Thor: Ragnarok

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Rated Greg’s Favorite Non-Avenger Performances from The Avengers

  1. The Town (Jeremy Renner)
  2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Robert Downey Jr.)
  3. Rush (Chris Hemsworth)
  4. Match Point (Scarlett Johansson)
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Chris Evans)
  6. Foxcatcher (Mark Ruffalo)

Much is lamented about the death of the medium sized movie due to the superhero industry, but if there’s one silver lining it’s that at least Marvel is letting interesting people toy around with their properties.  Earlier this year they released a $175 million dollar Spiderman movie via Jon Watts, a director with no prior movie under his belt that had a budget over a million dollars.  That is BONKERS.  It’s basically the equivalent of a Single-A middle relief pitcher being promoted directly to the closer of an MLB playoff roster.  All they got in return was a delightful homage to John Hughes high school comedies, but within a Spiderman arc and a $317 million dollar domestic box office return.  The story of Thor: Ragnarok and its director Taika Waititi is even crazier.  It was Marvel that had to recruit Waititi, a New Zealand indie director, and convince him that this was worth his time.  Waititi was hesitant given honest ambivalence towards the Thor character, but the Disney suits really thought his brand of sassy humor was perfect for the direction they wanted to take the alpha Hemsworth brother.

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I, along with the rest of America, can report back that it was a match made in heaven.   Thor: Ragnarok isn’t just funny for a superhero movie, it’s arguably the funniest movie of the year (remember, there’s not a lot to choose from).  It’s weird in a good way and it’s original in a great way.  Via an improvise-encouraged set under Waititi, Chris Hemsworth is fully unleashed, revealing a perfect mixture of insecurity and bravado that Indiana Jones himself would be proud of.  Oh and Cate Blanchet.  Have you heard of her?  Yeah, she’s pretty good.

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However these results are bittersweet. I would honestly prefer these movies to not be good at this point.  When are they going to wrap this up for Downey, Johansson, Hemsworth, etc?  I mean, we’re ten years into the Avengers.  George Bush was still President when they came on the scene and Downey has played Ironman SEVEN times!  How many Kiss Kiss Bang Bangs did he pass up due to superhero duty?  Maybe the reason Jennifer Lawrence always plays characters ten years her senior is because Johansson is always booked with Black Widow.  Is Chris Evans a good actor or just a perfect Captain America?  Something tells me the latter, but lets at least give him some more reps and see what he’s got.  Grade: B+

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