Movie Pre-Game: Thor Ragnarok — Will it RagnaROCK?

What’s the Deal: The Marvel Cinematic Universe has achieved a lot of success and critical acclaim. Thor: The Dark World seems to be the one movie Marvel fans will admit isn’t really sort of kind of okay? On the precipice of their seventeenth film, Thor: Ragnarok currently holds the title of best reviewed Marvel movie yet. That’s really saying something. Thor is the one primary Avenger who really hasn’t had his big moment. Is this finally it?

Tommy Tracy’s Breakdown

Thor Ragnarok looks all kinds of fantastic. It’s as if the powers that be at Marvel/Disney realized how incredibly mediocre the first two were and decided, let’s James Gunn this up a bit. A new look for Thor, adding in the Hulk and giving us a villain that actually looks fantastic, this might be the best year for the MCU (including Guardians 2 and Spider-Man) since 2012.

Biggest Asset: Cate Blanchett. She’s an amazing actress and early buzz says she continues the 2017 trend of great MCU villains.

Achilles Heel: Tom Hiddleston. Look, I love him and Loki, but Loki is a great villain and a subpar “hero.”

Daniel Cohen’s Breakdown

None of what’s happening right now surprises me. I knew 100% that Thor: Ragnarok was going to get the “OH MY GOD, IT’S THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER!!!” early Twitter reaction. I knew it would be in the mid-nineties on Rotten Tomatoes. Well, let me back track a tad there. On the 2016 End of Year Podcast, I said Thor: Ragnarok would be the first Marvel film to get a rotten rating.

That was dumb.

In the months leading up to this movie though, I quickly changed my tune. The Penguin said it best in Batman Returns “Things change.” They do. When I saw the first trailer, I knew right away it was playing the “look how much damn fun we’re having!” card. It was inevitable. Online critics were going to eat this up, and hype it to the high heavens of Asgard. That’s exactly what happened.

As far as my thoughts going into this, I refuse to get suckered in. Am I curious? Yes. Could it be good? Yes. At the end of the day though, from everything I read, this is going to be a Marvel movie on steroids. I’m not getting fooled like I did with Iron Man 3 and Doctor Strange.

I’ve made my view points on Marvel movies very clear, even though there are some I actually like. I’m just confused as to why they’re making Thor a comedy? This should be one of the characters where the jokes are downplayed. Having said that, I trust this director (Taika Waititi) to deliver smart comedy, as opposed to slap stick forced garbage like Doctor Strange was. Why do you get Scott Derrickson, a horror director, if you’re just going to make a comedy?

I’m getting off track. I’ll be hopeful. I want to like it. At the end of the day though, I know what I’m getting into. This will be full blown obnoxious Marvel.

Biggest Asset: It’s Marvel.

Achilles Heel: It’s Marvel.

For more of Dan’s thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok, check out our fall movie podcast!

Matt Kelly’s Breakdown

Thor and Thor: The Dark World didn’t seem to get Thor. They’re both by the numbers Game of Thrones-y action movies with a peppering of fish out of water thrown in to keep you from falling asleep. Also, one of the broke girls pretending she couldn’t remember how to pronounce Mjolnir. It was…something. Don’t get me wrong. I will watch them any day of the week. They just weren’t living up to Thor’s true potential, and maybe because of a lack of imagination, no one seemed to know how to fix that.

Enter Taika Waititi. I don’t know who the Gordon Bombay of Marvel is; scouting left of center directors for tent pole projects that can play by the rules, but bring their own signature knuckle-puck style. Who knew James Gunn could pull of a space opera, or that Jon Watts (a guy you still haven’t heard of) could put together a Spider-Man movie that gives Spider-Man 2 a run for its money? I just imagine Kevin Feige watching directors through a chain link fence and nodding his head. The guy just knows.

So now we are staring down the barrel of a Thor movie that stars Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, and Tessa Thompson. And even though Ragnarok is about to cap off an incredibly unstable trilogy, it honestly feels like a completely new franchise; one we never knew we wanted but desperately needed. I am beyond excited.

The Biggest Asset: Taika Waititi. The man has brought something completely new to this franchise. Thor is fun. Thor is colorful. Thor is nuts. Waititi has taken us from Tolkien to Kirby.

The Achilles Heel: Two unexciting Thor movies. Thor movies have consistently been the weakest Marvel movies; maybe the only truly weak Marvel movies. That could leave a bad taster in people’s mouths.

Tommy Tracy: I’m going to say Ragnarok makes around $80 million opening weekend and probably top out at around $450 worldwide. I could be wrong, as it’s already made over $100 million overseas, but it’s always hard to say. The least possible amount it could make would be $200 million, which to say, is the worst-case scenario.

The Ceiling: $500 Million

The Floor: $200 Million

Daniel Cohen: It’s going to make a crap load of money and blow the other two Thor films out of the water. It will reach Guardians, maybe even Guardians Vol. 2 levels. I have nothing else to say.

The Ceiling: $880 Million Worldwide

The Floor: $700 Million Worldwide

Matt Kelly: It’s tough to say. It may make more than Guardians. While it isn’t Marvel’s most popular franchise, excellent reviews and the inclusion of the Hulk should raise interest significantly. I also can’t discount the overseas markets. They love the Transformers and Pirates movies even though they are some of the worst blockbusters known to man, mostly because they are colorful and exciting. Ragnarok has that in spades.

The Ceiling: $900 Million

The Floor: $700 Million

Tommy Tracy: Cate Blanchett. Hela is a fantastic character in the source material and the actress is going to go balls to the wall to adapt that kind of crazy. Though I do really look forward to Thor/Banner’s banter together.

Daniel Cohen: Jeff Goldblum. The end.

Matt Kelly: I can’t imagine Jeff Goldblum is going to be in the movie for more than a half hour but I have a feeling The Grandmaster will be the standout for me. He’s got everything that I’ve always wanted Jeff Goldblum to have. An amazing costume. A silly gimmick. Probably some incredibly over the top dialogue. He will leave fans clamoring for the scene between The Grandmaster and his brother, The Collector.

Tommy Tracy: I’m hyped! As someone who learned to read from comics, even when the movies are bad (Elektra, Catwoman, Suicide Squad), I can’t help but feel excited when they come to the big screen. Years of being called a nerd have created a world where my people are ruling the world and Thor: Ragnarok looks to be one of the best yet. And even if it’s not all that great, it can’t possibly be worse than Thor: The Dark World.

Anticipation Level: 5 strands of Chris Hemsworth’s blond hair out of 5

Daniel Cohen: Ironically, what excites me most of all is the score and the villain (Cate Blanchett). These are the two elements that always stink in a Marvel movie. If Cate Blanchett is a great villain, the MCU will have gone 3-for-3 in good villains this year. Wow. Like I said, I’ll be hopeful, but again, it’s Marvel. I’m sure something will piss me off and derail the film.

Anticipation Level: 2 strands of Chris Hemsworth’s blond hair out of 5

Matt Kelly: It’s a Marvel movie by the Things We Do In The Shadows guy that all the reviewers seem to like.

Anticipation Level: 5 strands of Chris Hemsworth’s blond hair out of 5

Total Anticipation Level: 12 out of 15 strands of Chris Hemsworth’s blond hair

Thor: Ragnarok premieres this weekend in theaters across the country

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.