As the superhero genre develops, its media continues to push boundaries and challenge its conventions. Though Marvel arguably set the stage for the genre with Iron Man, thus establishing superhero media as family action sci-fi with an edge, the production giant has since set out to challenge its own conventions. Marvel took a more adult comedic stance with Guardians of the Galaxy, to much acclaim and financial success, while franchise updates like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Netflix's Jessica Jones add a darker edge to their overall repertoire. Some of the studio's films act as a melange of multiple genre elements, combining action, wit, and edge within a single film.
The latest Thor installment, Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to be one such film. The movie, which sees its titular hero face off against the Hulk, will reportedly be "the funniest depiction" of Thor to date, according to star Tom Hiddleston (Loki). Despite Marvel's proven comedic chops, however, it looks like Hiddleston's promises have ruffled some feathers. One concerned fan even brought the issue directly to the movie's source, director Taika Waititi.
In two exchanges via Twitter, fans asked Ragnarok director Taika Waititi what he thought about those criticizing the movie's comedic bend. The director's quippy response to one fan was, simply, "Sounds like they need to laugh," though he was slightly more blunt in another reply. You can check out both tweets, below:
Sounds like they need to laugh. https://t.co/fCB5AwQoDA
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) February 21, 2017
Pffffffrrrrrtttt (fart sound)... ? https://t.co/QCNpDcJFam
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) February 19, 2017
It's no surprise that Ragnarok will have a comedic element, nor that Waititi is meeting its criticisms with an equally wry response, since the director is known for his playful writer-director projects back in his native New Zealand. Waititi's independent feature work includes romantic comedy Eagle vs Shark, vampire horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows, and last year's acclaimed dramedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople. He often collaborates with fellow New Zealand funnyman Jemaine Clement, and even wrote and/or directed several episodes of Clement's acclaimed HBO comedy series Flight of the Conchords.
That's all to say, Ragnarok wouldn't really be a Waititi production if it didn't also feature the director's uniquely comedic voice. Fans criticizing a slightly funny third installment also seem to be ignoring the overall tone of the Thor franchise, since both Thor and Thor: The Dark World are far from deadpan. Lead Chris Hemsworth lends his own brand of bawdy levity to each film, and it would be out of place to see this update premiere to zero chuckles come November.
No matter what, it's great to see Marvel take a chance on Waititi, who has such a singular directorial vision. That said vision happens to include comedy will likely benefit this newest Asgardian adaptation, despite critical misgivings. Both fans and reviewers will have to wait until November to really pass judgment on the film -- though we know that still won't stop them from buzzing for the next nine months.
Source: Taika Waititi [via Twitter]
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019