BEST OF 2017: ‘THOR: RAGNAROK’
We surveyed our readers and allowed them to vote on their favorite geek-centric projects and stars of the year. In our Best of 2017 series, we’ll highlight each winner and discuss what made them a sensation.
What once would have been considered a subset of the fantasy/science fiction genre, superhero films have really come into their own during the last decade. As such, it’s becoming more and more difficult to define exactly what a superhero film entails, especially considering that what were once cheesy, popcorn flicks at best can now handle some pretty intense topics of discussion. 2017 has given us some of the most diverse superhero films to date, but we narrowed it down to the best representations of the genre.
SUPERHERO MOVIE NOMINEES:
A prime example of the rapidly evolving nature of the superhero genre, Logan breaks both the typical conventions of what a superhero film is, as well as what an X-Men film can be. With an ‘R’ rating, Logan was also one of the goriest of the X-franchise, giving us a much more realistic look at the sort of damage those adamantium claws would actually be capable of.
Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Steward reprise roles they’ve been playing for over fifteen years, so it’s fascinating to see the growth and development of these characters as well as in the X-franchise itself. To go from jokes about frogs getting hit by lightning to intense discussions about who may or may not be to blame for the deaths of pretty much every mutant on the planet… It’s been an astounding transformation.
WINNER: ‘THOR: RAGNAROK’
Coming in at the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Thor: Ragnarok taking first place and proving that–although the results can be incredible when they are–not all superhero films have to be serious these days to be taken seriously. Ragnarok is, quite simply, fun.
This is a huge shakeup when you consider that, as the third installment of Marvel’s less than successful Thor franchise, Ragnarok had quite an uphill battle to fight to win back the fanbase. The first two Thor films are generally panned pretty harshly as some of the worst films in the MCU lineup, which makes the drastic shift in tone going into the third film make a lot of sense. Through a combination of fantastic directing and very, very low stakes, Taika Waititi brings out some of the best performances we’ve seen in any Marvel film to date.
Making strides from the mightier-than-thou Thor of past films, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has never felt more realistic. Whether he’s antagonizing his brother Loki, trying to convince both Hulk and Bruce Banner that he’s not cheating on either of them with the other, or getting outsmarted and out-sassed by Valkyrie, Thor‘s humor has an ad-libbed, off-the-cuff sort of feel that feels less like comic book one-liners and more like genuine comedy.
Ragnarok might not have the drama of some of the other nominees on this list, but the tension between the characters, the sharp and entertaining banter, and the 35.7% of the vote that the film pulled in our poll all show that that’s clearly not a bad thing.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know your thoughts below and be on the lookout for more articles covering the Best of 2017!