So…we can all agree that Marvel Studios has been killing the game when it comes to superhero movies. They are the Pixar of comic book films. And it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that their Thor films are the weakest…right? At least in my estimation they are.
The first Thor movie was fine. I remember seeing it a couple of times in the theater. It was fun. The film spent half it’s time on Asgard and half it’s time on Earth. The character was established in a nice way. Introduced us to Loki and he was great. Everything was fine.
Things began to really fall apart for the series with its sequel, Thor: The Dark World. It’s not a great movie, and I find it pretty boring to be honest. There was a lot more comedy thrown in, even with Kat Dennings as Darcy. A lot of the comedy didn’t work for me, and the film certainly wasn’t “dark.” What was really disappointing were the dark elves. They were terrible villains with no onscreen presence. They were boring.
It’s understandable that the team involved, even Chris Hemsworth himself, wanted to go in a different direction with this third film. Thor: Ragnarok is the breath of fresh air this series needed. The film does exactly what it needs to do. It makes the character cool again. Especially with how the film ends and what the character has been through. He goes through some necessary changes in this story and it’s a nice change of pace.
The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, and Jeff Goldblum. Here’s the official synopsis:
“Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.”
Yes, the movie has a lot of humor, much like its predecessors. But it’s the funniest of the 3, easily. The humor works this time around. I’m not really sure what it is. This movie is also much more fun than the previous films. Maybe that’s it. The entire atmosphere of this film feels different, therefore the comedy works more. I don’t know. But it all works.
It’s starts off in a pretty humorous fashion, with Thor facing off against a villain from the comics. The scene is pretty fun and employs a very nice use of Led Zeppelin’s “The Immigrant Song.” Which I was surprised by, I didn’t know it would actually be in the movie. They use it, appropriately, two different times and it works each time. It makes the action a lot more enjoyable.
Director Taika Waititi does a really great job handling the action sequences, especially considering that this is his first major studio movie. Overall, he does a fine job with every aspect of the film. It feels different from the other Thor movies. It doesn’t even really feel like a follow-up to either one of them. This movie feels like it’s a brand new Thor, like a lite-reboot of sorts. And it’s all for the better.
It feels like it’s much more in the vein of something like Guardians of the Galaxy. Bright, colorful, and actually staying in the cosmos, rather than spending a majority of time on Earth. That’s something that the other two movies did a lot of: Earth. They didn’t spend enough time on the 9 Realms and other planets. You know, space and stuff. This movie accomplishes that very well. I think our very first scene starts with Thor in Hel, if I’m not mistaken.
We get to go to and see some pretty cool places, places we haven’t been before. We even get to see some new characters we haven’t seen before. Like Hela, Valkyrie. Both of whom work really well in the film. I sort of have a nitpicky problem with Tessa Thompson being cast as Valkyrie, I just wish she was taller. That’s all. Other than that, I liked her. It’s nice to finally start seeing some Black Women in these Marvel movies. And the MCU gets its first female villain with Hela. Although, as I think more about her role in the film, I wish she was more menacing. What she did do was fine. I just would’ve liked a little more.
Speaking of villains, I wish Loki was a bit more sinister in this. He does attempt to betray Thor at one point, but they kind of reset his character in a way. Like I said before, this movie doesn’t really feel connected to the two previous films, and that is also reflected in how Loki is written and his relationship with Thor. It’s almost as if everyone has forgotten how evil and duplicitous he actually is. He’s just the annoying, mischievous little brother. For example, the last movie ended with Loki secretly on the throne, posing as Odin. In this movie, they kind of turn that into a joke. It feels like the consequences of that action didn’t really play out like they should have in this film.
But Loki has some pretty funny moments in the movie. And I’m hoping he actually stole the tesseract while he was in Odin’s treasure room. Because, he would steal it. He should. I hope he did.
One of the biggest reasons people are excited about this movie is the fact that the Hulk is in it. I wasn’t sure what to expect when that was first announced, to be honest. It sounded like a weird idea. And I don’t think I originally liked the idea. I wanted them to make up for The Dark World and I didn’t think this would actually do it. But alas, it did. I wasn’t expecting to get a Planet Hulk story in this. I’m actually a tiny bit surprised he isn’t in the film more. I thought his screentime was perfect. He didn’t take away from the main story, like I was originally worried about I guess. He actually gets to talk in this movie, which is nice. The Hulk sounds like a 5 year old speaking in broken English, but it works.
They ripped one of Thor’s eyes out and he lost his magic hammer. Although apparently he never really needed it. Which is quite awesome. It was necessary change and growth. Along with the haircut. They really stripped this character down to his bare bones, which is something the director has said. The final fight scene with Thor fighting without his hammer was a great 3rd-act fight. One of the best in the MCU. Overall, it was a satisfying ending, with Asgard being destroyed. A lot changed after this movie.