Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
The Thor trilogy is oftentimes thought of as the worst trilogy in the MCU... and I would say that's fair. Iron Man's trilogy includes the film that kicked off the MCU and turned Tony Stark into a character that would make grown men cry when he inevitably died. Cap's trilogy includes (in my opinion) three really good movies and gave us some awesome character development and fights. And then there's Thor's trilogy, a trilogy that failed to show us Thor's true potential... until Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. While I agree that Thor's trilogy is the weakest of the bunch, I must admit that Thor: Ragnarok is a movie that I absolutely love, and it saved Thor from the boring little hole he had been stuck in. It made him cool and funny––it embraced the oddities of the character that prior Thor directors tried to take too seriously. Don't get me wrong, this film is serious when it needs to be, especially in regards to Odin's death and the people of Asgard. But Taika Waititi is able to take that seriousness and blend it with comedy in order to make a truly hilarious and touching film. This is the film Thor needed. I think that this film is what allowed Thor to have such a great arch in Infinity War. We––or at least I–– cared about the character a whole lot more after watching Ragnarok, and we truly wanted to see him succeed. This film also delves into the thoughts of both Hulk and Banner, paving the way for their merge in Endgame. While there is a good amount of characters––Thor, Loki, Hulk, Valkyrie, Heimdall, Skurge, and Hela––the film never feels out of focus. I am able to learn so much about each character––even the new ones. Some prior Marvel films feel like they are trying to force character development on the viewer instead of letting it come naturally through actions and conversation. Taiki, however, makes sure none of his development feels forced. Hela's exposition about Odin feels necessary because viewers of the MCU have known how secretive his past had been for some time. It all feels natural and necessary.
But these are just a lot of my pros in a nutshell. In other words, I didn't know how to separate all of these pros into separate categories. However, I am going to go into more detail about a few things...
Of course, I have to talk about the villain. Would it even be a Ben review if I didn't? This time around we have Cate Blanchett as Hela. As I mentioned in the prior section, the explanation of her backstory feels natural and necessary. This is important when it comes to villains. In my Doctor Strange review, I talked about Kaecilius and his unnecessarily long explanation of why he is evil. That was bad character development. But, because we know Odin has a very elusive past, learning about it through his biggest secret, Hela, is, in my mind, perfect. Yes, we are told she is evil and powerful before we meet her. However, we get to hear her motivation from her own mouth. We also get to see directly how powerful she is. She can only be stopped by Surtur, a creature destined to destroy Asgard eventually. We are told this and we are shown this. Therefore, we know it is true. Blanchett also brings some awesome personality to the character, which keeps Hela from being just another one-dimensional villain out to destroy the hero.
She has a motive––we understand her motivation. She has power––we understand her power. She has personality––we understand her personality. To me, she checks all the boxes as a great and memorable villain.
I just really wanted to express my love for Jeff Goldblum and what he brought to the character of the Grandmaster... who is honestly just Jeff Goldblum. He's hilarious.
I also want to express my love for Korg, who is honestly the perfect representation of Waititi's humor.
Needless to say, I am excited to see where Waititi takes these characters in Love and Thunder.
Do I Have Any Negatives?
I do think that the Warriors Three were killed off rather quickly for being semi-prominent characters in the previous two films.
But that's really it. This film just does so much for the character of Thor that I can't help but love every bit of it.
The inclusion of Doctor Strange is awesome. The 80s tone the movie carries is fantastic. I just love this movie.
Waititi managed to pull Thor out of the boring hole he had been stuck in. With sick 80s influences, hilarious writing, and beautiful storytelling, Ragnarok manages to redeem the character of Thor while also delving into characters such as Valkyrie, Loki, and, of course, Bruce Banner and the Hulk. The film also manages to have a very memorable villain. Needless to say, this film is far from boring.
This is definitely one of my shorter reviews, but I think I have gotten my point across. While the Thor trilogy is still my least favorite, Thor: Ragnarok manages to be a standout within the MCU. With that being said, I am going to give Thor: Ragnarok a 9.5/10.
I am very excited to watch Avengers: Infinity War next. I'm sure you have guessed it already... but that review is also going to be a very positive one.
Check out my previous MCU review!
- 'Doctor Strange' - Infinity Saga Chronological Reviews
This is a review of Marvel's "Doctor Strange," which contains spoilers for the film and the MCU as a whole. This is a continuation of a series in which I talk about the MCU's three phases and the many films within them.
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth