- “Thor: Ragnarok” was one of the best and most exciting movies of 2017, but it was completely overlooked by the Oscars.
- It reinvented what an action comedy and blockbuster movie can be.
- It’s truly unique story and filmmaking from director Taika Waititi deserved a nomination in the directing category, adapted screenplay, visual effects, and production design.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is no “Call Me by Your Name.” But it’s a fair comparison.
Like a majority of the films recognized at the 2018 Oscars, “Ragnarok” is original in its exciting tone and style, proving that blockbuster movies, even those in the Marvel Cinematic universe, can be fairly compared to more artistic indie films.
Of all the movies that came out in 2017, it’s probably the most striking, even compared to Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” (which was recently accused of plagiarism).
“Thor: Ragnarok” is a masterpiece of action and comedy filmmaking, and essentially created its own genre. Like “Wonder Woman” and best adapted screenplay nominee “Logan,” it offers a fresh take on an overdone, often dull genre that will without a doubt pave the way for movies and filmmakers of the future.
With its unique style from director Taika Waititi, who has a very bright future and should have been nominated in the directing category, “Ragnarok” is a hopeful example of what modern filmmaking can be. It definitely deserved to get recognized at the Oscars for its excellent (and hilarious) screenplay, directing, and visuals.
Here’s why “Thor: Ragnarok” should’ve been recognized at the 2018 Oscars:
“Ragnarok” is the first movie of its scale from director Taika Waititi, but it won’t be the last. And although he was robbed of a nomination this year, Waititi will likely be in the running in the future.
Waititi has been working for a while (and has been nominated for an Oscar before, for a short film), but it takes some time for even the most exceptional directors to develop a clear voice and style. Waititi established who he is and what’s to come in one movie — in an established franchise that often swallows a director’s vision. That is not an easy feat.
Waititi knows exactly what he’s doing, and he knows that no one else can execute it.
“Ragnarok” rarely spends time on Earth: Loki and Thor are briefly in New York City, then Norway. The majority of the movie takes place in Asgard and Sakaar, the latter a completely new place. Without too much face exposition, with the aid of Waititi’s writing and direction, he defines the world of Sakaar so well that you understand it within minutes of Thor landing in a landfill there. World building is not easy, and even takes television shows multiple episodes or seasons to do.
It reinvented a genre – and in doing so created a completely new one
There have been action comedies, and superhero comedies. But none have been as inventive as “Ragnarok.”
“Wonder Woman” and “Logan,” also superhero movies deserving of Academy Award nominations — “Logan” was nominated for best adapted screenplay and I’ve written about “Wonder Woman’s” best picture snub before — shook the superhero genre as well, but “Ragnarok” did so in a different way.
“Wonder Woman” proved that a female-led story works, and doesn’t even need to focus on a woman’s figure to do so. “Logan” proved that a superhero movie can work as a serious, character-driven drama.
“Ragnarok” does the opposite of what “Logan” did. The movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe work because they’re fun — even the worst ones, with the exception of “Iron Man 2.” “Ragnarok” embraces its absurdity and goes further than any other director would take it. Not even “Ant-Man” went this far, and it is about a man who can control ants.
“Ragnarok” made what would be serious, less-than-thrilling action sequences in any other superhero movie some of the funniest moments in recent cinema memory. And by exploring existing characters like Thor, Loki, and the Hulk/Bruce Banner from this new perspective, it made them more interesting … especially Thor who, before this film, was a bit vanilla.
It embraces its absurdity, rather than trying to make it serious
Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s exemplary “Dark Knight” trilogy, superhero movies started this trend of trying to be really, really deep and good. Most movies trying to do this failed.
“Ragnarok” has a lot of elements that could have made it bad, things that would have been awful had it gone in a more expected direction: a giant dog, a zombie army, a guy made of rocks, a ship made for sex parties, and a rainbow bridge. But instead, they work.
“Ragnarok” isn’t deep, and that’s a good thing. It gives you everything you want out of a Thor movie, but with an 80s-inspired twist, and a lot of laughs.