The first Guardians of the Galaxy tends to be near the top of most people’s rankings of all the Marvel movies, in part because its fun, ‘80s-inspired space opera proceedings were a breath of fresh air. Marvel seems to have noticed that people really dig that vibe, because the Guardians aesthetic is all over the first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. And although neither movie is out yet, it looks like Ragnarok may have recaptured that feeling better than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did.
Past Thor movies have always been a little weird — remember, the first Thor had the unenviable task of introducing space gods to a previously Earth-bound MCU. But prior to Ragnarok, that weirdness has been a little self-important, with Chris Hemsworth’s delightful charisma carrying the weight of some bloated tale of glitzy court intrigue. The second movie, The Dark World, is probably the most forgettable entry of the MCU, give or take The Incredible Hulk.
Ragnarok does away with that; it’s fun, opening with Thor addressing viewers and saying, “I know what you’re thinking. How did this happen?” Meanwhile, Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” starts to play. From there, we see Cate Blanchett vamping it up as Hela. She makes destroying the world look like a really enjoyable time. From there, we see Thor get cast off to some weird alien planet, meet Jeff Goldblum, and fight the Hulk. All of the text is in the most over-the-top 1980s font imaginable.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 looks fun, and director James Gunn knows what he’s doing. It’s just hard to capture lightning in a bottle twice, in part because it’s very, very hard to wow people with something they’ve already seen. Guardians looks like more of the same, which is good, but not surprising. Thor’s new direction in Ragnarok, meanwhile, looks wholly new, pushing Guardians’s mood even further into wackadoo territory.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters on November 3.