think we’ll ever get to a Ruffalo Hulk standalone, and that’s legitimately fine by me. I loved the addition of Tessa Thompson, and you can’t tell me Cate Blanchett didn’t crush it.

DUY:  I get that it's funny and to a lot of people, that's inappropriate. And as I've said in Dark World and Age of Ultron, I am not a fan of when Thor cuts a dramatic moment with a zippy one-liner. But this movie from the start was marketed as a comedy, and even as a comedy, it's hellaciously dark (no pun intended). Hela is the most dangerous villain they've ever faced. The Executioner goes from being a joke to being absolutely terrified the moment she subjugates him. Heimdall kicks more ass here than any supporting character who isn't the Hulk in any Thor movie. Virtually all of the funny moments happen on Sakaar, and that's okay.

BEN: I was initially disappointed that Hela wasn’t given a more serious movie to be the villain in, but after watching it a few more times, it still works. We watched it three times the first week after it came out on digital download.

MAX: Personally, I think lighter moments make the darker ones...well..darker. If something is one note, it gets old quickly. I thought Ragnarok took the audience to a lot of different places, not just in story but emotionally too. Waititi's comedies are all really dark and there's almost always a surprising moment of tenderness in them.

DUY: It reminds me, equally, of Giffen and DeMatteis' Justice League International and the Brave and the Bold cartoon series, where it's primarily a comedy, and they use that to get away with some really dark stuff. And also, it reminds me of Wayne and Garth, Bill and Ted, Dude Where's My Car, Jay and Silent Bob, except with Thor and the Hulk instead, and come on, how do you not love that.

SAMANTHA: It starts strong with the comedy right out of the gate, getting laughs even when Thor is in dire straits - I laughed pretty big at that slow turn while he was dangling from the chains. Poor Surtur got zero respect while he was trying to be intimidating.

DUY: It's just silly to me that there's the preconception that all stories need to be serious, but it goes double for Thor. The trappings are serious, yes, but even a good sampling of classic Thor runs yield memorable stories that would be funny in live action. Arguably the classic Kirby story is literally when Thor and Hercules brawl all over New York because Hercules was flirting with Jane. Another classic story, this time by Simonson, is even referenced in Ragnarok: Loki turns Thor into a frog.

MAX: I think some fans just have that mindset, it's the same people who complain about Starlord's singing in Guardians of the Galaxy. they probably need to unclench in real life too. Thor being so different fits with my idea of maturity. As you become more secure, you get less triggered and more able to laugh at yourself. Brannagh’s young Thor felt like he who was trying to be or become someone; Waititi’s older Thor was comfortable in his own skin and didn’t mind showing his dopier side. So i’m all good with that character progression.

JEFF: I freaking loved this movie. From start to finish I enjoyed just about everything it had (the effects, the action, the comedy, the music) and that it never took itself too seriously. I loved how Sakaar ended up feeling like it was from a post-apocalypse British 80's movie with music to match, we get a talking Hulk(finally!) and Jeff Goldblum managed to be in a movie and not annoy me (I'm not a fan of his but I loved him as the Grandmaster).

SAMANTHA: Jeff Goldblum didn’t at all strike me as a Marvel movie kind of guy, now I’m wondering why he wasn’t in one sooner. I sadly forgot how much magic is all up in this guy.

Even a good sampling of classic Thor runs yield memorable stories that would be funny in live action. Arguably the classic Kirby story is literally when Thor and Hercules brawl all over New York because Hercules was flirting with Jane. Another classic story, this time by Simonson, is even referenced in Ragnarok: Loki turns Thor into a frog. -Duy

DUY: Thor kicking ass to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is my favorite solo fight sequence ever. Both of them.

MAX: That got the blood pumping.

KATHERINE: I was so pumped both times I saw this in the theater that I was just basically squealing and didn't even notice the details, but looking at it now when you can pay attention shot by shot, it's really amazing to see all the different ways he's using lightning. He uses it like he used his hammer, but also like a whip, like a sword, like a gun, like a battering ram, like a natural extension of his body. So good.

MAX: I really liked the confidence oozing off Thor in that opening sequence. Kinda reminded me of Grant Morrison's "shamanic" epiphany for his portrayal of All-Star Superman:
Until we looked up to see a guy dressed as Superman crossing the train tracks. Not just any skinny convention guy in an ill–fitting suit, this guy actually looked like Superman. It was too good a moment to let pass, so I ran over to him, told him what we’d been trying to do and asked if he wouldn’t mind indulging us by answering some questions about Superman, which he did…in the persona and voice of Superman! 
We talked for an hour and a half and he walked off into the night with his friend (no, it wasn’t Jimmy Olsen, sadly). I sat up the rest of the night, scribbling page after page of Superman notes as the sun came up over the naval yards.
My entire approach to Superman had come from the way that guy had been sitting; so easy, so confident, as if, invulnerable to all physical harm, he could relax completely and be spontaneous and warm. That pose, sitting hunched on the bollard, with one knee up, the cape just hanging there, talking to us seemed to me to be the opposite of the clenched, muscle-bound look the character sometimes sports and that was the key to Superman for me.

DUY: Thoughts on the Dr. Strange cameo? It really builds up his power level, but may bring down Loki a bit.

JEFF: I loved Thor's face when his drink just starts to refill.

SAMANTHA: The entire time they spent with Dr. Strange was amazing. It had to have been meant to build up on his power level. At the expense of Loki, who wasn’t really being used as a villain anyway? I’ll take it. Besides, I’ve seen the movie three times and have laughed at Loki’s landing every. single. time.

MATT: Their getting thrown around by Strange was actually pretty effective. It shows us Strange and his power in a way that puts him on equal terms (if you, lets say skipped his movie entirely). And also, we get the umbrella!

MAX: I enjoyed it, and it worked for me even though I never saw the Doctor Strange movie.

LAMAR: It stays true to their interactions since their first appearances. Loki and Dr. Strange have gone back and forth quite a bit, and Strange has mopped the floor with him often. Especially in the early days.

SCARLET: Loki needed to be taken down a notch anyway. This movie was all about Loki getting brutally chastised again and again and that's part of what made it so great.

KATHERINE: I did hear people complain about this section and I would just shake my head like "why do you hate fun and joy?" I thought it was a delight. Definitely hope to see more Dr. Strange/Loki moments in the future because they just make such a fun pair of sorcerers/a-holes. Also, those two have a total bromance in real life, so it would just be perfect. I want a road trip buddy movie with Falcon / Cap / Bucky all squeezed into a tiny car. And an intergalactic / alternate dimension / mushroom trip buddy movie with Loki/Dr. Strange/Thor in a tiny space ship.

It wasn't too heavy handed with the allegory and it makes perfect sense in current culture: it's hard for any of us to believe that people or institutions rise to power without some blood on their hands. - Max 
It's the movie equivalent of taking a spoonful of sugar with your medicine. -Katherine
DUY: I think Hela may be my favorite Marvel villain, just in terms of threat level and the personality and sass she brings to the character. It's close between her and Loki, but as I've mentioned to many times before, I don't think Loki is actually a good villain.

MAX: I really enjoyed her backstory here and how it tied into Odin and their previous conquests (read: colonization).

DUY: I was thinking about how Panther was probably the MCU movie with the most to say about society, issues, the state of the world, so I did some Googling and, weirdly, found out that the other movie that had a lot to say about that stuff — and I never noticed, because it's just not that kind of movie — is Thor: Ragnarok.

ANTONIO: It was a fantastic little detail. Asgard has this machine that can launch whole armies across space, so it makes sense that they did some conquering and pillaging. Even if it was to occasionally beat down some frost giants or dark elves. You’re still expected to bring home spoils. Sooner or later, there’s bound to be a few worlds that didn’t deserve getting conquered buuuuuut, well, they had some nice shit you wanted.

MAX: It wasn't too heavy handed with the allegory and it makes perfect sense in current culture: it's hard for any of us to believe that people or institutions rise to power without some blood on their hands. I think the article highlights the importance of having diversity not just in front of the camera, but behind it too. an equally talented and skilled white male director would have made a Thor movie every bit as good, but he wouldn’t have brought Waititi’s worldview to the story of Asgard. Diversity of creators means diversity of story and themes. Pretty simple.

KATHERINE: I love this analysis and read a bunch of similar takes when the movie came out. Genius and so well camouflaged with entertainment. It's the movie equivalent of taking a spoonful of sugar with your medicine.

DUY: Max, what do you think about it being a statement on colonialism, seeing as how you and Taika are from the same continent?

MAX: Technically we’re not from the same continent. I guess the easiest way to describe Australia and New Zealand’s relationship is like the USA to Canada, but we also have a habit of claiming anything good to come out of New Zealand as our own. So somehow, we’ve tried to take credit for waititi despite having contributed zero to his success (other than letting him film here). We’re a nation partly built on criminals so I guess stealing is just part of the culture. New Zealand also has a far better track record of working with and respecting its indigenous peoples than Australia has. So I think part of Waititi’s hopeful narrative comes from that more positive experience. The movie was shot here though and i know Waititi went to great lengths to make sure crew and cast of indigenous and diverse backgrounds were utilized, giving them an opportunity that’s rare in our small industry. a Viet-Australian I know was cast as a Valkyrie because of that approach. I want to be a Valkyrie!

MATT: It's full of Australians and New Zealanders, which definitely gives it a different gelling and the vibe carries through. Much like Ryan Coogler in Black Panther, I think Waititi was given a much freer rein to put his stamp on the movie and it definitely works.

DUY: The Marvel movies do start out with something they want to say, but between Ragnarok and Panther, they just dove deeper into those things than any of the movies before. They have very similar overall plots. Comes with the characters (both are royalty) or a sign of the times?

MATT: Another interesting parallel is that they definitely get a healthy dose of the director's style and aren't slotted into a "generic" category (something I'd ascribe to Dr. Strange).

KATHERINE: I feel like these two movies are so much about big timely themes faced by minorities (though Ragnarok kind of hides it behind its comedy), tackling racism and systemic oppression in Black Panther and colonialism/displacement in Ragnarok. I don’t want to say that a Caucasian director couldn’t have done as good a job, but I can’t help but think that having directors that actually grew up mired in these issues made the expression of these themes better, at least more personal and with a deeper understanding of the issues they’re tackling. I think that's part of the argument for the importance of diversity. Sometimes it's not just about pure talent — different life experiences can bring a little something extra to the table.

Sometimes it's not just about pure talent — different life experiences can bring a little something extra to the table. -Katherine 
Diversity of creators means diversity of story and themes. Pretty simple. -Max

MATT: It has a lot to say about refugees and it's text, not subtext. I am also by far not the first to point that out.

SAMANTHA: You legitimately just made me brain battle whether or not Odin deserved a fiery violent death for his past transgressions or if he should be commended for how he tried to re-set the example. I’m not in any way commending that he glossed over and hid the actual history of Asgard, but I guess he did it to stop the future from cycling off their violent past? His death, while understated, kind of seemed befitting given what the audience would later found out about how he actually rolled back in the day. He was a savage, really. He raised a monster and knew it, so much so that he had her locked up and hidden away. He lived his last years wanting to rule peacefully and avoid fighting if he could, so it’s kind of cool that he just kind of... quietly disintegrated... versus the writers having Hela somehow escape and impaling her father so that he died a violent painful death.

MAX: I liked that Odin's passing was relatively peaceful versus fiery death. I liked it as a passing of the torch to Thor (and Loki). It fit with the current real-life political discussion of the next generation becoming more politically aware), but also with Nordic myth, which is full of fathers dying and sons avenging.

DUY: Do you guys think Odin by the end wanted redemption, or wanted to run away from his responsibility?

MATT: Run away. Resigned to it though.

MAX: Redemption through his sons.

SAMANTHA: I think he ran. And what better way than to be exiled by your asshole son so that you can keep your favorite son’s sympathies?

KATHERINE: Isn't that his MO?

SAMANTHA: I know I mentioned this to someone! Every time things go pear-shaped it’s like “Oh my god, I can’t take this. Odinsleep.”

KATHERINE: Considering the revelations made in Ragnarok, I would think Loki should now be even more offended at his treatment. So he tried to conquer one little earth and killed some people in the process... big deal. Turns out, Odin waged war on galaxies, plundered their resources and probably killed millions in the process. Get off your high horse, colonizer. Then, he locks up and/or banishes any of his kids who try to do the same. He did it to all three of them! He's just lucky Thor turned out okay (probably because he was lucky enough to end up on earth and fell in love, sparking his humanity), whereas it broke the other two (probably because they went into some hellish dark hole where they were likely either tortured or living for eons in solitary confinement). If you're batting 2/3 of your kids turning into psychos, I think you're the common link.

DUY: Let's take this time to acknowledge that the biggest villain in the Thor mythos is Odin.

KATHERINE: It’s so true. If Odin hadn’t been such a shitty dad, there would be no villainous Loki or Hela. Imagine their potential for greatness if they had grown up happy and well-balanced. I just saw a post that reminded me of what Odin said to Loki in the Dark World, and honestly, no wonder he left him in a retirement home. "Your birthright was to die as a child! Cast out on a frozen rock. If I had not taken you in, you would not be here now to hate me. Frigga is the only reason you are still alive and you will never see her again." Cold blooooded.

Let's take this time to acknowledge that the biggest villain in the Thor mythos is Odin. -Duy

KATHERINE: I saw an interesting criticism that once Loki became king, he didn't do anything with his power - he just hung out, eating grapes and putting on shows about how great he is. I'm curious what everyone thought of this. Was anyone expecting him to start wars and subjugate his people? Given everything we know about him, I actually thought it totally made sense that he was just chilling and letting people adore him. I don't think Loki has any ambitions to be the warrior or the conqueror that Hela, Odin, or even Thor was. He tells Thor in the first movie that he never wanted to be king, he only ever wanted to be Thor's equal. And he says in The Avengers that even though humans are beneath him, he plans to rule Earth as a benevolent god. I think he wants the power just so that people will love him and fill that hole left by his daddy in childhood and to prove to Thor that he can.

MATT: It didn’t seem out of character. He achieved his goal and Thor had no idea. No reason to ruin a good thing.

KATHERINE: If he had succeeded in conquering the earth in The Avengers, I think he'd be doing the exact same thing, relaxing in some magnificent mansion and making Matt Damon and Hollywood's biggest stars act out little plays for him.

SAMANTHA: Hah, actors all over the world would be pining to perform for King Loki, the film industry would be turned on its ear! It made perfect sense to me too that his rule involved a lot of fruit, hanging out, and performance art!

KATHERINE: Maaan we should've let him win, this world would've seen a golden age of classical theater. By King Loki's rule, neglected emo kids in school would get all the music and arts funding they need!

SAMANTHA: Wow, you’re right! I... I think I’m onboard! #LongLiveLoki

JEFF: Well when you go back to the first Thor movie and look at Loki's plan, his goal was to be the hero, and receive admiration from Asgard for saving Odin and defeating the frost giants. I don't think he ever wanted to rule. He probably fancies himself a string puller behind the throne. His main motivation has always been his jealousy of Thor.

KATHERINE: Stepping out of the ship and going "Your savior is here!" must’ve really been his happiest moment. 

(If Loki had won in Avengers) Actors all over the world would be pining to perform for King Loki, the film industry would be turned on its ear! -Samantha

SAMANTHA: I’ve only heard a ton about Thanos as a villain, so I’m interested in seeing how he comes off on-screen and how he compares to Hela. She’s incredibly badass.

DUY: Thanos is one of the villains of my childhood (and a source of relentless mocking for me due to my last name). I've got some issues with him, but I hope they pull this off.

SAMANTHA: Tell me about the issues! What are you hoping to see?

DUY: The main character usually put up against Thanos is Adam Warlock, who is a terrible character and I really, really hope does not get introduced in Infinity War or the unnamed sequel. Very specifically though, Thanos has a "character flaw" where he sabotages his own plans. the only reason he loses is because he subconsciously wants to. It's such a huge character trait of his, and I would hate to see that in the movie. I want him to get beaten because the heroes won, not because he wanted to lose.

SAMANTHA: That’s... odd. But psychologically speaking, it’s been argued that we (humans? I’ve been using the term loosely lately) often fail at certain tasks because we, in some way and for whatever reason, want to. But I’m sure I’m reading too much into that. Also am I right in saying that Thanos’ entire mission (at least in the CU) is basically for the purpose of impressing a love interest? I could have sworn I read that somewhere - if that’s the case, it would certainly explain why he kind of wants to fail deep down.

DUY: I mean, yeah, it's realistic, it's just... not narratively satisfying. And yes, it's all to impress a woman. But that woman is Death. I don't know how they're gonna pull that off, and would be happy if they just changed that altogether.

SAMANTHA: With a 2-hour-36-minute runtime, it’ll be interesting to see how they flesh that out enough to make sense.

Sakaar looked so much like a Jack Kirby comic brought to life, and everything on Asgard felt like it was brought off of Walt Simonson's pages. Just the two best Thor creators ever, and I felt like I was watching them on film. -Duy

DUY: My complaints: The Warriors 3 get killed unceremoniously, there's no word of where Sif even is. Making up for that is Heimdall being the most badass character ever until Shuri and Okoye showed up, so he won that title and kept it for five months.

SAMANTHA: Yeah, I was left — what, empty? — with the way they died! Were their deaths just casualties of the chaos of Hela’s arrival, meant to go quickly so that the viewer didn’t have time to really think? Or was it meant to sort of subliminally begin the audience’s disconnect from Asgard since it was ultimately going to be destroyed?

DUY: It definitely felt more to me like "Oh their contracts are up." Odin too, especially, actually.

SAMANTHA: That’s kind of depressing. I mean, I get it - the movie isn’t called “Odin” or “Thor and the Warriors 3” but still...

MATT: Only Hogun got a decent death, comparatively speaking. Sif, I believe is doing something TV?  Odin's death seemed like a continuation of the character abdicating his general responsibility for how messed up things are in Asgard. At least Miek survived.

ANTONIO: They couldn’t get Sif’s actress away from filming Blindspot at the time. I liked that the Warriors Three basically got murdered by Hela. Would they really have been able to last in any sort of way?

DUY: I know why Jaime Alexander wasn't there, I'd just have liked a shoutout.

Korg is the best! Heck, years from now you might even remember him better than the bigger stars in the whole MCU! -Zha

DUY: It's actually really amazing how it shifts from comedy on Sakaar, to heavy drama on Asgard.

SAMANTHA: It didn’t feel jarring for me either, to go from one to the other - I think their exit from Sakaar is responsible for that though. It was a great scene for me - it definitely helped the transition.

DUY: Sakaar looked so much like a Jack Kirby comic brought to life, and everything on Asgard felt like it was brought off of Walt Simonson's pages. Just the two best Thor creators ever, and I felt like I was watching them on film.

This is basically straightlining Waititi's comedy and it's great. You get some nice Kiwi accented rock guy and Doug. It's lovely.  -Matt

DUY: Can we take the time to appreciate Korg? Jesus, probably the most quotable character I've seen since, I dunno, Inigo Montoya. "I tried to start a revolution, but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone showed up, except for my mum and her boyfriend, who I hate." "Piss off, ghost!"

SAMANTHA: He was fun! “I’m made of rocks, but don’t let that intimidate you! You don’t need to be afraid unless you’re made of scissors.”

JEFF: We should take a moment of silence for poor Doug.

MATT: This is basically straightlining Waititi's comedy and it's great. You get some nice Kiwi accented rock guy and Doug. It's lovely.

MAX: Best director cameo ever.

ZHA: Korg is the best! Heck, years from now you might even remember him better than the bigger stars in the whole MCU!

DUY: Damn, the entire arena fight with the Hulk is incredible (pun not intended, but welcomed). I don't know what cracks me up more: Loki 's reactions or Thor doing the Black Widow lullaby.

SAMANTHA: And how Thor kept dragging it! “Ssh, shh, the sun’s getting low...” Loki jumping to his feet when Thor gets the stuffed animal toss is magic.

MATT: I would like to discuss Loki's outfit and what the internet might call the amount of 'knuck he rocks in that jumpsuit.

SAMANTHA: I legit wasn’t even looking. And I am nowhere I can check back! Damn it!

KATHERINE: I feel like I saw a lot of speculation (headcanons?) about all the sly little looks The Goldblum was giving Loki that suggests how Loki climbed so high into his favor so quickly. .... and how he knew which one was his orgy ship. So if you jump onto that, it would also explain the outfit.

SAMANTHA: What is wrong with me? I didn’t even catch all of that!

KATHERINE: I think it's very sub-textual and totally up for interpretation. But I think it's a valid theory and I love it.

SAMANTHA: In retrospect, I see it! And no one... no one could have nailed the subtext like Jeff Goldblum did.

Forget whitewashing, "Mattwashing" should be a thing. -Max

MATT: The Point Break callback in the Quinjet I only got retrospectively since I rewatched Avengers during the rotation. There's lots in here that requires general knowledge about the MCU the casual fan misses. Thor being a dummy and self-centered remains.

SAMANTHA: I laughed so hard at the Point Break callback on the first watch! But I’m wondering now if it was because I was paying attention or because I’ve been rewatching everything for the roundtables...

KATHERINE: I think the Point Break thing is a funny line regardless of whether you remember it from Avengers or not. I figure that's probably how casual fans take it, but it's an extra fun reward for the more devoted fans who do remember everything.

SAMANTHA: How many people invested in these movies are "casual fans," though? Having not read the comics and realizing early on that this was meant to be an entire Universe versus several standalone movies, I watched the movies hard. I personally didn’t miss Surtur telling Thor about the prophecy in the beginning. Then again, I watched people leaving the theater as soon as the credits started rolling which, at this point, where the hell have they even been?

DUY: To be fair, at this point, they're so widely watched that it no longer matters, I think. Yeah, you might not get all the references if you don't see everything multiple times, but you've probably seen most everything. Just look at the numbers.

SAMANTHA: True, Marvel gets all the dollars.

DUY: Another nitpick I have: unless you see this movie more than once, it's not really clear why Surtur would beat Hela. It's only mentioned the once, way, way early on to expect the audience to be immersed, that Surtur with the eternal flame would be unstoppable.

ANTONIO: It’s not so much Surtur beating Hela as it is Surtur beating Asgard.

KATHERINE: Going into it without knowing anything about Surtur, I understood it that he was the one prophesied who would destroy the world / Asgard. So it made sense to me that if he was powerful enough to do that, he's the only one powerful enough to destroy Hela... or that she would be destroyed in the collateral damage.

DUY: Yeah, but I just heard more than a few people going, how did Surtur do that, when Thor beat him so easily...

ANTONIO: He was old and decrepit when Thor fought him. I mean, they say it a couple of times. Hela draws her power from Asgard. So destroy Asgard and you destroy Hela.

JEFF: He didn't have his flame on when Thor beat him.

Skurge definitely needed more time to develop. -Samantha

DUY: Skurge's death is such a great, iconic comic scene, which doesn't really get the time or buildup here, but it's still nice of them to do it.

SAMANTHA: I don’t think we got to appreciate the gesture as much as we could have, though it was certainly an awesome turn. Skurge definitely needed more time to develop.

MATT: I do want to also seriously discuss the wonderful weirdness of the opening Asgard play scene. If for no other reason than you have someone (Sam Neill?!) playing Odin in front of Loki playing Odin and Matt Damon playing Loki. The entire Hemsworth clan has coalesced to play Thor (or that's my best recollection).

KATHERINE: Liam has not been involved yet, right? Was he somehow in that scene as well?? That whole thing was so weird and so utterly delightful. And the dramatic choir coming in out of nowhere and Loki mouthing along with his "dying" words. Beautiful. And I actually loved that scene in The Dark World and really wanted to believe that this was a rare honest moment from Loki. This scene skewers that so well and perfectly sets the tone for this movie as a departure from The Dark World. But at the same time, I can weirdly see that as maybe still being a real moment for Loki (I totally believe that he loves Thor), and that Loki looks back on it as his greatest moment and believes his own virtue and hype like "oh hot damn that was such a good line. I'm the best."

MAX: It took me a long time to figure out it was the older Hemsworth instead of a Liam clone that was just slightly off. Matt Damon was a great touch too. Forget whitewashing, "Mattwashing" should be a thing.

DUY: Let's also give a shoutout here to Tessa Thompson's performance as Valkyrie, which, of course, was met with hardcore fan outrage, since comic Valkyrie is a white blonde woman named Brunnhilde. The best thing is Waititi apparently knew that, and had someone who sure looked an awful lot like Brunnhilde be a Valkyrie who died in our Valkyrie's arms at the hands of Hela.

MATT: She goes from Veronica Mars to Creed to Thor 3. The throughline is tremendous.

SAMANTHA: I recently heard  that Tessa was cast in the new Men In Black movie as the "K" to Chris Hemsworth’s "J."  it made me happy 'cause I liked their scenes together in Ragnarok, just as much as I loved how Valkyrie interacted with the The Hulk.

KATHERINE: I adore Tessa. She's also a total badass on Westworld and I just loved how she shrugged off all the people bitching about her being cast as Valkyrie with class and sass. "But, I am her now. Oops."

DUY: I've also seen the movie described as a celebration of LGBTQ representation, which I don't really quite get, but hey!

MATT: I am not qualified to comment on this. I do recall the news floating something about Valkyrie, but it never really came through in the movie.

DUY: She played her as bi, and she is bi in the comics. Loki is gender fluid, which doesn't really come through. But the thing I've read about the most is Hela, who apparently is loved as a gay icon.

MATT: She does basically vamp across the stage. We've already commented on Loki's outfit and likely reason for his rise to the top. Shame Scrapper-142's time was spent mentoring/training Hulk (she is Mickey to his Rocky) and not wanting to fight Hela again (who can blame her).

KATHERINE: I think Cate Blanchett in general is just a gay icon. Iconic in all ways, really. I'm totally Cate Blanchsexual. I saw someone say that they went into the movie wanting to marry Thor, came out wanting Hela to murder them... and honestly, I so relate to that emotion. haha

MATT: The Ragnarok F/M/K?

KATHERINE: F Loki / Marry Thor / Let Hela Kill Me. That can be an option, right?

MATT: Absolutely. F Grandmaster / M Korg/ K Doug (sorry Doug)

DUY: Let's take a moment of silence for poor Doug.

KATHERINE: Poor Doug. Though I do get the feeling that if you did kill him, he would be back and it would be all good in the end.

DUY: That's Miek. You're thinking of Miek.

KATHERINE: Aw that’s right. Doug is really dead. And they were stuck in the weird hallway with his corpse.

DUY: The hallway is a circle. But not a real circle, more like a freaky circle. Seriously, if I were to rank my most quotable movies ever, this is way up there. Princess Bride. The animated Transformers. Bill and Ted. Dazed and Confused. Ragnarok. "Oh, Miek's dead. I accidentally stomped on him on the bridge and I've felt so guilty, I've been carrying him around all day. Oh, Miek you're alive! He's alive guys. What was the question again?"

KATHERINE: And on top of that, some of the funniest moments aren’t even lines, they’re looks or little bits of comedy timing. Loki’s “ah, good times” smile when Thor tells the story about how he turned into a snake and stabbed him is one of my personal favorites. “MBLARGH IT’S ME!”

DUY: That entire monologue is so funny... and feels totally, completely ad libbed

MATT: The quinjet access bit is another of the audience loves a slow thinker moments. Thor is not the smartest Avenger and we all know it.

KATHERINE: And it’s also a reminder that Tony’s a dick and probably made it intentionally difficult and embarrassing for them to gain access. Either way the audience wins! Another scene I absolutely love that is probably all improvised is when Thor and Hulk are stomping around like toddlers, throwing shit and having little baby tantrums. "You're being a really bad friend!" "YOU BAD FRIEND!" "You know what we call you? We call you the Stupid Avenger!" "YOU TINY AVENGER!"

MATT: Yes! Thor and Hulk huffing around is hilariously unexpected and works

ANTONIO: Someone complained about Banner’s PHD line in another group, and it blew my mind how someone thought it was weird for a guy known for his intellect to throw it around in comparison to his super-strong alter ego who he’s constantly at odds with.

Thor is not the smartest Avenger and we all know it. -Matt
DUY: Let's also take this time to acknowledge that this is the single best movie poster in all of the MCU.

MATT: It has some strong postering going on. Grandmaster is front and center.

KATHERINE: Also, we can't talk about Ragnarok without talking about Daryl. How does this work, can that be considered canon? I really want it to be.

DUY: How is Daryl not canon? It all totally fits. He was in Australia, roomed with Daryl, and then left to go find Stones.

KATHERINE: Funnily enough, the one hole might be that Banner is human and hanging out in Australia too, taking Tony's calls. And I just found that there was a continuation of the adventures of Darryl! This is beautiful.

DUY: See, it completely works out. Except for Banner, we'll just ignore that.

MATT: We could also discuss the James Corden 4D version of the movie. Which would dovetail with the play within a play motif back with Odin-Loki.

KATHERINE: All the marketing for this movie was just top shelf fun and crazy. I know exactly where this theater is. I can’t believe I wasn’t there.

DUY: It goes back to why I think the move is so fun: every actor really looks like they're having the time of their life.

Seriously, if I were to rank my most quotable movies ever, this is way up there. -Duy

DUY: Who wins the Val Kilmer Award for this movie? So many choices, but I think mine goes to Korg.

MATT: Korg or Grandmaster for me. They steal all scenes. Hela is a close third.

ANTONIO: Graaaaandmaster.

JEFF: Goldblum was too good as Grandmaster, Hulk is my runner up

DUY: Comics recommendations for Ragnarok? I'm just gonna recommend Walt Simonson's run, and every comic Jack Kirby ever did, but primarily the Thor run, the middle part of the Fantastic Four run, and the New Gods series.

JEFF: Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, and Avengers Disassembled: Thor.

DUY: I'll close it off with Jason Aaron's run on Thor, because Thor Odinson eventually ends up hammerless with short hair.

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