Thor: Ragnarok Review | Spoiler Free
Thor: Ragnarok is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor and is the sequel to 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and is the seventeenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins. Prior to reading the review of this film, please check out the review of the prior Thor films by clicking here.
The Story/The Direction:
In this film, Thor must escape Sakaar, a Gladiator-based planet that is run by the Grandmaster (Goldblum), to save Asgard from Hela (Blanchett) and the impending Ragnarok. While on Sakarr, he runs into Loki (Hiddleston)and meets Valkyrie (Thompson), the last living member of a league of powerful military women.The Grandmaster makes Thor fight his undefeated champion: the Hulk (Ruffalo). This is all intertwined with jokes and cool action scenes that Waititi does really well.
He is able to keep the story moving and makes this film feel very fresh. The best part was how he paid homage to the late Gene Wilder with a scene directly parallel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Thor is introduced to Sakaar. Waititi is able to expand on the cosmic universe of Thor giving the audience new worlds filled with new characters that add to the overall MCU. While it is still there, he moves on from concentrating on the family drama that the prior two films dealt with.
Hemsworth as Thor is great once again but he's no longer the stoic God of Thunder from the prior two films. He's cracking more jokes than ever and it really grounds his character which is especially important as he is a God. His supporting "Revengers" are just as great. Hiddleston as Loki is always fun and his character's relationship with Thor is explored though not too much. The film knows that this relationship is complicated but doesn't dive too much into it to give the audience something they have not seen more. The viewer understands that Loki wants to remember as part of the Asgardian family but his Frost Giant background keeps him feeling like an outsider. This film probably gives the audience the best look into his complex psyche. The film also develops Ruffalo's Bruce Banner/The Hulk fairly well. While there may not be another Hulk solo film in sight, this film furthers his arc very well. Honestly, the Bruce Banner/The Hulk character is going to be flushed out fully over the many MCU films because his solo films have not done as well. The film does a good job in making the character closer to that of the comics. His relationship with Thor is also heartwarming and painful at the same time. Elba as Heimdall is good but probably only was given more to do because the actor has become a much bigger star. Goldblum was decent as the Grandmaster but he's just Goldblum with more makeup. While these old characters are great, Waititi succeeds even more with the new ones. Blanchett as Hela is great though somewhat underused. She is able to make the best of the minimal time she has on screen. All other performances are decent and fairly enjoyable. Waititi as Korg was also pretty hilarious.
The best highlight though is the beautiful yet deadly Valkyrie. Thompson plays this Asgardian with a connection to Thor's family brilliantly. The character has isolated herself on Sakaar and drinks to forget her tragic past. She is able to hold her own against Thor and many others and is smarter than Loki even when she is not sober. She was the best new character to come out of this film and hopefully, she'll be in the later films. The interactions between her, Thor, Loki and Banner/Hulk are probably the best parts of the film.
As with the prior Thor films, this film ends on a weird note. It's not bad but it's definitely abrupt. In addition, some of the CGI did not look good, especially when Hela fights off a lot of Asgardian warriors. Hela while played well by Blanchett also was not the best of villains in the MCU. She was not the worst but she definitely felt forgettable. While funny at the moment, this film is filled with a lot of jokes even in places that do not always make sense. Some jokes are in fairly serious scenes and the jokes took away from them a little. Some of the scene transitions and how the big battle was won also felt very lazy. The meaning is there but the so-called "twist" is weak as was the other cosmic cameo to draw a connection to the overall MCU. Lastly, as well as Waititi was able to direct the majority of the film, there were parts that seemed to be really similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
This film is definitely the best out of the Thor films but is it the top of the MCU? No. Was it fun and enjoyable? Absolutely! The acting by Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Thompson, Ruffalo, and Blanchett is top notch and the chemistry between the former four is what makes this film a fun time. The jokes are mostly funny and the film's amazing positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot that would make this good film very re-watchable.
Rating: 3.5/5.0 bowties
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