MOVIE REVIEW - Thor: Ragnarok


Spoiler Free Review

Thor: Ragnarok is every bit of fun that you’d expect and then some. It’s funny, but not quite as hilarious as Guardians (and that’s not a bad thing). It has heart and will give you feels at points. There are gasp-worthy moments, as well as some amazing fight sequences. This movie is absolutely worth your time and money. The cast is awesome, as usual, and it shakes up the status quo, while setting up some things for Infinity War.

Spoiler Filled Review

**SPOILERS**

Seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

Final Warning…

Ok, let’s get down to business. First, this movie was fun and funny. Yes, there was story, but jokes were aplenty, and it really seemed like they had fun making this movie, particularly the lead Chris Hemsworth. The movie also looked like they spent some money on the visual effects. The CGI looked good except for maybe one or 2 places. Overall, it was enjoyable, pretty, fun and worth your money. It was bright and colorful and had a diverse set of places to visit. Sakaar was bright and alien, Asgard retained its golden splendor, despite it’s more gloomy setting. In IMAX, the sound was crisp and deep – exactly what you’d expect from IMAX.

This movie had impact – it was an insanely murderous movie. The Warriors 3 were quickly and unceremoniously dispatched, which feels sad, since there is a missed opportunity to get their deaths to mean a little more. They are meant to be Thor’s best friends – his squad as the kids say. I was definitely unhappy that Volstagg and Fandral were just cut down with basically no effort. At least Hogun’s death felt earned and heroic. Skurge was a welcome addition and his death was heroic as well, but why was he brought in and used as our POV in Asgard, just to be killed off? He was relatable and had some memorable lines that I’ve personally been quoting since I saw the movie. Skurge was also a prime candidate to see further redemption in any potential sequel (provided Thor and Asgard’s residents survive Infinity War). Since we deal with comic books, maybe he could be brought back. Sadly, this seemed to be Anthony Hopkins’ last ride as Odin. He was a memorable, authentic addition to the universe and was one of the first casting choices that lent the budding MCU some gravitas. His scenes in this movie show off his range from his Loki as Odin (funny), to his father and king imparting his final wisdom to his children. As a result, Thor and Loki really seemed to bond over and be affected by his death. That relationship felt incredibly earned after 4 movies together, finally showing off some of the brotherly love that we knew existed. Additionally, it’s nice to see Thor get some growth and being able to see through Loki’s tricks. Finally, on the character death front, Hela seems to have died, however, given that she’s the goddess of death, is she really gone?

In case you missed it, The Hulk is in this movie and boy is he Incredible (see what I did there?). Initially, hearing Hulk talk is cool, but realizing that he’s basically a giant toddler is hysterical. That first fight between the two of them in the arena is awesome. They pound on each other and then we see Thor get massively powered up and lay a serious beating on Hulk. It gets interrupted, so we never truly get the fanboy answer to who would win in a fight, but the interactions that follow make it ok. Marvel acknowledged that this movie was the first of a 3-movie arc for the Hulk which is splendid. We got a little bit of a hint about where they could possibly go with Banner being concerned that the Hulk may take over and Banner may not be back in the future. But the real draw about Hulk is his pure power prospect. He goes after some heavy hitters in this movie, starting with Fenris and then eventually Surtur, which is the source of one of the funniest moments in the entire movie.

Several new characters help this movie out. Hela (Cate Blanchett), the villain, is delightful. She’s dangerous, charismatic, and has a legitimate beef with Asgard, being Odin’s firstborn, which of course gets a joke from Loki. Her motivation is straightforward, yet watching the story unfold feels intriguing. As I mentioned briefly before, Karl Urban’s Skurge is entertaining. He seems like one of the few Asgardians you’d love to get a few beers into and tell jokes with. Allowing him to be our eyes around Hela is an interesting way to tell that side of the story. Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster – I loved all of it. He just swallows every scene he’s in with his incredible presence. Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is wonderful. She has a redemptive character arc, which is predictable, but is fitting. And when that moment of redemption comes, a little piece of you will want to cheer.

Finally, the status quo changed Thor’s place in the MCU in a big way. The physical location of Asgard is no longer in existence, so the remaining Asgardians have no place to officially call home. That is important because he could make Earth the new location of Asgard. He has no hammer – an identifying feature of the character – and has truly embraced his God of Thunder role gaining the ability to fly and control lightning without his beloved Mjolnir. Most notably, he is missing an eye now – does he become his father’s son in the future?

Here are a few points that went through my head as I watched the movie

-Kickass use of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song

-Why did Heimdall disappear in the first place?

-While we know the fates of the Warriors 3, where the hell is Lady Sif throughout all of this? She’s one of Asgard’s most formidable warriors.

-How/When did Thor and Jane break up?

-Where can I buy that mug in the Sanctum Sanctorum that refills itself with beer?

-That Stan Lee cameo was funny. “My hands aren’t as steady as they used to be”

-Did that ship at the end of the mid-credits scene belong to Thanos?

-Did Loki re-steal the Tesseract? He gave it a long hard look.

-The version I saw was Imax, but not 3D. Hopefully the 3D was well done.

Comic Book Accuracy

This movie wasn’t exactly comic book accurate, but there were some welcome changes. Here are the changes I noticed:

-Ragnarok started with another child of Odin (and half-sibling to Thor), Baldur the Brave, not Hela

-Hela is actually Loki’s daughter in the comics, not Odin’s.

-The Red King rules Sakaar, not the Grandmaster

-Korg and Miek spent considerably more time with Hulk in the Planet Hulk story

-The obedience disks in the comics are on everyone, not just those who may resist the Red King

-Thor loses an eye, which is accurate, but the circumstances and results are a bit different as Thor gets a MASSIVE power boost when he becomes the All-Father, taking Odin’s place

-Surtur is quite a bit different, but still crazy powerful.

-Ragnarok actually does complete and Asgard and her inhabitants are all destroyed including Thor himself

-Odin proposes the site of new Asgard in Norway (I think), but in the comics Thor places Asgard in Nebraska

Final Breakdown

Story – 8/10

Visuals – 9/10

Action Sequences – 8/10

Comic Book Accuracy – 6/10

**Twist Factor** - in this case, the comedy is the Twist Factor – 9/10

Final Score – An average of the scores rounded to the nearest half – 8/10