The time has come! It’s been six years since the last good Thor movie (I’m not counting the Dark World), and Thor Ragnarok is a fantastic road trip through space, but it may not be the best. Another great sci-fi romp by Marvel is the one, the only, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. So, the real question is: Which one is better? I seek to answer that question with my “expert” (that’s a laugh) film opinion.
Let’s jump right in: What’s the best? (note: you should probably watch the two movies before you read this, I don’t have the space to sum up two giant blockbusters)
Round One: The Teams.
So this is pretty much just the Guardians versus the Revengers. I’ll be judging this off of how stable the teams are, which is how often they don’t fight within each other. The Guardians had quite a bit of trouble. Rocket was mad at Quill and Gamora for abandoning him blah blah blah, but besides that, the team was much stabler than they were in the original iteration. The Revengers had a hard time getting together, but they stayed pretty strong throughout (besides the inevitable betrayal of Loki, but was he really part of the team to begin with?). The Thor team never had any noticeable falling outs, but I believe that this round goes to the Guardians solely for how their team has improved since Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1. Overall, these two super-teams are much more stable than the other groups of heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (looking at you Avengers).
Round Two: The Soundtrack.
Okay, I don’t even think this one needs to be argued, Guardians of the Galaxy takes the cake with their Awesome Mix Volume 2. This seventies “greatest hits” list cannot be beat. While I admire the boldness of Thor Ragnarok by making most of the soundtrack electronic techno-beats, both of the soundtracks of the Guardians films have been critically acclaimed, and you can’t argue with the masses. But just know, Immigrant Song will always have a special place in my heart.
Round Three: The Villains.
Every good movie needs a good villain, and these films have them in spades. This is a truly difficult argument to make, its Cate Blanchett versus Kurt Russell, Ego versus Hela. So, first things first, how much damage did these baddies do to our heroes? Ego may have smashed Star Lord’s walkman and gave his mom cancer, but Hela single-handedly destroyed an entire army of Asgardian Warriors, which was the prime reason that Odin died, gouged out Thor’s eye, and led Asgard to complete annihilation. Not to mention, she killed the Warriors Three, and didn’t even bat an eye about it. Due to the extreme amount of anguish put onto our heroes, I believe Hela deserves to win this round. She is just, so mean… the perfect villain! And not to mention, she just looks menacing. With the giant antler-helmet, the flowing black cape, and the raggy, unkempt hair, she truly is is the Darth Vader of the M.C.U. .
Round Four: Cool Space Stuff.
Technically, both movies are sci-fi (even though they capitalize on the superhero aspect), and every good sci-fi movie needs some cool space stuff. I’m talking exploding techno-asteroids, junk-tossing teleportation holes, a planet that is also a man, a floating space kingdom with a rainbow-wormhole thing, etcetera etcetera. With the massive amount of amazing space-stuff worthy of Star Wars, I would love to give this a tie, but there is one obvious winner in this round. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is, by all intensive purposes, a pure sci-fi movie. It’s got smugglers, it’s got asteroid-fields, it’s got huge space battles, it has everything a sci-fi movie needs to have. So GOTG is the winner by a close margin. I believe that the Thor movies have many cool fantasy details, but not as many awesome space ships or laser guns. Bows and arrows are still cool though.
Round 5: Humor.
Humor is one thing any good comedy needs, and the genres of these movies are comedies first and foremost (except for superhero and sci-fi). I believe that these movies have very different forms of humor, but one stands out immediately, and that is Thor Ragnarok. Many jokes in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are very… predictable. You can see the humor happening up to a minute before it comes, and when it does, it falls flat. Thor Ragnarok’s jokes are completely unpredictable, and by unpredictable, I don’t mean in a “Random equals Funny” way, because it definitely does not, but Thor Ragnarok’s comedy is more nuanced than Guardians 2. For example, the “Trash Raccoon” joke from Guardians 2 was predicted from a mile away, but the “Loki Snake” joke was something I personally never saw coming, and I loved it.
So, it has been done. Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 is the winner of this competition by two to three. Personally, I prefer Thor Ragnarok, but I cannot argue with myself, or the filmmakers I suppose.