The Thor movies were always my least favorite films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To me, they never fully showcase how awesome Thor is and the world he resides in. The first Thor was a decent film while I consider the second one to be the worst MCU film, so I initially wasn’t excited for a third Thor movie. But then I hear about the details and I saw the trailers and I was instantly hyped. It looked to be the Thor movie that I wanted to see. Did we get that? Well, let’s find out. This is Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor is on the search for the Infinity Stones, but gets sidetracked when he realized that Odin is no longer on Asgard. With Loki, Thor heads to Earth where they encounter the Goddess of Death, Hela, who destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and sends them off to a distant planet called Sakaar where Thor is forced to become a gladiator. Now, the two, along with the Hulk, must find a way back to Asgard and defeat Hela before she can accomplish her goal. Two stories have been combined into one for this film: Ragnarok, which is the end of all things in Norse mythology, and Planet Hulk, which is one of the best storylines in comics. While it’s not the strongest plot, it gels pretty well for this type of story. It transitions from Sakaar to Asgard without feeling disjointed.
Once again, Chris Hemsworth kills as Thor and it’s interesting to see his progression throughout the MCU. Initially, he was arrogant and way over his head. By this movie, he’s become selfless, wiser, and wittier. There were time where I felt Tom Hiddelston’s Loki was kinda underutilized, but it’s good seeing him. His relationship with Thor has also seen a progression. Even when they were enemies, Thor never lost his love for his brother and sees good in him in spite of his actions. Odin (the real Odin) appears in one scene and it’s one of the best. Thor and Loki find him in Norway (which is the birthplace of Norse mythology) and he’s dying. Before he dies, he gives a speech to both of his sons and Anthony Hopkins delivers one hell of an emotional performance. Idris Elba’s Heimdall kicks ass saving fellow Asgardians from Hela while Thor is away. Mark Ruffalo returns as the Incredible Hulk. At the end of Age Of Ultron, Hulk flew out in a Quinjet and ended up on Sakaar where he’s been fighting as a gladiator. Oh, and he hasn’t turned back to Banner for two years. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) also makes a cameo, helping Thor and Loki find Odin.
Now for new characters, starting with the villain. Hela is played by Cate Blanchett and she is having a blast. This version of Hela is Thor’s older sister who helped Odin rise to power, but was banished when she wanted to conquer all the realms. Her motivation is basic, but she’s enjoyable and menacing. The Phase 3 villains are already more memorable than the ones from Phase 2. Karl Urban plays Skurge, a warrior who was unsure of his purpose in the world and when Hela shows up, he becomes her henchman. Throughout, he has doubts about his actions and during the climax, he makes a heel-turn. Aside from that, he also has some funny moments, especially in the beginning. Jeff Goldblum plays the Grandmaster, who runs the gladiator matches and he has the classic Jeff Goldblum mannerisms. Tessa Thompson plays Valkyrie and she has a cool character arc, going from a drunk escaping her past to being the hero she’s supposed to be. There’s a scene where she has a vision from the past showing the Valkyries going up against Hela and it’s something straight out of an old painting.
Another highlight is the character Korg, played by the director of the film Taika Waititi. You have this soft-spoken rock creature who’s one of the imprisoned gladiators in Sakaar and he has some of the most hilarious lines of the movie. He’s not what you’d expect from a rock creature, which makes it even funnier.
By now, everyone has pointed this out and it’s true; Thor: Ragnarok is one of the funniest comic book movies ever made. There’s so many jokes that the film damn near becomes an action comedy and 90% of them land. There are moments where the jokes are a bit too much and lessens a serious situation like in the beginning where Thor was captured by Surtur (Clancy Brown). Just like Guardians 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok has an 80s feel to it (more specifically, a heavy metal album) thanks to the color palette and the soundtrack. I like how they used Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song in some of the action scenes. Speaking of, the action scenes are glorious. A big highlight is the arena battle between Thor and Hulk. The movie takes what we know about Thor and smashes them, from Thor not having his hammer to Asgard finally being destroyed in the end thanks to Surtur being summoned in Thor and Loki’s plan to defeat Hela. It offers a fresh take on the mythology and presents new storytelling opportunities for the future.
I give Thor: Ragnarok a 9/10. This is the Thor movie we’ve should’ve gotten all along and it’s the best out of the trilogy. The jokes will have you laughing from beginning to end. The action is thrilling, the special effects are dazzling, and the performances are top-notch. I had a ton of fun watching this movie and I most definitely will be watching it again given the chance. This is the third home-run for Marvel Studios this year and next year looks bright. Next year, we’ll see the release of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man & The Wasp. Black Panther is already my most anticipated movie of 2018 bar-none, so you know I’m excited. And Infinity War looks to be epic. Hopefully, Thanos will be the threat he’s built up to be. We’ll just have to wait and see.