Thor: Ragnarök (2017)

First things first, while I ended up really enjoying the movie, the opening scene had me like…WTF. I guess they were trying to ease us into the new Thor, but having watched the first two recently, it was really weird. I guess Team Thor was supposed to help with that… welp.

Secondly, I’m surprised that the critics are all over this movie. Yes, it’s very funny and enjoyable but there are some issues with it. Major ones that I’d expect a critic to point out. I was on IMDB looking at reviews and it’s a sea of 10/10. Initially, I gave it a 9/10 but I’ve since downgraded it to a 8/10 and by the time I’m done it might be even lower, lol. I’m getting a The Dark Knight Rises feel about this. That movie was so long that I thought it was amazing until I got home and I was just thinking…”…Wait a minute….”

Anyway Spoilers from this point forward!

Plot: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.

Brief potentially spoilery recap:

  • Thor has been captured by some kind of fire monster.
  • After a lot of exposition, he breaks free and kills the bad guys and captures the fire monsters head.
  • Ah-ah, AH!
  • Back in Asguard, everything is a mess.
  • Thor has only just realised that Odin is no longer on Asguard because the fire monster told him.
  • He gets back to find Fake!Odin watching a play which parodies The Dark World. Funny stuff.
  • Anyway, he realises that Fake! Odin is really Loki. Loki has imprisoned their father for X years.
  • They got to find him via some product placement (Dr Strange).
  • Eventually, he’s located in Norway and -poof!- he dies.
  • Not before more exposition. They have an evil sister called Hela and when Odin dies she’s coming to wreak havoc. Woo!
  • So she comes along and breaks the hammer. Somehow Thor and Loki end up on another planet.
  • Jeff Goldblum is there, the Hulk is there.
  • Hulk and Thor fight.
  • There’s an alcoholic Valkyrie who walks around drinking and saying witty one liners.
  • Comedy, comedy, comedy, comedy, comedy
  • Thor gets electrocuted a lot (despite being the God of Thunder?).
  • Hulk and Thor become friends.
  • Hela takes over Asguard.
  • Idris Elba is a badass.
  • Eventually, there’s a huge battle – Ah-ah, ah! – and Thor saves the day, but only after losing his eye (really?)
  • Thor is crowned King of Asguard (after they manage to escape and leave the fire monster to destroy the real Asguard because that’s where Hela gets her powers from).
  • He decides to set up Asguard on Earth. Sigh.

That’s a highly inaccurate recap but, you know, a lot happens in the film. Probably too much. I would have cut out at least half an hour of the movie and replaced it with shirtless Thor. At least that would be highly watchable.

Don’t worry, I’m kidding!

Okay, I’m not kidding.

Anyway, I think probably this is one of those you either hate it or love it movies. It will probably appeal more to a general audience and anyone who really likes the MCU than an esteemed film viewer. From what I hear, it’s like Guardians of the Galaxy, but with Thor.

I saw that the director and Hemsworth were pushing this idea of wanting the movies to be less serious and changing everything, but it’s obvious that the direction came from the bigwigs and not specifically them. The movie isn’t less serious, it’s not serious at all. It’s a very silly movie. Not really the kind of movie you’d really think about too much (and maybe that’s why people like it so much).

What worked for me was: Chris Hemsworth, the majority of the acting, some of the humour, and the Hulk scenes. Plus it’s very watchable. The soundtrack is decent and the special effects were okay. Very neon and bright, though…and in some cases, just downright fake-looking, but it was decent.

What didn’t work is probably a longer list:

  • Karl Urban as Skurge – unnecessary addition to the cast. I like Karl (Almost Human, sniff!) and I feel like he did his best but his character was underdeveloped and not really worth getting invested with.
  • Tessa Thompson – I like her acting but she was flat in this movie. I don’t know if it was her or the writing, but I wasn’t particularly interested in her character and I’m glad that talk of her being a love interest was just talk for now. Once again, poor character development.
  • Any emotional scene – I think that you can have a mix of comedy, action and emotion, but they need to be separate entities. If someone dies, you need to give the audience time to process that as well as the characters, otherwise it gets a bit stale. This movie wouldn’t let any single emotional scene breathe. Each one was followed by action action action.
  • At the beginning three of the main characters from the old movies are killed off and nobody blinks an eye….? Weird.
  • Writing – I think most of the praise is that this movie is the funniest ever, but is this an action movie, superhero movie or a comedy? The jokes were not exactly high brow. If Seth Rogen sat on a Thor figurine and farted, you’d probably get half of the jokes found in the movie. 
  • Thor himself – in the first two movies, Thor probably takes himself a little too seriously. However, it kind of worked. Even in The Avengers. In this movie, it might as well be a different character. I actually think the movie would have been funnier if we had serious Thor playing off the rest of the humour. We needed at least one character who was sane.
  • Everything about the The Grandmaster – so much camp. Too much camp. Holding slaves captive and making them fight…hmm…
  • Thor’s hair – even though the long hair was in a good portion of the movie, I was still sad to see it go.
  • The hammer. I bet it’ll be back in the next movie (Avengers) along with some line about out of control thunderstorms. 
  • The ending – it was somewhat anticlimactic for me, although, I liked the part with the Immigrant Song.

What really didn’t work:

Character development! There is virtually none of it in this movie. I think this was also an issue with the second one especially regarding the villain, but somehow, no one cared enough to rectify it here.

Plot development! I think eventually after the hype dies down, there will be more on this, especially now that it’s been released in America, but hot damn. Ragnarök is supposed to be the destruction of Asguard. Odin is dead. Thor’s friends are dead. Does Thor give a shit? Not really. We also have to deal with Odin Ex Machina and the very ridiculous cop out. It turns out that Asguard isn’t a place, it’s a people (all two hundred of them, lol). So they let Ragnarok happen and transport everyone elsewhere via a huge ship.

Anyway, all of that being said, I did enjoy the movie from a non-Marvel fan point of view. I’m just not sure how memorable it’ll be in the long run. It’s a weird movie that you can easily poke holes in if you’re that kind of person (*waves*)

I also feel like genuine fans of the first two movies will be needlessly disappointed by this. They took their efforts to change everything too far. Especially when you consider that this will probably be the last Thor movie.

Final verdict:

8/10. Overall, it’s a very fun movie and Chris Hemsworth is still ridiculously good looking and adept at comedy. Go and see it if it you like both of those things. Don’t buy into the hype from the critics, though. Marvel probably sent them all fruit baskets (see, I can do humour too!).

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