Thor: Ragnarok Review

Thor: Ragnarok International Poster

After several years of excellence, there was one MCU franchise that simply just alludes the studio: Thor. There’s no denying that there is a legion of Thor fans out there but general audiences and critics couldn’t seem to get behind the previous Thor films. The decision was made to shake things up by hiring an outside-the-box type of director, What We Do In The Shadows director, Taika Waititi. But is Waititi the type of director that’ll finally give Thor his one shining moment or is Thor: Ragnarok just another misstep in the Thor trilogy?

Thankfully, Taika Waititi was exactly the type of director that Thor needed. His comedic style and his fantastic visuals brought new life to not only the franchise but the character going forward.

Thor: Ragnarok follows Thor as he becomes imprisoned on the planet of Sakaar. Once there, he must seek out new and old allies in order to return to Asgard and prevent Hela from destroying everything.

Thor: Ragnarok - Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston

Although the MCU has a long list of fan-favorite franchises, Thor isn’t on top of many people’s lists and there’s a good reason for that. Thor isn’t as relatable a character as a Steve Rogers or Tony Stark. He’s a thunder god that also happens to be royalty. Yet with Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel decides to portray Thor in a much different light. Much of that decision comes from director Taika Waititi as he infuses some much-needed life (and color) to the franchise. For one thing, Waititi brings much of his comedic background to this film. From beginning to end, the film is a non-stop barrage of hilarious jokes and gags. The best part about it is that none of the jokes seem forced at all. This will definitely anger some fans because “how can Ragnarok be a comedy?” Although it’s a valid argument, the stakes are still pretty high.

Yet what will sadden comic book fans the most is the inclusion of the “Planet Hulk” storyline within the film. Obviously, there are only certain elements of the storyline that make it into the film. Unfortunately, the rest of the storyline is set aside in order to still keep this a Thor film. Fortunately for Hulk fans, it’s these “Planet Hulk” elements that make Thor: Ragnarok so damn entertaining. Surprisingly, the “Planet Hulk” storyline fits in really well with the story that the filmmakers put together.

Another reason why Thor: Ragnarok is so enjoyable is because of the new direction of the old characters and the introduction of new characters. It seems that after several films, Thor, Hulk, Loki, and the rest of the crew are less wooden this time around. In other words, every character has a personality now. As for the new cast of characters, they’re a delightful addition to the franchise. They add another level of entertainment that the franchise sorely needed. On the other hand, the addition of these new characters means that a few of the other characters depart from the franchise entirely. There’s no explanation, just a lack of presence. Unfortunately, Hela is such a one-dimensional character. Sure, she’s dangerous and a threat to everyone but there’s not much else to her character.

Thor: Ragnarok - Tessa Thompson

After starring in several comedies, Chris Hemsworth gets to show that side of him in the role that made him famous. Hemsworth is a blast to watch and his comedic timing is impeccable. There’s just something about Thor acting like a foolish brute that just seems to fit together. Mark Ruffalo is also hilarious as the talking Incredible Hulk. Just seeing him talk with Hemsworth is just really funny to watch. Then again he seems to just cruise through the film when he comes back as Bruce Banner. Tom Hiddleston is once again charming and arrogant as Loki. Yet he adds a funny element to his character this time around. Unfortunately, Hiddleston’s comedic timing is quite as impeccable as Hemsworth’s. Lastly, don’t expect to see a lot of Sir Anthony Hopkins in the film.

As for the new cast of characters, it’s Tessa Thompson impresses the most as Valkyrie. She is fierce, commanding, charming, and full of flaws. For a new character, there are so many layers to her character. As I mentioned above, Hela is such a one-dimensional character. It’s a shame since Cate Blanchett could’ve done so much more with her character. Be that as it may, she’s still so incredibly menacing as Hela. You definitely don’t want to get on Blanchett’s bad side.

Much like Sir Anthony Hopkins, don’t expect to see a lot of Karl Urban in the film either. Believe it or not, there is a decent amount of character development for Skurge despite his lack of screentime. Thus, Urban is able to do quite a lot in the role. Chief among them is being that sympathetic type of character. Finally, there’s Jeff Goldblum. As the Grandmaster, Goldblum is able to take this role and ham it up big time. It seems as if he had such a blast filming this.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is an extraordinarily entertaining and enjoyable Marvel film. From beginning to end, Hemsworth and company will thoroughly entertain you with the comedic style and visuals of Taika Waititi. Although it’s not a perfect film, it’s still the kind of freshness that the franchise really needed. It’s just a shame it couldn’t have come earlier.

Rating: 4/5 atoms

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