Thor: Ragnarok Is One of Marvel’s Best


Ladinog via Wikimedia Commons

Thor: Ragnarok premiered on Friday, November 3rd.

In the midst of a wave of gritty and dark comic movies,  Thor: Ragnarok is a breath of fresh-air.  It is a fun and colorful adventure that puts it in the upper echelon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and cements it as the best standalone Thor movie to date (although this is a pretty low bar given the past installments).    

The characters in this movie are excellent.  Chris Hemsworth, as a now hammerless Thor, gives a performance that incorporates far more levity than any previous time he has been on the big screen.  He also does not have his signature long locks thanks to a haircut from the always unnecessary and annoying Stan Lee cameo.  Hulk was also far better in this role than in past performances, since he is finally given substantive dialogue in his gigantic form, and he ends up being one of the funniest surprises in the movie.  All other performances in the movie were great, particularly Tessa Thompson as the fierce Valkyrie; Jeff Goldblum as the the Grandmaster, which is really just Goldblum using his own quirky personality with some face paint on; and Taika Waititi, the movie’s director, voicing Korg, the rock monster, who stole every scene he was in.  

One of the most important parts about superhero movies like this one is the villain.  Thor: Ragnarok is an exception to Marvel’s typical failures with the villain character, the Goddess of Death, as Cate Blanchett is outstanding as Hela.  It is easy to understand Hela’s motivations for her evil ways in this movie, and she is extremely menacing and powerful as this Goddess of Death. 

As the character descriptions allude to, this is a far funnier movie than most Marvel entries, especially the ones about Thor.  This movie is as funny as most movies solely focused on comedy, and Taika Waititi effortlessly blends the humor and action to create a true epic.  The rapid planet bouncing that occurs here can very easily become tedious and disconnect viewers from the story (see Thor: Dark World), but it only adds to the adventurous feel that makes this movie so great.  

As far as weaknesses for the movie go, there are only a few, and they are minor.  First off, many times when something exciting is about to happen, the movie goes up right until the climax of that scene, but then cuts away to another part of the story.  This isn’t such a big deal because all parts of this story were great, but it did become a bit annoying after a while.  Second, there is another MCU hero in the movie whose name I will not spoil, but his appearance, while entertaining, served no real purpose other than building the connections in this cinematic universe, and it felt rather rushed.  Third, there are not very many serious themes in the movie.  For the most part, this is a good thing since oftentimes these type of movies get bogged down with these serious plotlines instead of focusing on just being a fun movie. However, I would have still liked to see some more focus on the brother to brother relationship between Thor and Loki that has been the staple of this franchise.  Finally, the ending is a CGI fest, though it is done well.  This is just an element of these movies that I have grown used to in what is now the 17th Marvel movie.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is an excellent addition to the MCU.  It feels more like the Guardians of the Galaxy  than another Thor film, but given the response to those movies, this is probably a good thing.  

Movie Grade:  B+

Photo Source: Ladinog via Wikimedia Commons