Avengers: Infinity War has finally been released in theaters! After months of speculation, hype, and anxiety, one of the most anticipated films of all time is finally here. To celebrate the release, we’re finishing our MCU rewatch with Thor: Ragnarok. The film sends the God of Thunder into the cosmos after his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) takes over Asgard. He’s sent into space, landing on Sakaar, a scrapyard planet ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Pitted against his former ally, the Hulk, in a gladiatorial contest, he must find a way to escape the planet and stop Ragnarok, the destruction of Asgard.
Thor: Ragnarok deviates from the first two Thor films in multiple ways. For starters, Thor isn’t the boring, monotonous hero we once knew. We got a glimpse of his humorous side in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that was ultimately sidelined. In Ragnarok, this is not the Thor we see. This is thanks to director Taika Waititi’s fantastic humorous style. Every other line is a gag, and while it does get annoying after a while, it’s most certainly refreshing to have a dose of fun instead of the bleak, bland alternative.
As far as the story goes, it’s unfortunate that the film doesn’t have more substance. There’s a lot of style and that’s all well and good, but there’s a lot of humor and not a lot of purpose. It’s definitely nice to see what Thor and Hulk were up to during the events of Captain America: Civil War, but in terms of how relevant the film is to the rest of the MCU, there isn’t much. There are a lot of great things about this movie, though, so let’s talk about those.
First of all, the characters and their dynamics are awesome. Thor, as said, is given a second chance at getting the recognition he deserves. Hulk is given a more emotional side, showing how he never wants to transform into the Hulk again. Loki redeems himself after realizing that he’ll always be the God of Mischief, but he could be more. And then there are the new characters. Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) steals the show with her sarcastic wit and charm. Her backstory, while brief, is a haunting image, truly showing Hela’s wrath. Korg, a Kronan is just purely hilarious. Voiced by the director, every scene this dude is in is just so funny. Some of the other characters, unfortunately, don’t get that much to do (Heimdall, Skurge), but the main protagonists get lots to do and are extremely entertaining and interesting.
Let’s talk about the villains. Between Hela and the Grandmaster, the latter is definitely the better one. Grandmaster is a complete psychopath, as shown from his overall weirdness and pleasure in killing people. Jeff Goldblum’s eccentric performance puts him on the map as one of the most entertaining additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and leaves you wanting more. Hela, on the other hand, is ultimately a bit of a bore. She’s filled with exposition, which is annoying, but the real kicker? She’s not even in the movie that much. Most of the film takes place on Sakaar, and even when it switches back to Asgard, the scenes are short.
The visual effects and action sequences are also uneven. As soon as “Immigrant Song” starts playing in this film, you know you’re in for a treat. And for the most part, the action sequences don’t disappoint. They just could be choreographed better. I’m not expecting Baby Driver-quality choreography, but when you’re playing a famous rock anthem in your movie, at least make it look believable. Still awesome, though. The best scene in this movie, however, is by far the Hulk vs. Thor scene. Literally, what more could you ask for? Not only is it entertaining and funny, but it’s also visually stunning. “He’s a friend from work!” is still hilarious.
The film, unfortunately, suffers from one of the same issues that plagued Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The movie is way too jokey, to the point where the majority of the gags don’t land. In certain areas, the film is genuinely funny. There are plenty of points where the characters’ dialogue is just hilarious. That being said, you don’t have to have a joke thrown in every other line. Too many scenes are just full-on comedy. Thor’s character feels like too much or a drastic change from his previous movies.
Thor: Ragnarok is a step in the right direction for the Thor franchise. Its character dynamics are brilliant, and the writing is very entertaining and fun. The overall humor does feel a bit overboard, and the main villain is a bit of a drag, but the action sequences, visual effects, and soundtrack are all extremely great. This is one of the most fun Marvel films, and one of the weirder ones too. Definitely, give this one a watch if you haven’t already.
Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Taika Waititi.