Movie Review: "Thor: Ragnarok"
After mourning the death of his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and having no luck with locating any of the remaining infinity stones, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) begins having dreams of Asgard’s apocalyptic event, Ragnarok. Thor is now on a desperate mission to prevent Ragnarok, but discovers that Loki is still alive and that their father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), is missing.
The two brothers then set out on a quest to find their father and to prevent Ragnarok, but they end up meeting Hela ”The Goddess of Death” (Cate Blanchett), who intends to take over as queen of Asgard by any means necessary. Only Thor and Loki stand in her way but they find themselves stranded on a strange planet ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) who makes Thor fight for his freedom by competing in a fight to the death against his champion, The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
The Pros & Cons
The Action & The Comedy (+10pts)
The Plot & Visuals (+8pts)
Skurge & The Warriors Three (-2pts)
Pro: The Action & The Comedy (+10pts)
The action in this film is excellent. Right from the beginning, we get an awesome scene of Thor wielding his hammer. This scene was so much fun to watch as it was the kind of Thor action that fans have been waiting for over the past several years. This scene then paves the way for some very entertaining action throughout the movie. We see Hela taking armies out single-handedly, we see a great Thor versus Hulk brawl, and we see so many other great action sequences.
As hard and fast as the action comes, the comedy in Thor: Ragnarok comes even faster. This was a funny movie from beginning to end. This may be a turnoff for some, but for me personally, it worked and it never took away from the plot, action or tone. There was one comedic moment that did not work for me. It came when Valkyrie makes her first appearance. Other than that, the film had a perfect amount of comedy that hit me just right, and the funniest part of the film was easily Korg (so I really hope we see more of this character in the future).
Con: Hela (-5pts)
As has become the norm for Marvel films, the weakest element of this film was its villains. Hela had such potential to be the next great Marvel villain (after Loki), but this film made the decision to sacrifice her character development. Hela is Thor’s older sister. She is the goddess of death who helped Odin conquer the nine realms. This could have provided a ton of fascinating character development for both Hela and Thor. The film touches on it but this element of the story felt extremely shallow and left me wanting to know more. Hela is, unfortunately, just another generic Marvel villain.
Pro: The Plot & Visuals (+8pts)
We have seen Thor stripped of his hammer before. In the first film, Thor spends most of the time trying to get his hammer and his powers back. In this film, we see his hammer dramatically destroyed yet we see a very different Thor than we saw several years ago. We see Thor in the midst of his most difficult journey and without the most powerful tool in his arsenal. His hammer is gone but the film does not feel lesser for it. This is all about Thor, and saving Asgard from its apocalyptic event, Ragnarok. Sure there are a ton of new and familiar characters in this movie, but it still feels very much like a Thor film, and it is easily my favorite of the three.
While I really enjoyed the plot, it was complimented, wonderfully, by the film’s visuals. Almost every moment could have been paused to create a stunning wallpaper. The scenery, visual effects, costumes, and colors all blend together perfectly to create a visually fascinating film to watch.
Con: Grandmaster (-4pts)
Grandmaster was definitely one of this film‘s weaknesses. The character was essentially Jeff Goldblum, which is fine, but the problem comes with the character‘s role in the film. The film did a good job of balancing a bunch of characters and storylines but Grandmaster made it feel like the film bit off a little more than it could chew. This character gets very little attention and felt like nothing more than a plot device to explain why Hulk was in this film. I liked Hulk’s presence, but the explanation for why he was there felt weak. Unfortunately, this feeling came as a result of how little focus was given to Grandmaster.
Pro: Thor (+10pts)
As I mentioned before, despite the very crowded cast, this is definitely a Thor film. Through all the jokes and the fantastic action, this film did a lot to develop its main character. He experiences great loss, finally finds his place as a leader for Asgard, discovers a dark past to his father’s rule and the history of Asgard while discovering what it means to be Asgardian. This is a very entertaining film. It is absolutely filled with great jokes and action, but it is able to subtly develop its main character drastically and naturally.
It may go somewhat unnoticed due to the heavy dose of action and comedy, but Thor goes through tremendous growth and becomes a very different character by the end of this film. This is the version of Thor that some fans have been waiting for and others did not know they wanted to see. The film is absolutely packed with interesting characters. Some of them are excellent and entertaining to watch while others suffer from a lack of proper development, but the film gets its main character right.
Con: Skurge & The Warriors Three (-2pts)
Skurge, in my opinion, was a very unnecessary character. The film has two major villains that are both severely underdeveloped yet precious screentime is wasted on Skurge. Sure the character has a decent and interesting story arc, but it did not feel worth the lack of focus that was given to Hela and Grandmaster.
The film also very briefly gives us The Warriors Three. They had such an unnecessary presence in this film. They are in the film so briefly and they get so little attention that I wonder why the filmmakers decided to have them in here at all. We have seen enough of these characters in the past that the characters deserved more than they got in this movie. Was this film too crowded to give these characters much attention? Definitely, but why not just keep these characters in the background until a later movie instead of unnecessarily squeezing them into this one?
Grade: A- (92pts)
This is a very entertaining movie. There is s ton of fantastic action, hilarious comedy, interesting characters, and absolutely stunning visuals. The action is epic. We see Thor dominating legions of his enemy’s minions, we see a great brawl between two of Marvel’s most famous heroes, and that is really just scratching the surface. If you thought the previous films did not give a good showing of Thor in action, see this movie.
The comedy hits about as fast and as hard as Thor with his hammer. This is a very funny film but I did not think the film over did it. I thought it was an appropriate fit for this film. The film Is filled with comedy but it is almost entirely made up of beautiful visuals.This is simply a stunning film to look at. Unfortunately, in typical Marvel fashion, the film’s weaknesses come from its villains.
The villains in Thor: Ragnarok are severely underdeveloped. We see plenty of Hela and Grandmaster, but they feel very shallow and one-dimensional. These are such over-the-top characters with rich backgrounds that the film fails to explore. Knowing how much difficulty Marvel has with properly developing each film’s villain, I am honestly shocked that the filmmakers decided to put two major villains in this movie. If they stuck with only one, they may have been able to find the time to properly develop the character.
This film suffers from the same issues that so many Marvel films have suffered from, but it is still a very entertaining movie. There are tons of action, plenty of great comedic moments, gorgeous imagery and entertaining characters. The film is very much a Thor movie and it delivers the Thor that fans have been dying to see (whether they knew it or not). Thor: Ragnarok is definitely a film worth seeing.