Most companies will claim they have a “work hard, play hard,” company culture. However, at Jive, it’s the truth. CEO John Pope, in an email congratulating employees on their hard work, said: “In celebration of a strong Q3, Jive is taking you all to see Thor: Ragnarok on November 7th. Save the date!”
Not everyone at Jive is a fan of superhero movies. But Thor: Ragnarok, or Thor 3, has made waves outside the typical Marvel fanbase. Released on November 3, it currently holds a commanding 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 90 percent audience score.
On Tuesday, November 7th, Jive employees (and their plus ones) converged on the Megaplex Theater in Vineyard, Orem. Jive provided employees with popcorn as they took their seats and settled in to watch the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Afterward, the employees hashed out the movie like seasoned critics. Here’s what your office co-workers might think of Thor: Ragnarok.
The success of any superhero movie is going to come down to its slammin soundtrack and awesome special effects. Jive employees praised the rousing opening fight scene, the 80s-style color palette, the much-anticipated brawl between Thor and the Hulk, and the chance to see the other worlds that occupy the Marvel Universe.
Critics have generally praised director Taika Waititi’s comedic tone in Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi’s hiring was generally seen as a bit of a risk for Marvel Studios because of his background in indie comedy (What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople). But Marvel has telegraphed a strategy that builds on the zany and irreverent framework that helped make Guardians of the Galaxy a surprise success. This strategy wasn’t lost on Jive employees. But most of the people we talked to weren’t fans of the change.
“It seemed like like they were trying too hard to be funny, like Guardians of the Galaxy,” said one employee. “I love that they tried for a different tone, but it just fell flat.”
“The humor was pretty funny,” said another, “and it seemed natural, not forced, but it created a bit of a confusing tone when it went back and forth between serious and humorous.”
One worker complained that the quick succession between different types of scenes created some emotional whiplash. “We went from Thor taking a pratfall to his sister murdering beloved franchise characters. We weren’t given a chance to absorb their deaths before the movie moved on to the next joke.”
It’s no secret that the Marvel films have struggled with their villains. However, the only real standout—Tom Hiddleston’s Loki—hails from the Thor series. So employees had high expectations for two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett’s version of Hela, the Norse goddess of death. And Jive fans were not disappointed.
“Cate Blanchett did an awesome job,” one employee explained. “I liked that, even after Thor had his ‘the magic was in him the whole time’ moment, he still could only barely fight her to a standstill. He couldn’t beat her outright. He had to do the unthinkable.”
Thor: Ragnarok is loaded with 80s nostalgia, like what you’d find in Stranger Things (we’ve been talking about Stranger Things around the office all week). That includes the synthesizer background music and Led Zeppelin’s rousing anthem, Immigrant Song. Some employees enjoyed the flashback. Others complained that the song choice, like the comedic tone, was a too-blatant ripoff of the type of music that director James Gunn had used to make Guardians of the Galaxy unique.
Overall, the Jive employees we talked to gave Thor: Ragnarok four out of five stars (at Jive, we know a few things about star ratings). However many stars or thumbs up you’d give Ragnarok, it was plain that Jive’s employees enjoyed the night out. It’s company activities like these that really build a strong company culture and allows employees to bond and mingle outside of work.