It can be argued whether the movies are being worse or not -probably not, but it is true that the series makes there be more leftover content that tarnishes the whole-, but what is being undeniable is that Marvel Studios is having difficulties so that its Phase 4 is as beloved as those of the Infinity Saga. The tapes work, but most stay halfway to win over audiences They are not unrepentant fans.
There’s probably no easy solution – well, maybe do less mediocre series – because the truth is that Kevin Feige is trying everything at this stage. We have the classic ultra-controlled films, smoothed out of rough edges and virtues, that characterize the middle level of Marvel and we have also had films where the filmmakers have been able to have a little more weightlike ‘Eternals’, ‘Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness’ or the most recent ‘Thor: Love & Thunder’.
Knockin’ on Valhalla’s Door
The latter, which has just come to streaming through Disney +, is especially interesting because of how its director Taika Waititi decides to squeeze Kevin Feige’s blank check as much as possible after the success of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. The simplest summary would be to talk about this sequel as a repetition of the hits of its predecessor, amplifying resources such as absurd and carefree humor, epic and colorful fantasy or jolts of tonewhich were already in the previous one.
The reality is a bit more complex. For example, his changes of tone are more brutal and make the film more convulsive, going from funny to drama quite harsh quite abruptly. At times the movie wants to address issues like disappointment with the gods, finding personal purpose or dealing with death, while also wanting to shock you with jokes about Thor denying his traumatic past or having a weird love triangle with two hammers.
It’s not that it doesn’t work. In fact, it works more than it should for the lurch it hits. To try to reason why I am going to make use of Waititi’s use of Guns N’ Roses throughout the film, because in addition his way of directing has qualities similar to those of a rock band. Guns N’ Roses make music noisy and without filters, very thrown to the epic and also very tacky, also reaching humorous extremes (in his case not entirely voluntary) in which many do not enter or choose not to enter. A bit like the two New Zealander Thor movies.
Waititi uses the GNR songs almost to mark the structure of the film, although really he has mostly taken the songs from the wrong album. In this analogy, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ would be the Appetite for Destruction, which contains all the hits and seems to work round the clock from start to finish, seamlessly.
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ seems more like the two volumes of Use Your Illusion, two ambitious and excessive albums, which have as many lights as moments that should have been filtered anyway. It is a film that could have been better if it had been somewhat edited and with its successes better distributed.
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: uses the illusion of a child
Because there are quite a few successes, some better than those of its predecessor. Christian Bale’s villain is fascinating because it’s tragic and creepy, but it has a dramatic undertone that reflects more ideas about our relationship with the divine than it may seem. There is an action sequence that pits the characters of Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman against this villain on a planet that does visually bold things for a Marvel movieand it is also conceived and executed with incredible taste.
There’s also an interesting decision to put the kids at the center of the action, with Waititi again showing his connection to the child’s perspective and also trying to bring back the fantasy blockbuster. These are details that show that here there has been an author with more decision-making power, although the use he has made of it has not been the most effective. But look, if this phase 4 leaves us with something good, it is films that dare to try different and interesting things, even if they are imperfect. More like this and less pats on the back to the fan who doesn’t care about anything else.
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