Thor: Ragnarok has finally arrived, but does it live up to all the hype that we’ve seen in the last few weeks? I’ll give my opinion without getting too much into detail and I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Let’s take a look, and remember: SPOILER ALERT.
Marvel really seems to have thought out the direction that they wanted to take Thor’s story into. With the last two films we saw Thor in a darker, more serious environment with forced chemistry between Thor and Jane, played by Natalie Portman. That whole relationship just never felt genuine. I talked about this a little in my Marvel Cinematic Universe article from a couple weeks ago.
Luckily we don’t have to put up with that nonsense anymore as the writers finally got wise and decided to ditch Jane altogether. We can see a definite change in tone to the last two films right off the bat when the movie opens to Thor, having been captured, is talking to himself as he hangs in a cage in what looks like Hell. There is immediate jokes and fun banter between Thor and Surtur, a demon who is hellbent on bringing destruction to Asgard, calling it Ragnarok. There’s a lot of childish humor that seems out of place for Thor but is ultimately welcomed.
We learn that since we last saw Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he has been traveling the galaxy searching for Infinity Stones and answers regarding his recent visions. Since Age of Ultron, Thor has been plagued with visions of Ragnarok happening on Asgard. However, I questioned why Thor didn’t just go back to Asgard to begin with.
When he finally does make his way home, with the Surtur’s special crown, he discovers that- surprise- Loki is disguised as Odin and has been living comfortably on Asgard. He even delivers the message of Loki’s heroic efforts in the last Thor movie, even if he exaggerates it quite a bit. I think this was Marvel’s way of trying to move Loki out of the villain role and explain why everyone is just suddenly OK with him being around. I didn’t quite buy it…
Soon we learn that Odin has been on Earth and with the help of Dr. Strange, Thor and Loki are able to locate him in Norway. I’ll admit that it was cool to see Dr. Strange interact with the two of them but again, it seemed a bit forced as Thor technically could’ve just had Heimdall locate Odin and Thor could’ve just had the Bifrost transport him to the location. Some would say I’m looking too much into it but I honestly expect more sense-making from Marvel.
When they finally find Odin, he’s like, “You have a sister that is far more powerful than all of us and she’s only being imprisoned due to my life. By the way, I’m dying.” Then he dies. As you could’ve guessed, Hela appears out of nowhere and immediately is like, “Bow to me.” I can’t help but feel like everything is being rushed and Hela’s real motives aren’t ever made clear other than the fact that she knows she’s powerful and wants to prove it. Loki ends up chickening out and calls for the Bifrost to transport them home, not thinking about the fact that Hela would be sent with them. A convenient way for our villain to end up in Asgard. On the way there, she knocks Thor and Loki out of the portal and they fly through space and end up on Sakaar.
On Sakaar, Thor is captured and forced into imprisonment. We learn that Loki is there as well, only he is doing well and mingling among the citizens. The planet is ruled by the Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum, who does a fantastic job! We learn that the Grandmaster is a hedonistic ruler who enjoys watching his prisoners fight gladiator style and this is what he wants for Thor. Long story short- Thor fights Hulk who has apparently been on the planet since we last saw him in Age of Ultron and we learn that he likes it on Sakaar. Hulk hasn’t turned back into his normal form for two years and wants to keep it that way.
I was really looking forward to seeing Thor and Hulk star in their own movie together but I feel that Hulk was mainly used for comedic relief. Almost every scene he was in was a joke, although funny, but still a joke. The same went for the new sidekick Korg. After convince Hulk and an Asgardian Valkyrie warrior to go back to Asgard to save it from Hela, they escape the planet.
Back on Asgard, Hela is causing all kinds of havoc killing everyone in her way while mentioning several times that she’s the goddess of death and casually taking off and on her antler helmet. The main plot point of the movie is that she needs the Bifrost to transport her to conquer more realms, but Heimdall stole the sword which is the key for it to work. This buys the movie time for Thor to catch up to her and stop her before she does so. We see Hela raise a zombie army as well as have her giant wolf-dog pet reborn.
Although the fight scenes were epic and the music was awesome, it didn’t slow the pace of the movie. Thor and Hela face off in a duel that results in Thor’s eye being sliced out. It ends with Thor realizing that they can’t stop his sister on their own, and coming to the conclusion that in order to kill her, they need to destroy Asgard itself because she draws her power from it. So how does he do it? Well, remember the demon Surtur from the beginning of the movie? Loki takes his crown and pairs it with the Eternal Flame, which are both kept in the Asgardian vault. This causes the demon to reach full power, become the size of a mountain (which he teases in his monologue to Thor in the beginning) and start destroying Asgard one swing of his giant sword at a time.
Hela tries to stop him but being that he is basically unstoppable, he smashes her into dust with his sword all while impaling the planet to its core. This causes Asgard to explode, fulfilling Ragnarok, but not before Thor, his team and the citizens of Asgard escape on a giant spaceship. Before the movie ends, we see Thor, Loki, Hulk, Valkyrie and Heimdel at the head of the ship looking onward, with Earth in their sights.
Thor: Rangarok was an insanely enjoyable movie experience that puts some of our most loved characters together again. It’s very funny and will get a good laugh out of everyone. That being said, it is severely rushed from the beginning and doesn’t spend enough time on Sakaar, the story of Hela and Odin’s death. I found it very hard to look past the corniness of the plot itself but enjoyed the dynamics and the acting. Hela is a very badass character that deserved more fleshing out and less of a cliche villain motive. I try my hardest not to be bias when it comes to DC Movies v. The MCU, but I honestly feel like this was the most careless Marvel movie yet. Overall, I can’t deny that it was enjoyable.
Score: 3.5/5 Slices