Thor had a bad feeling about this.

Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron put some bad mojo into the minds and hearts of our favorite big-screen heroes. Hulk saw his potential for human carnage; Cap realized that his heart was still in the 1940’s; and, Thor saw an Asgard depleted and destroyed. So after the team destroyed Ultron (or did they?), Hulk went into hiding and Thor hit the Reading Rainbow back home…effectively abandoning Earth’s Avengers to sort out their interpersonal differences in Captain America: Civil War (which I felt should have been Avengers 3, but who asked me?).

What was so important that Thor couldn’t be bothered to help an Avenger out? (And had he been available, would he have sided with Steve or Tony? Discuss!) Turns out his Scarlett Witch-induced vision wasn’t just a bad dream; strange things were afoot at the Asgardian Circle-K.

My first viewing of this great trailer had me so pumped. (Seriously–stop reading now, click on the trailer link, and come back to me.) I’ve enjoyed the first two Thor films, but this trailer suggests that Thor 3 will use all the good parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for a rocking good ride. We have a rock classic, “Immigrant Song” by Led Zepplin, accompanying the preview (ala Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1), along with the colorful, neon banners we’ve seen in other Guardian promos, heavy use of humor, and the promise of multiple Marvel heroes appearing in the film (more on that later). Above all, the trailer indicates that the story will carry weight and consequence in the Universe should Thor not be able to step up and reign victorious.

I’m not sure if it will carry forward into the film, but the preview begins like the Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard, which is to say that it starts at the end. Like the narrator of that film, a dead detective floating face down in the pool, we join Thor as he is literally at the end of his rope, dangling from a chain at the bottom of a deep pit. We flash back to the multitude of threats that could have done this to him, and the threats are considerable.

Cate Blanchett looks amazing as the dark Hela, goddess of death. Seriously—goth-hottie. Her powers and threat are instantly cemented as she not only catches a well-thrown Molinjr, but crushes it with one hand. Her declaration, “Asgard is dead!” is totally believable as Thor’s hometown is annihilated and Thor is seemingly cast out. (Banishment seems to be an ongoing theme in these films.) Thor encounters a group of misfits, who immediately capture and deliver him to the Grand Master, played by quirky character actor Jeff Goldblum. Who will save him? Quick flashes reveal that it won’t be Heimdall (Idris Elba), who is looking very feral and fierce in a forest somewhere, not the cushy Bifrost Gateway.

Fangirls, don’t despair—we have a confirmed Loki sighting. Two, in fact. In the first, he is in full battle mode with knifes. Is he fighting for Thor or for Hela? It isn’t clear, but once we see Thor enter the gladiator’s arena for the entertainment of the Grand Master, two things become obvious: Thor has been taken to a low point, as his blond locks have been shorn (and he’s being forced to battle for sport—I guess that would be the worst of the two), and then we have the second Loki sighting as he sits next to the Grand Master to enjoy the upcoming main event. So Loki is definitely not fighting for Thor. Bonus for the fan—pay attention to Thor’s arena helmet. It does something special to capture his unique style.

The final gem from this trailer is a huge reveal. Thor’s opponent in the ring is none other than Hulk. And he looks amazing in full battle gear, as angry and threatening as ever. The humor in the preview hits a high as Thor declares, “Yes! We know each other! He’s a friend from work!” So many layers in that one joke.

At the helm of this installment is New Zealand director Taika Waititi (and collaborator with “Flight of the Conchords” Jemaine Clement—who rocked it hard in FX’s Legion this past March). Known for his humorous films like What We Do In The Shadows and Shark Vs Eagle, I have no doubt that his dry wit and playfulness will seep into the film and lift it up to a new, well-received level.

I know for a fact that the trailer hasn’t revealed all the secrets that Thor: Ragnarok holds. There are promises of more appearances from Earth’s heroes…and if you don’t know who they are, I won’t ruin them here. But as far as I’m concerned, Nov. 3, 2017 can’t come fast enough.



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