We're all getting pumped for the release of the third Thor standalone film Thor Ragnarok on November 3. There's plenty of buzz around the film and, the director, Taika Waititi is a huge part of that buzz. New to the Marvel universe, the New Zealander certainly isn't new to filmmaking. If, by some crazy chance, you haven't seen the trailer for the latest Marvel flick, then check it out now:
Intriguing, right? It looks like Waititi has brought his signature mixture of humor and feels to the Norse god and his compadres. If you haven't come across Waititi before you're in for a treat. There's a reason why a Hollywood outsider would be given such a big movie: it's because he's brilliant. Here's a list of other Waititi movies you should check out ahead of Ragnarok to get a feel for his unique style (spoiler, it's nearly all of them).
'Hunt For The Wilderpeople'
The closest thing to a commercial hit on this list, Hunt For The Wilderpeople stars newcomer Julian Dennison as Ricky and Sam Neill as his foster father. Hilarious and touching, Ricky and Hec's fugitive wanderings will have you in stitches and questioning how on Earth you missed it the first time around.
Offbeat and truly unique (just like all of Waititi's other movies) this film is the best place to start if you want to check out Waititi's back-catalog.
'What We Do In The Shadows'
2014's What We Do In The Shadows was a mockumentary masterpiece. Focusing on three vampire buddies house-sharing in modern day Wellington, the movie starred Waititi himself along with long time collaborator Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords fame) as one of his vampire housemates.
What We Do In The Shadows is outrageously entertaining from start to finish: Camp and full of beautiful cringe moments (just like all the best mockumentaries), the film is a fresh take on a centuries-old genre, and showcases Waititi's uniquely surreal yet grounded sense of humor.
For me, the true star of Waititi's back-catalog is 2010's Boy. Set in New Zealand (surprise, surprise) and dripping with Eighties nostalgia, Boy is a beautiful bildungsroman.
The film focuses on Boy, an 11-year-old who holds both his father (Waititi) and Michael Jackson in the highest esteem. Part of this respect falls apart in the most brilliant way when his father actually returns. This movie will conjure childhood nostalgia like nothing else and is truly an outstanding and moving film.
Below is a combination of Michael Jacksons "Thriller" and the traditional Maui Haka dance. If this isn't enough to make you seek out this movie straight away, then I don't know what could be.
Taika Waititi has a truly idiosyncratic style and if you check out his previous films you can get a feel for this ahead of the release of Thor: Ragnarok. How his style is going to fit in with the Marvel universe and work in a big blockbuster movie is a seriously exciting prospect. Hopefully, he will bring some of his signature humor and inject some whimsy into the Thor franchise.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3.