Like panexis and eternalsage, this is by far my least favorite MCU film. But unlike them, this fanedit does not make Ragnarok watchable for me. As eternalsage said, "crap movie is crap down to its bones" haha! So how to be fair when grading this edit?
Okay, the faneditor's stated goal was to "Trim down the overly ridiculous humor and some of the more over the top cgi fights". Did it do that? I think, MOSTLY yes. There's just SO much overly ridiculous humor in this that it might be impossible to cut it all. Some examples that are still in the film: Hela joking about taking out Thor's eye (with a slap, smh?), God of Thunder getting repeatedly tazed, "Is it though?", Asgardian groupies getting splashed by decapitation goo, Loki's 30 minute tazing, and so on. Can all that be cut? I honestly don't know. I feel like the only way to actually fix the humor in this film is with a much more ambitious re-edit, probably mixing up the chronology and re-scoring the film. It wouldn't be a "trimmed" edition. So I mostly have to give this a high rating, even though it was still like nails-on-a-chalkboard to me.
My thoughts on the film in general and what doesn't work are here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/thor-ragnarok/ But I have to say that I'm NOT opposed to humor in a Thor film. But the humor should be situational and happen as a result of character and story, not from improv-ing and TRYING to make jokes. So some of the humor that was removed here was actually consistent with that. Many of Korg's droll lines, Thor's story about Loki's mischief and some of his comments to Hulk, Hulk not caring about being naked, and...even though it probably is too much, I do miss Loki's "That's what it feels like!"
Overall, this didn't reshape the movie in the way that I wanted. I suspect that for people who really enjoyed it the first time and only realized there were issues when they heard other people complain: this will be the perfect sweet spot. Big, goofy, sci-fi comedy with charming people. It's not Thor, but a lot of people didn't care about Thor before this anyway. If so, this is the film for you.
So, this being my first review, it is only fitting that I started with the film which introduced me to fan-edited films. You see, Thor Ragnarok sums up all the problems I have with the MCU since the end of Phase One; too much lightheartedness, bathos and overuse of mood-killing jokes. Add to all that Waititi's cartoonish approach towards Thor and The Hulk/Bruce Banner and you get why Thor Ragnarok is my most hated film of the whole bunch, especially when it's supposed to deal with the Twilight of the Gods.
When I heard about DigModification’s Trimmed Edition, I was intrigued. Was it possible for a fan-editor to salvage this film? The answer is, pretty much yes. From the get-go, the film seems much better as Thor is no more constantly interrupting Surtur’s speech when he’s spinning around his chains and the so overused joke with the mistimed arrival of Mjolnir is also gone. DigModification’s cuts and edits are seamless and you wouldn’t know that something is missing even if you know what you’re looking for. It was only just this scene during Thor’s escape from his quarters where I could tell that the glass shattering sound was a little “off”, but other than that it’s all top-notch. Actually, there are some ingenious cuts here and there, like Doctor Strange’s complete removal in a very clever way and the edited Stan Lee cameo, without having Thor screaming like a little girl.
So, did really DigModification save Thor Ragnarok? Unfortunately not for me, but that is not by any means the editor’s fault. The film is pretty much unsalvageable. There is no way for any editor to turn this rambling Bruce Banner into the troubled soul we knew from the first Avenger film. There is no way you can turn Korg into the gladiator from the Planet Hulk event (unless you dub over Waititi’s voice, that is). And there is no way you can give Loki back some of his godly dignity when objects are hurled onto his head. That is the reason why, while I mostly enjoyed the first and third act (especially the third act), the second act felt underwhelming. That’s because there is too much nonsense there, impossible to cut without compromising the whole narrative.
Again, that is by no means DigModification’s fault. In fact, thanks to his hard efforts, I can now comfortably watch a previously insufferable film every time I get into a MCU marathon. It’s definitely a must-watch for anyone who felt betrayed by Waititi’s directorial style.
So... The theatrical release of this movie is one of my most hated movies of all time. Not because its the worst movie of all time or anything, but because I love the character Thor and I really enjoyed the first phase of the MCU. No, I hate the theatrical release so much because it represents just about everything that I think is wrong with modern pop culture, all in one package. I hate it. I really do. I have now watched it 3 times in 24 hours.
And this version is actually pretty darn solid. I didn't think the movie could be salvaged (and to be fair, its still my least favorite movie in the MCU so far) but its actually good. I would have cut even more of the silliness, but some of it was, I'm certain, just something that was impossible, like Valkyrie falling off the walkway of her ship. Crap movie is crap down to its bones. This version let the actual funny jokes breathe, let the story have the necessary emotional gravitas for a story about loss, regret, death, fear, and powerlessness, and it even found within it some great character moments. None of this was really visible through the thick coating of glitter and mindless fluff that originally encased this movie, but DigModification saw it like a sculptor sees the shapes in a lump of clay.
The technical parts of the edit were amazingly well done. I saw nothing that stood out other than some obvious moments in which Hela's lips were obviously not saying the words we were hearing in the battle with Thor, but all of that was handled so much better that the whole thing could have looked like a badly dubbed kung fu movie from the 70s and it would have been superior so long as it made sense. I was literally watching in awe as we kept approaching another cringe milestone and then we were past it, none the wiser for its passing. If you liked the theatrical cut, this is probably going to be bad for you, but for everyone else, this is the definitive version.
Now if there was a way to get rid of the terrible soundtrack and get something fittingly sweeping and epic instead.
In the words of Wayne and Garth, "we're not worthy!"
I cannot find the words to describe how wonderful this edit was. Useless and flat jokes are gone, awkward pauses are out, and things feel elevated because of it. I did ding you a star for an audio effect (only because it stood out so much), but please don't take offense to it. When Thor throws the ball out against the glass, the shattering sound effect needed to extend longer, it ended too soon. Personally I would have kept the Dr. Strange and "tunnel scream", but only because it made me laugh so much.
But in all seriousness, you have done excellent work and this is a GRAND example of why I love this community so much! My hats off to you! I will never watch the vanilla version again!