Fans have been more critical of Marvel Studios than ever when it comes to blockbuster flicks and the Disney+ series from Phase 4. Among the most divisive areas has come down to CGI, as viewers have increasingly been noticing and drawing attention to poor CGI and editing mistakes. The MCU's latest outing, Thor: Love and Thunder, has been no exception to that rule. Moviegoers have been quick to pan the digital work on Love and Thunder for a number of things - including the backdrops, fights, and CGI characters.
The fourth Thor film is just the latest in a line of MCU outings to face this same criticism. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has been by far the harshest recipient of the recent CGI backlash. Fans jumped to criticize the first trailer for the bad design and animation of She-Hulk. However, the VFX designers at Corridor Crew have since offered an explanation for why that may not be the case.
On the other end of the spectrum, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was also home to one particularly impressive case of CGI. Anson Mount's Black Bolt was heavily praised after the movie's release for having among the greatest superhero suits in the MCU, one which it now turns out was created digitally.
Now, with Thor 4 out in theaters to be criticized by all, the director Taika Waititi and Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson have shared their own thoughts on one particular scene.
Thor 4 Actors React to CGI and Editing Problems
In a recent video on the Vanity Fair YouTube channel, Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi and Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson broke down the "Taste the Rainbow" scene, poking fun at the movie's VFX and editing mistakes.
Examining a shot of Thor, Valkyrie, Korg, and Jane Foster in the New Asgard town hall, Thompson admitted "that particular shot" did not appear real when it comes to any of the four characters.
Waititi initially questioned whether his own CGI rock monster Korg needed to be "more blue," but Thompson pointed out that "he changes hues in the light" and "sometimes he's blue, sometimes he's a little grayish."
Taika Waititi: "Does that look real?
Tessa Thompson: "In that particular shot? No, actually [laughs]. It doesn't really, right, when you look close? "
Waititi: "Korg needed to be more blue..."
Thompson: "But no, no, no, he changes hues, don't you think? Kind of like the light. Sometimes he's blue, sometimes he's a little grayish."
The Valkyrie actress then pointed out a particular shot in which she visibly reacts to "when [Thor] would wake up" and shout after communicating with the kidnapped children via Heimdall's son Axl. However, this shout was cut and Waititi "just left [Valkyrie's reaction] there randomly." Thompson shared that she thinks the reaction is "kind of funny," and even though it "doesn't make any sense," she still "[loves] it."
The Thor 4 director laughed at his mistake, exclaiming that he "never noticed it," joking that he "was never looking at [her]." Thompson then pointed out how the scene shows how "sometimes someone can make a performance look crazy when it wasn't," while Waititi made a string of hilarious facial reactions:
"That performance used to make sense because he would wake up, he would go... and then that was my reaction. But now, I just do it for no reason, which is cool. And that's also an indication of how sometimes someone can make a performance look crazy when it wasn't."
The full scene breakdown with Vanity Fair can be watched below:
Why is the MCU's Phase 4 CGI So 'Bad'?
The VFX houses of Hollywood have faced plenty of challenges in the last year, as the aftermath of the pandemic has left a massive backlog for artists to work through. These difficulties have been the source of several major blockbuster delays, and many see them as the reasoning behind the recent increase in questionable CGI.
Thor: Love and Thunder was also Marvel Studios' first outing to utilize The Volume technology that was created by Lucasfilm's VFX unit, Industrial Light & Magic, for The Mandalorian. In general terms, the technology works as an advanced green screen to place actors into digital creations in real-time.
This being Marvel Studios' first attempt at utilizing the increasingly popular technology may be one factor in the CGI issues, particularly those relating to the backdrops. But that's not to say there's anything wrong with the technology itself - it just may not have been utilized properly in this particular case.
Phase 4 has faced a lot of criticism for its CGI, particularly when it comes to the projects that have been released in 2022. Perhaps this criticism may lead Marvel Studios to be more careful and hire more VFX artists in the future, especially as it continues to increase its content output.
Thor: Love and Thunder is playing now in theaters worldwide.