I do enjoy hearing the notion of Thor 4 being compared to Batman 4: Batman & Robin. It’s not an exact comparison (Thor as a character is nowhere near as bad or annoying to sit through), but hear me out…
With each franchise, a new director was brought in to “fix” the franchise (Taika Waititi and Joel Schumacher respectively), after a disappointingly received second film.
They were then acclaimed for “saving” the franchise, by making a lighter, more comical third film (Thor: Ragnarok and Batman Forever). Both were successful enough for the studio to allow the filmmaker to do whatever they wanted with the next film, albeit with a time constraint. “Get the fourth film out fast”…
And then with the fourth film, it wasn’t just the studio to blame; the writer/director was seen as going “too far” in the comedy and tone, even for general moviegoers. The comedy just didn’t mix as well with the material, undercutting the story, disappointing fans, and weak legs at the box office.
Hell both Thor 4 and Batman 4 have a bald monochromatic tragic villain, weird jealousies from the sidekicks, a terminal-illness subplot, gay subtext, a campy secondary villain [Zeus / Poison Ivy] who makes uncomfortable sex jokes… the comparisons goes on.
To me it’s an interesting comparison as far as superhero downgrades from the 3rd-to-4th movie, but also shows there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve gone down this path before. There’s room to improve with the next movie, hopefully by adding a new director.
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