It took a total of four additional years since Thor: The Dark World for Thor to catch up with Iron Man and Captain America by adding a third solo movie to the MCU. Between the three members of The Avengers, Thor’s solo movies just continue to get better and more entertaining. Since the first installment, Thor (2011), those movies had a lot of growing up to do. Compared to the rest of the MCU the first two Thor movies are very low in the ranks but what has improved with each one is that Chris Hemsworth continues to get better with his comedic chops and his surrounding world becomes more interesting.
Ragnarok involves Thor going back to Asgard to deal with a prophecy he had a vision about in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and learns about Loki’s last mischievous behavior and the whereabouts of Odin. From there he has to deal with the people of Asgard becoming instinct with the arrival of a new villain Hela, played by the amazing Cate Blanchet. She has a bone to pick with Odin and Asgard and she is a force to be reckoned with. Before Thor can deal with her he has to escape a planet he was sent to that captures strong warriors and uses them to fight each other for entertainment to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).
Director Taika Waititi, who directed What We Do In The Shadows, brings us one of the funniest installments and probably one of the top five in the entire MCU. The hype definitely adds up from all the advertising you have seen leading up to its release this weekend. Thor movies have a lot more pressure I believe than the rest of The Avengers when you think about it. While still intertwined in the main story with a few lines and references in the overall story, the plot usually is very separate and distance from the main mission that rarely effects the whole scheme of things. With that being said, Thor is no longer an origin story anymore so having a plot that has to do more with him and Asgard instead of driving the story further like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War. With Ragnarok, we finally got a Thor movie that not only connects more to the overall story but has set up some groundwork to a lot to look forward to.
This sequel is wacky, it’s weird, and hilarious. This movie is also full of amazing new and supporting characters that the previous Thor movies were lacking big time. From the opening credits to the post credit scene at the end I was smiling from ear to ear. This film was almost cartoonish in a way. There was a lot more colors, bright colors actually. The wardrobe, the scenery, all of the hulk artwork. We also are introduced to some new characters like Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, The Grandmaster, and Korg, the polite rock alien with the heart of gold who is also voiced by the director. I think he was my favorite character in this movie. Almost every line out of his mouth was something to laugh at. I hope they explore his character more. That doesn’t take away from the great work from Thompson playing Valkyrie. Her character was fun to watch and interesting to learn about her place on planet Sakaar where she plays sort of a hunter for the Contest of Champions seeking worthy opponents to fight to the death.
The return of familiar anti-heroes in green, Loki and Hulk, was a wonderful treat as well. Both characters add a bit of flare and comic relief to the story. With Hulk being able to talk more English brings lots of good lines and Loki as suave as he is, continues to elevate Thor’s journey with their continued sibling rivalry. Both characters don’t disappoint and also provides us tons of nostalgic and easter eggs from the past films that just makes fans who have been watching these movies from the beginning something to remember. One in particular being that Hulk and Loki see each other for the first time since their little meeting in the first Avengers movie.
Now here comes the “nothing is perfect” part of the review. While this movie is wildly entertaining and worth a repeating watch, there were a few things that I wish went another direction. Cate Blanchet is a fantastic actress and looks bad ass as Hela, the Goddess of Death. Unfortunately, her arch in this movie is more of a side story and final battle. The way the movie was executed, the film sort of puts her in the backseat and in my opinion the Grandmaster was the main villain of the film. Seeing as this movie is more of a comedy than anything else, The Grandmaster as the main villain actually makes sense. Hela is not playing around. When you watch the film, you will see she means business and will destroy anyone in her way. If she were the main villain, her presence would have changed the tone of the movie. Blanchett still provides some great lines and her look is flawless. I wish there was more of her in the film but her time and talent isn’t wasted when she is on screen so no worries there. The Grandmaster I liked a whole lot. Goldblum knocked it out of the park with this character. He was hilarious and believable as a leader of a planet that serves him. His narcissistic and pompous attitude warrants the mannerisms and behavior without consequence. In other words, he says whatever is on his mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Sadly, when it does come to Hela and her quest for revenge, it once again adds to the list of lackluster villains in the Marvel movies where their need for world domination.
One other thing is the lack of Heimdall in the film. I think that he was given a great mission in the movie when he was on screen. I just think that Idris Alba who plays the guardian sentry of Asgard. If you are going to add on more than three new characters to a franchise, make sure that you give the veterans to the franchise, who have been there since the beginning, their justice and enough story for them to take less screen time. I understand that there are a lot of stories and characters to introduce but if the movie doesn’t have time to give everyone their due, then edit in a way that no one ends up as just some prop. Alba was clearly wasted in this film and I’m sure he would say the same thing if he asked.
Bottom line is, Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie thus far and Thor himself is now an avenger I look forward to seeing in future Marvel movies. Up till now, my biggest reasoning for watching these films was for Loki. Now Hemsworth just adds to that list and has shown that he doesn’t need The Avengers to be entertaining. In addition to his hammer, he is now worthy of his solo movies. As a standalone movie or to someone who hasn’t watch the previous films will not feel lost or confused with the story. The film does its best to explain anything from past films you need to know in order to keep up with the story. The only thing those who haven’t seen the previous films are missing out on is the hilarious throwbacks to the other films which brings a lot of the comic relief. So, some jokes may not be as effective to you. In addition to the many cameos that pop up, the movie is still worth the watch and for the most part I don’t believe many will be disappointed with the final product that is Thor: Ragnarok. While there were somethings I would have liked to have seen, this movie wasn’t boring or slow at any point.
5 out of 5
Thanks for reading my review. I am sure by the time you read this you would have seen the movie by now. If not, how did you like the review? Comment below your thoughts and if it helped with your expectations. If you have seen it, what did you think of the film? Do you disagree with my opinion of the film? Continue to follow me for more reviews and I’ll see you at the movies.