- Directed by Taika Waititi
- October 10, 2017 (El Capitan Theatre) / November 3, 2017 (US)
Thor must escape the alien planet Sakaar to save Asgard from his returned sister-the powerful and dangerous Hela.
I will state quite honestly right out of the gate that Thor: Ragnarok is my least favorite of the Thor films. My first problem is mostly with the humor. It’s not necessarily humor itself but that just about every joke that is done here is that awkward lingering humor. Those can be good but if that is all you have stick then it’s going to wear thin pretty quickly. And it does just that here. Is the repeated use of that type of joke supposed to be some type of running gag or do the writers have no real imagination?
There’s also what I feel is some lazy writing. Thor: The Dark World teased a very comic book style plot with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) on the throne of Asgard in disguise as Odin having managed to replace Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In the first couple minutes you get a rather unfunny play that is put on at the behest of Loki in disguise. I know by this point Heimdall (Idris Elba) is banished as a traitor but considering he had respect and all nobody listened to him? He would spot the lie immediately and nobody listened? How does that make sense?
There are also logical elements that just don’t make sense to me. How does an electric shock work on a being that uses electricity let alone the God of Thunder? The logic there seems questionable at best yet during the arena when Thor first encounters Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor is winning so Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) uses what amounts to a Star Wars restraining board to stun Thor into unconsciousness.
There seems to be a great many people that Thor knows that know about his long-lost sister but she never got a mention to him. I would think that Thor would be aware of her on some level. It makes as much sense as Prince Adam not knowing about Adora though that was explained away by a magic spell. We do not even get that here.
Korg (Taika Waititi) claims to be starting revolution yet it’s clearly an escape because in the end he steals a spaceship. Somebody at some stage of the script changed their mind or somebody needs a dictionary.
This was the clear beginning of Hulk being turned into a punchline. Hulk started out as a serious character in the MCU even if he was played by a different actor. Even in Avengers he was a serious character but by the time of Avengers: Endgame he was a punchline. For a genius capable of helping to build Ultron he sure cannot function. Awkward scientists are funny!
Then again Thor is quite goofy too. His word usage and general characterization has little in common with the first two films or the preceding Avengers movies. He is a musclebound bro who uses slang and comes off as barely capable of finding his way around a one room schoolhouse let alone flying around the galaxy looking for the Infinity Stones.
Jeff Goldblum does what he always and plays Jeff Goldblum. This time it is Jeff Goldblum in space. His performance works as Ian Malcolm or David Levinson but I had a hard time buying him as the ruler of an entire planet. Maybe an administrator but no ruler.
Is it just me or does Tessa Thompson look like she’s being bothered to be in the movie? It’s almost as if she’s inconvenienced by being photographed and having to perform. But then again that’s her general performance style. Her Valkyrie is supposed to be a former member of a group of the best of the best Asgardian warriors and the best we get from the actress is somebody with an attitude problem. Admittedly she chickened out when fighting Hela and feels guilty for running (or should) but none of that is really communicated other than one scene.
Our main (?) villain is kind of one note. Hela (Cate Blanchett) keeps talking about taking her place on the throne of Asgard and ruling but all she really is doing is just destroy the place. She is not even ruling poorly. She is just breaking it all.
The final confrontation between hero and villain should have been building throughout the story. While Thor’s goal is to get back to Asgard it’s not necessary building towards the final confrontation with Hela. He has more of a story aimed confrontation with Grandmaster than he does with Hela. The beginning and end of the film connect but they don’t necessarily connect to what’s going on in the middle.
And I found the movie ultimately forgettable. Why do I say that? This is my second viewing of the movie and I honestly forgot about one of the coolest parts of the whole film. What’s that? Hela has an army of undead Asgardian warriors as well as her pet giant wolf. That’s some cool stuff right there but to me it was practically brand new because I hadn’t recalled it until I saw it again. How can you forget zombie soldiers? You can if the story is nothing special.
Thor: Ragnarok is a middling Marvel film. I just don’t see how it deserves the praise it gets. It’s definitely something different but not great. If you’re a huge MCU fan then you’re probably gonna watch this anyway. But for everybody else I think you can probably skip it. It’s nothing too special.