James Gunn Thor Ragnarok

On Monday, we compiled a list of reactions to Marvel Studios’ new movie Thor: Ragnarok from critics who got to see the film early, but in the wake of the Hollywood premiere of the film, there’s one more reaction we’d like to talk about. Writer/director James Gunn, the creative force behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and one of the key players shaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s future over the next decade and beyond, has written a rave review of the movie, likening it to a lost 1980s classic and singling out Mark Ruffalo‘s performance as The Hulk as one of the film’s strongest aspects.

Gunn took to Facebook to publish his reaction, and it’s worth reading in full. Here’s what he said:

Was lucky enough to be invited to the Thor: Ragnarok Premiere last night.

And I loved it. I sat in the “director’s row” with the Jons (Favreau and Watts) and Captain Marvel’s Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and Favreau and I laughed loudly, perhaps even inappropriately so, at nearly everything Jeff Goldblum did. In fact, I might say the Grandmaster is my new favorite character in the Marvel universe if it weren’t that Miek makes his debut in this film.

If I ever die, and go to heaven, the first thing I’m going to see are all my dead pets. And then God will lead us all over to a screening room where I can watch an epic Miek trilogy.

Anyway… I don’t think any film of the modern era has captured the batshit crazy fun of 80’s classics like Flash Gordon and Buckaroo Banzai as well as Taika Waititi has here. I felt like I was fourteen watching a magical VHS tape that exploded into something grand. It’s the most colorful of all Marvel films — I mean, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is practically sepia-tone in comparison — and it’s also the funniest.

I think Chris Hemsworth is finally able to go full-Thor and full-Hemsworth, charming and hilarious. Tessa Thompson is perfect as Valkyrie (my other new favorite character), and Taika as Korg steals every scene he’s in. In casting that role, I think Taika was very lucky that Kronans have the same exact accent as New Zealanders.

I told Mark Ruffalo on Friday night he was the greatest actor in the world, and he didn’t let me down. I didn’t think Hulk could get better that he was in the first Avengers, but I think he’s captured here as well or better than he’s ever been captured in film OR comics.

So, please, go see this freaking movie, unless you’re one of the people on Twitter who tweeted me last night that comic book movies aren’t supposed to be fun. I don’t quite get that but, you know, if that’s your thing, all good.

And please comment below, but leave out the ones where you accuse me of loving the movie because I have to love the movie because I work for Marvel. Because the simple truth is, I don’t have to do anything, and I haven’t loved all of the movies since I’ve been at Marvel. So there.

Have a great day, everybody!

If you’re like me and you’ve never heard of Miek before, that probably means you’ve also never read that particular comic run or seen Planet Hulk, the 2010 animated direct-to-video feature that loosely inspired some of this film’s plot. Miek is an insect-like character who’s native to Sakaar, the planet on which Thor finds himself engaged in gladiatorial battle with The Hulk.

Elsewhere, Gunn comparing Ragnarok to Buckaroo Bonzai has me super excited because that’s such a bizarrely specific type of movie that doesn’t easily invite comparisons, and the idea of Ragnarok being so colorful it makes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 look sepia-toned is insane to me, because I’d rank Vol. 2 among most colorful MCU movies created thus far and I didn’t think anything else could come along and blow it out of the water so thoroughly. And it sure sounds like Hulk’s three-movie arc is off to a good start, though I’m sure plenty of longtime Hulk fans will balk at the notion of this version of the character being better than any that’s appeared in any comic.

But we’ll all soon be able to find out for ourselves, because Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters on November 3, 2017.

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