Here's why you should go see Thor: Ragnarok this weekend
*Little to no spoilers ahead. Just general opinions.*
You’ve survived mid-terms, and soon finals will hit. You need a break. I recommend a trip to the cinema with friends to see the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, “Thor: Ragnarok.”
First of all, I’ve always had mixed-feelings about the Thor movies. Although most fans (myself included) love Thor and Loki, I think we can also agree that the Thor movies are some of the weaker of the MCU movies. They have also been inconsistent in tone. The first Thor film sometimes came across like a strangely-shot indie film mixed with the pilot of a TV show. “Thor: The Dark World” took itself almost too seriously at times and had a mediocre story and villain. “Ragnarok,” on the other hand, is being marketed as one of the highest-rated MCU films of all time. It's at 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes currently, which is amusing because traditionally Thor movies are some of the lowest-rated—in fact, “Thor: The Dark World” has the lowest RT score of all MCU films at 66 percent.
The “Thor: Ragnarok” trailers left me with high expectations for this new movie. I’ve even thought, “This might not only be the best Thor movie, but also the best MCU movie yet.”
Until the release of “Ragnarok,” news articles had given me the impression that this film would be the bridge between the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy and ultimately set up “Avengers: Infinity War.” I have been curious as to how it would do this, but I think it successfully achieves what it has set out to do.
Originally, I had been concerned, especially when the “Thor: Ragnarok” logo changed from a very cool and classic but dark vibe to a funky, fun retro '80s look—completely changing my impression of what the film would be like.
Pros and Cons
We now know what Thor and Hulk were up to during Civil War.
One of the great things about this movie is how funny it is compared to a lot of the Marvel movies. It is almost crazy to think that this film is in the same universe as “Captain America: Civil War” because that was such a heavy film, whereas “Thor: Ragnarok” is a popcorn movie. That’s also its weakness. While it’s a light-hearted movie overall, it also has serious and impacting moments that become weakened due to the heavy amount of laughs throughout. Some moments that would normally have been quite powerful are not as emotional because we were laughing at some random joke made in the scene before. Marvel has a history of including jokes to lighten a dramatic action-packed film, but this film could almost be classified as a comedy.
It struggles between taking itself seriously (like some of the Marvel predecessors, such as “Civil War”) and not taking itself seriously (like recent superhero movies “Deadpool” and “The LEGO Batman Movie”). The almost never-ending jokes are fun but at times become predictable.
Old and New Characters
I think Marvel realized their mistakes with the first Thor films and knew they needed to do something fresh with the character, to “reinvent” him. The Thor franchise has been struggling to find its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just as the character of Thor, throughout the series, has been attempting to find who he truly is, the movies themselves have been trying to figure out what they are. I feel that Thor was always meant to be one of the more comical Avengers, so I think the humor in this film actually works.
While we have here one of the funniest Marvel films, we are also introduced to one of the most powerful and evil villains ever seen in the MCU: Hela, the goddess of death. She does not hesitate and she takes no prisoners. It makes a weird contrast that while the film is extremely jokey, whenever Hela is present it becomes quite dark and shockingly violent. It’s a weird balance to make, but somehow, they make it work.
The reinventions of Thor and Loki are so successful in this film, along with the introduction of Hela, that it almost makes the not-so-great introductions of new characters excusable. The biggest let-down was Valkyrie. I had been anticipating her arrival, expecting a cool new female hero, but she just came across like a drunkard that we were supposed to root for (like haven’t we already seen this in Captain Jack Sparrow?). All it did was make me miss Lady Sif, who was MIA with no explanation.
“Thor: Ragnarok” felt new, yet classic at the same time.
Although the story is a creative and a fresh take on the superhero genre, it does occasionally suffer from plot holes that the filmmakers hope you don't notice or can just ignore. But in the end the good outweighs the bad.
At times, it felt like retro '80s by including electric-rock and imagery similar to that of Star Wars. I loved how it was like watching Jack Kirby’s comics come to life. The film helped balance the classic MCU with more modern installments like Guardians of the Galaxy.
“Ragnarok” has humorous cameos—including director Taika Waititi as the endearing rock creature Korg and Benedict Cumberbatch as a very Sherlockian Doctor Strange—upsetting deaths, exciting fight scenes, Jeff Goldblum as an evil but jokey bad-guy, clever jokes and references, Idris Elba (cool as ever) and brilliant on-screen chemistry (mainly between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston). We also get to see one of the best hero vs. hero battles. It’s way better than the Hulk vs. Iron Man (Hulkbuster) fight scene in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It’s fun and action-packed, just like the rest of the film. Overall, “Ragnarok” is funny, adventurous, dramatic, and dark—with no forced mushy romances.
Reminder: There are two post-credits scenes. Stay until the very end.
Runtime: 2h 10m. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material (and mild language throughout).
Disclaimer: There’s nudity.
We see Hulk-butt.