Thor: Ragnarok was released 10 October, 2017 and tells the story of the fabled fall of Asgard. At the death of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Hela (Cate Blanchett) is released from her imprisonment and she moves to assume the throne.

Overall, Thor Ragnarok, was a very middle of the road movie. It was enjoyable and had its moments, but suffered from some poor choices that kept it from joining the upper tiers of the MCU.

What I liked

Tom Hiddleston once again returns as Loki and he is an absolute pleasure to behold. While he isn’t in the movie as much as one might like, he absolutely steals every scene he is in.

Early on, we get a scene with Dr Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He aids Thor and Loki in finding Odin. The scene isn’t that weighty but the jumps and changes of locations is humorous and visually impressive.

Jeff Goldblum plays a character called the Grandmaster. While i personally didn’t care for the character himself, the way Goldblum plays the character is fun to watch. Its a very Jeff-Goldblumy performance and made me smile.

The mid point of the movie culminates in an arena battle between Thor and Hulk. While some of the fight is played for laughs, it does carry the weight of what a battle between these two power houses would bring to bear. The absolutely destroy the area they are fighting in and you really get a grasp of just how powerful these characters are supposed to be.

The final fight of the movie, involves Thor coming to the realization that he doesn’t need his hammer to be the God of Thunder. Being fully awakened to his Lightning abilities he wrecks zombie warrior face with Valkyrie with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song playing in the background. Not only does the song’s beat and rhythm fit the scene, but the lyrics were singularly appropriate for it as well. It is easily the movie’s best scene.

 

What I didn’t Like

Odin is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. His death should have been something to behold. An epic struggle vs Surtur, or some other massive threat. Instead we get a seemingly perfectly healthy Odin, give a couple lines about how Norway is beautiful, and some exposition about how Hela is coming then he fades into golden dust and blows away in the wind. Poof gone. I know they were trying to advance the story but it was anticlimactic to say the least.

While we are on the subject of lame deaths, the Warriors Three suffered the lamest deaths possible at the hands of Hela. Volstag got a single line, Hogan was the only one to actually put up a token resistance. Fandral didn’t get that much. They could have been nameless goons for all anyone knew. They certainly deserved better.

What is the deal with Thor getting tasered all the time? Its becoming a trope by this point. God of Thunder, wields raw electricity as a weapon, lord and master of his domain, taken out of commission by a few hundred volts as a gag.

Probably the biggest problem I have with this movies is its tone. This movie doesn’t know if it wants to be an action movie or a comedy. You can tell that it has been taking notes from Guardians of the Galaxy because the movies feel exactly the same. A few action scenes here, a few jokes there, catchy sound track in the background full of classic rock music. Thor himself almost feels like a completely different character then he has been in past movies. Chris Hemsworth is actively trying to play Thor as a comedian who constantly is trying to crack wise, and it does not work. Or rather I should say that it half-works. He does pull it off, but it puts the character at odds with himself and sends a confusing message. I’m not sure how much of this is the writing, and how much of this is the actor, but in either case, I’m glad that none of this really shows up anywhere else.

Where is Lady Sif? I know in the real world the actress (Jaimie Alexander) has scheduling conflicts but Sif isn’t even mentioned. Jane Foster at least got a line explaining why she wasn’t in this movie.

This may be a personal note, but I dislike Thor’s new haircut.

Summery

68/100

Thor Ragnarok wasn’t a bad movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been either. With the changes made to the title character and the overall feel of the movie being different from the other two movies in the trilogy, Ragnarok feel like it would be more at home with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The sound track was something of a mixed bag. While it was undoubtedly upbeat and full of excellent songs, it didn’t really do much to convey a proper tone for the movie, the last scene not withstanding. The movie wasn’t bad, but it did fail to live up to my expectations.

Side notes

Did anyone else catch the Willy Wonka song while Thor was being escorted to meet the Grandmaster? Stan Lee’s cameo as the dude that cut Thor’s hair was chuckle worthy.

For those of you who are unaware, the story of this movie was changed quite a bit from the comics portraying the same events. Most notably, Hela in the comics is not Odin’s daughter, she is Loki’s. Hela also wasn’t the main antagonist, Loki was. Ultimately the changes were minor and the movie didn’t suffer because of it.

Overall Rankings within the MCU

  1. Captain Marvel, 2019, 94/100
  2. Avengers: Infinity War, 2018, 88/100
  3. Ant-Man and the Wasp, 2018, 79/100
  4. Thor Ragnarok, 2017, 68/100
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