At this point, you’ve likely heard rave reviews about Thor: Ragnarok. In fact, Ragnarok has frequently been described as a comedy first, superhero movie second. With this sentiment, I definitely agree. I had a stupid grin on my face through the entirety of the movie; it was a really fun watch. In fact, the best aspect of this movie may have also been one of the few things that worked against it.
As someone who spent the past few years writing bad jokes for a publication, I really appreciate when comedy is actually done well, as opposed to my hack nonsense. It was very clear right from the start that this was the tone the writers were going for. As much as I enjoyed this element, I felt that the comedy resulted in some of the more important and heavier moments getting glossed over.
The Hela story arc didn’t get anywhere near the amount of time it deserved. This was a missed opportunity. Not only did Marvel get its first female villain, but she was a genuinely menacing one with an interesting back story, and played by the talented Cate Blanchett. Marvel had pretty much everything working for them, yet still underutilized Blanchett. Besides being a fierce antagonist, her family connection to Thor would have made their conflict way more interesting, had it been given more time. As much as I hate cheap character revivals, I feel like I’d make an exception if it meant getting Hela in Avengers 3.
Also it’s clear that Hela is super powerful, because she was completely unfazed by the tesseract when she walked past it. It felt cheap to have her defeated by something else entirely, instead of by Thor.
Because of the the wry humor and witty banter, I compeletely forgot that Thor: Ragnarok was part of a bigger series of films that impacted one another directly. After nearly 90 straight minutes of comedy, the final battle came up and gave us a stark reminder that things happening in Ragnarok would have consequences for upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Right around the time Thor lost an eye was when I remembered that these events would carry over.
Thor also lost his hammer; while this was revealed in most of the movie trailers, in the back of my mind I was still hoping for some Asguardian plot magic to bring Mjolnir back to life. However, this change seems pretty permanent.
Similarly, this killed any hope I had that the Warriors Three would somehow find a magical way to come back to life. In fact, it was jarring to me just how easily these recurring characters were snuffed out. I barely had time to process all this information however, as the scene shifted to the antics of Thor and Hulk on another planet. There would have been more weight given to the loss of these small, but recurring characters if we had spent a bit more time on them.
On a side note, I feel that Thor: Ragnarok could have been an excellent standalone Thor movie. This is what the first Thor movie should have been. In fact, if this were the only Thor movie, it could have stood on its own while still staying connected to the Avengers and other MCU movies. I appreciated that there was no contrived love story with Nathalie Portman’s Jane. In fact, the writers very quickly let audiences know that Thor and Jane were no longer an item. Thank you, Thor writers. The romance was always the weakest part of this franchise.
- Thor was a rockstar. That opening sequence was fantastic.
- I loved seeing Mark Ruffalo reprise his role as the Hulk. This was the most we’ve seen of this character, though I still understand the studio’s trepidation of having a solo movie starring just the Hulk. This is probably the best we’re going to get for a while. Especially with the planned slate of Marvel movies stretching out years into the future.
- I actually really liked Tessa Thompson’s Valkarie. I was not a fan of her in Westworld. This was definitely a better match in terms of casting.
- It seems that the movie’s mid-credit scene, which showed the Asguardians’ ship approaching a much larger vessel, was likely setting up the first interaction with Thanos. Does this mean Loki tried to sneak the tesseract with him onto the Asguardians’ ship? We saw Loki pause and look at it for a while, so it could be that he pocketed it, which led Thanos straight to their front door.
- Check out the first two movies, Thor and Thor: The Dark World if you haven’t seen them yet.
- Movie tickets in my area average $12.50, so this movie alone made my MoviePass subscription worth it. Read our MoviePass review here.
- Are all Asguardians super powerful, or just some of them? That part was never made much clear in these movies; especially when a lot of them fell so easily against Hela.
- We saw Asgard get destroyed, and its residents displaced. Refugees heading to Earth. It will be interesting to see how a bunch of alien/gods fit in on Earth.