The second trailer for Thor Ragnarok was was drenched in Kirby-flavored 80s madness, from it’s neon title cards to it’s retro score. And after you get done watching for the tenth time (give or take a viewing), click back over to here and we’ll break down the high points together. Go ahead, watch it — we’ll wait…
OK, now that you’re back, let’s dive into the biggest developments Marvel Studios packed into the nearly two-and-a-half minute trailer for director Taika Waititi’s MCU debut.
Paging Dr. Banner
The trailer opens with a first look at the Hulk’s human counterpart, Bruce Banner, spending some quality time with Thor, after their…um, violent first encounter in the gladiatorial ring on Planet Hulk’s Sakaar. Banner doesn’t seem to remember the fight at all (though he’s pretty sure, despite Thor’s insistence, that he… err, Hulk, won.)
All of this begs the question: just how, and why, is Banner in space at all? It’s clear, from this trailer and the first, that Thor found himself banished to Sakaar care of the violent take over from Hela back on Asgard. In the comics, the Planet Hulk storyline kicked off after the Avengers came to the inhumane decision to launch the Hulk into space against his will in an attempt to protect the planet form his rage-fueled rampages. It’s unlikely that that’s the case here, unless the team was very busy in the time before or after Civil War.
For his part, Banner doesn’t even seem to know where he is, which may or may not mean he doesn’t even know the answer to the question of how he got there, himself.
A Journey of Self Discovery
The trailer re-hashes some ground covered in the first trailer. Namely, Thor’s arrival on Sakaar and subsequent capture. He does provide a new, interesting tidbit that his encounter with Hulk in the gladiatorial arena happened almost immediately after his hammer was destroyed by Hela, making it seem like her take over of Asgard was quick to say the least.
Hela’s uprising gets some time in the spotlight as well, with several key shots of Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie leading a legion of winged horse riding warriors into battle against her. This may or may not explain how Valkyrie ended up on Sakaar herself, but the context of her interactions with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster seem to insinuate some level of familiarity between the two characters.
It’s quite possible that the initial fight between Valkyrie and Asgard’s armies is a flashback to Hela’s initial banishment.
It also seems like Karl Urban’s Skurge, who we get a nice clear, extended look at, is working as Hela’s right hand man in her take over.
Assembling a Team
Loki is certainly no stranger to being a prisoner within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it looks like Ragnarok is continuing the trend. In a definite departure from his original reveal in the first trailer (where he’s shown sitting, sharing a couch with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster), we find the trickster in chains somewhere on Sakaar.
Whether this is before or after he attempts to win the Grandmaster’s favor (i.e. if Loki is going to betray Thor after Thor assists in his escape, or if the assist comes after the Grandmaster has already had enough of him) is left ambiguous.
Thankfully, it looks like all of Loki and Thor’s bad blood is water under the bridge, because they’re next shown opening fire with a set of laser-launching machine guns on a team of unsuspecting Sakaarian guards.
From this point, the stakes of the movie become pretty clear. Thor must team up with Banner, Valkyrie, and Loki to find a way off of Sakaar and win Asgard back from the likes of Hela. The Grandmaster’s role in this, however seems a bit strange. Valkyrie may or may not be a close ally of his.
Raising the Stakes
From there, the trailer ramps up into true Kirby-inspired sci-fi superhero mayhem. We’re shown everything from a mid-Bifrost teleportation fight between Loki and Hela to a cloaked Heimdal swinging his sword in some sort of wooded locale.
A key moment shows Hulk going hand-to-hand with a giant Asgardian wolf — undoubtedly the MCU incarnation of Fenris, one of the heralds of the mythological Ragnarok — and the team landing on the body-strewn to Heimdall’s old lookout post (and gate to the Bifrost) to confront Hela.
“I am the goddess of death,” Hela taunts, presumably mid-Fight with Thor, “what were you the god of again?”
The answer comes in the form of a truly epic shot of Thor, super charged by lighting (complete with glowing solid white eyes) crashes into Asgard from the stormy sky. Interestingly enough, this shot does not show Thor holding Mjolnir at the time. There is a precedent for Thor being able to use powers without his hammer (after all, comic book Mjolnir has seen it’s bitter, explosive end more than once), but they are few and far between.
It’s possible that we will be getting a much more in-depth look at how the MCU is dealing with the nitty gritty aspects of Asgardian powers before Thor Ragnarok comes to an end.
Like Raging Fire
The final shot of the trailer is a jump cut to a surprise reveal — Hulk full-on leaping into the jaws of a giant, flaming demon named Surtur, a classic Thor villain from the Silver Age.
This is the first indication of Surtur’s presence in the film, and though his actual role in the movie is still very much up in the air, his massive size and the obvious connections the plot has to the realm of Hel indicate that he might actually function as the real “big bad” after Hela herself is defeated.
Opening November 3, Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/the Hulk and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.
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