Upon it’s opening in theaters, Thor: Ragnarok garnered a lot of love and a significant bit of rage, so let me preface this review by saying this:
It’s a movie, people. Enjoy it, or don’t, but in the end, whether or not you thought it worthy of the original comic story-line isn’t about to make or break the rest of your existence, so just relax. ^_~
Now, I’m a huge fan of Marvel in general, so I may be a little bit biased, but I’ll try to lay it out plainly and simply.
First off, while I love Thor, and am a huge fan of Chris Hemsworth, I’ve personally felt that the Thor movies have been some of the weakest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the line, but didn’t feel that it compared to the first Iron Man or Captain America films. The second in the Thor line – Dark World – felt extraordinarily forgettable to me; in fact, to this day, pretty much the only thing I remember about it is the floating transfer truck scene. So with that said, I went into Ragnarok with very little in the way of hopes or expectations. I’d heard good things from friends and strangers alike, but after being underwhelmed the first two times around, I just naturally didn’t have the highest hopes.
I did, however, find myself well and truly surprised.
Now, it’s difficult to say too much without spoilers, but here are just a few points that made the movie a hit with me:
- The soundtrack was phenomenal. If you’ve seen the trailers to this movie, you already know what I’m talking about. That one track alone bumped up the movie’s excellence factor by a vast ratio.
- Thor – likely as a result of hanging out with the other Avengers – has developed quite the amusing sense of humor. In the opening, pre-title scene alone he cracked wise half a dozen times and had me giggling like a fool. Since Thor has traditionally been one of the dryer characters in the MCU, throwing out previous humor-moments mainly because of accidental ignorance of Earth customs – I felt it was great to see him actually have a bit more personality of his own.
- There was a solid level of action throughout. Without going into too much detail for fear of possible spoilers, I can tell you that the movie began with a battle, moved into an almost-battle-that-became-a-tense-chase-scene, which then moved into an attack, followed by a battle, followed by more battling, before eventually moving to the big final battle. There was a lot of action, is what I’m saying, and it was excellent action at that. Sword fights, fist fights, comedic fights, genuine death and destruction. It was all there, and it was all great.
- More interaction between Thor and Loki. That may be a given, but I thought it was worth mentioning, because Loki is a wonderful character, in my opinion, and Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have an amazing chemistry that works so well as brothers who both love and hate each other.
- Cate Blanchette as Hela was absolutely perfect. I may not be the best person to ask, since I never actually read any comics involving the character, but that aside, I thought she was amazing. She pulled off a character who is truly, remorsefully evil and doesn’t think twice about killing in an instant if it suits her. She absolutely came off as the type of person who didn’t doubt her own intentions for even a fraction of a second, and that’s a truly frightening concept.
That’s not to say that the movie was a masterpiece. It had it’s little annoyances, for sure, but that’s true of practically any piece of media, so I tend not to be overly critical of these kinds of things.
I will, however, bring up the playful humor, as this was one of the points so angrily discussed by rage-filled comic fans after the film’s release.
The argument, in a nutshell, is that Ragnarok is an extremely important story-line in the Thor comics, and is one that is filled with drama and pain, as well as a very serious, emotional tone. The film, however – like most of the MCU – takes on a much lighter tone to the story, complete with the very regular bursts of humor that the Marvel films have become known for. Many comic fans scoffed at this, basically stating that the near-constant humor downplayed the tragic events of Ragnarok and made light of what should have been a devastating experience for Thor and his people. And for the most part I have to say that I…disagree. There’s something to be said for remaining true to source material, but at the same time the MCU has developed into its own entity, and while they can do serious, part of the identity of these movies has become their humor. There’s nothing wrong with new takes on old classics, understanding of course that some people will like it and others won’t. Overwhelmingly I’ve felt that the people making this complaint about Thor Ragnarok were whining, more than anything, that the movie wasn’t exactly what they wanted it to be, which, let’s face it, is life. There have been plenty of movies that I was excited for and ended up hating; I didn’t start an internet crusade as a result, because other people did like them, and in this world of entitlement I must point out that paying to go see a movie doesn’t mean you deserve to enjoy it. It’d be nice if you did, but it’s not your right. Putting that back into the conversation of Thor Ragnarok, anyone who’d seen previous MCU movies knew damn well what kind of universe they were getting into when they went to see this film, and it would have been an entirely logical assumption that it would be rife with the same humor all the films have come to be known for. So to then turn around and whine about that humor seems ridiculous to me. Therein lay my two cents.
THAT SAID…I will admit that there were a few moments – specifically at the end of the movie – wherein the little humorous pokes made me groan a little because of the genuinely dramatic moments they were interrupting. At this point alone, I did, in fact, find myself thinking, “Uh, yeah, okay…they probably could have done without that for this scene.” That, however, is pretty much my only real complaint about the movie.
All in all, I thought Thor Ragnarok was an incredibly fun movie that expanded upon Thor’s character within the MCU, and it was enjoyable all around. If you’re a fan of previous Marvel movies, and you’re able to put aside any fanatic-obsessive dedication you may have to the original comic story-line, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well.
Have you seen Thor Ragnarok? Let me know what you thought of it in the comment section below!