Review: Thor: Ragnarok

A friend of mine granted me the privilege of attending a pre-screening of this movie. It was my first pre-screen experience, and I thought it would make me feel like a real critic. 

Instead, the pre-screening was at 1 in the morning, I was caffeine-less, and I’m apparently an old man now. I fell asleep for a solid fifteen minutes. I still saw the bulk of the film, and part of me just wanted to get the review of out of the way. However, I strictly believe one shouldn’t review a movie without seeing the entire thing, so off I went to see it again.

 

Here’s a summary of the film in 20 words or less:

After the first two mediocre installments, director Taika Waititi thought, “I know! Let’s make it like Guardians of the Galaxy!”

 

Yes, even after seeing it twice, I’m still a little intrigued as to why Waititi’s Thor movie seemed so similar to The Guardians films: there’s an abundance of flashy colors in space and a painstaking attempt to try to make everything funny. The only difference is that Thor’s playlist just has “The Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin on repeat.

 

Make no mistake though, I actually enjoyed this film. It’s a fun popcorn flick that’s funny, action-packed, and of course, crowd-pleasing. It doesn’t quite make it into the realm of exceptionality, but I’m betting that the only person who’ll be bothered by this is me. Chances are you’ll probably gobble this movie up.

 

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Chris Hemsworth does mighty fine with what he’s given. It’s not like he’s given an amazing amount of depth, but what little depth Disney allowed, Hemsworth made it work.

Tom Hiddleston was good.

The Hulk was in this movie.

Tessa Thompson was a great addition even if her personality was basically defined and re-defined by how much she liked or disliked Thor at that moment.

Cate Blanchett… like Michael Keaton and Kurt Russell before her… does well despite the fact that she’s not too much more than the next obstacle in Hero X’s way.

Karl Urban appears to have accidentally stumbled onto the set, because the movie did not have any use for his character whatsoever. Honestly, the man was a floating entity the entire time with almost no purpose.

 

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And speaking of purposeless, was that Dr. Strange bit ever the biggest exercise in anti-climacticness. If you saw the end credits scene for Dr. Strange, you’ve seen the extent of his involvement in the plot. The entire bit was an unfortunate, tiresome exercise in fan-service and nothing more.

 

MV5BMTYxNTEzMjg4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzM2MTgwNDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,744_AL_.jpgJeff Goldblum was a real hoot, and he would have made a more proper villain if the film had more use for him. But aside from being another obstacle, he’s basically just an extra heaping helping of comic relief.

 

And that’s what irritated me most about this film: it’s incessant need to be funny all the time. A lot of the humor does work, but there were so many moments in the film that lost its sense of tone or its sense of flow because the movie just HAD to make another out-of-place gag.

 

MV5BMjExODQxNzgwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTMxMjgwNDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1502,1000_AL_.jpgIn fact, this made Idris Elba one of my favorite parts of the film. Not just because Elba’s awesome, and not just because he did a good job, but because his character was the only person who had a guarantee of being serious. In a film filled with characters all trying to throw jokes into the air, it was a breath of fresh air having one character be an actual character and not a joke dispenser.

 

I could also touch on the cheesiness and the clichés, but it’s a Marvel movie, so I suppose those aspects are self-evident.

 

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There’s enough clever wit, great action, and workable humor to make Thor: Ragnarok a satisfying experience. It also has a few moments of sacrifice and loss that weren’t magically resolved by the end of the film. However, it absolutely baffles me that people haven’t gotten tired of these films yet and are still over-the-moon about them to an insane degree.

It’s a beautiful film, and Waititi seems to have brought as much character to the film as he was allowed to, but in the end, it’s just a decent popcorn flick that the vast majority of people, after the honeymoon period is over, will remember it as “that one Thor movie that was better than okay”.

Should you see it? Yes, it’s a very fun movie. Should you believe all those people who are saying it’s one of the best Marvel movies? Well… if your tastes usually fall in line with mine, then no…

6 out of 10

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Thor: Ragnarok

  1. Can firstly say thank you, thank you for providing a review that didn’t bum the hell out of this film. Now just to clarify, I liked the film a lot, it was fun for the most part and if anyone loved the film more power to them, but I am glad that there are a few notable people out there in the world that shared some grievances with the film. I think we’re on the same page about Ragnarok. When I saw it the first time I liked it but left feeling disappointed that it wasn’t the incredible experience the trailers made it out to be, and I enjoyed it more the second time around but it still wasn’t a great experience.

    Like you I thought the humour was felt so excessive, it only worked occasionally, most of it was predictable. But most importantly there was no balance between the humour and seriousness. The dramatic moments lacked the emotional punch or were immediately ruined by a joke (Korg and Asgard for example). Beyond that I did like the interaction between Thor and Hulk, the visuals were lovely save for some blurry CGI and dodgy green screen, Valkyrie was nice and Jeff Goldblum was jokes, but ultimately lacking. Hela had a good introduction but needed way more screen time to be effective and Skurge was inconsequential to the plot, such a waste of the source material. Lokie, I still love the guy, but while watching this film I felt by this point in the MCU his story arc should be over, there’s not much for him to do besides joke around with Thor. And the Doctor Strange stuff was fan service but I really enjoyed seeing him, though it does speak to a larger issue of the post-credits scenes adding nothing to the future movies besides showing a small scene which isn’t much different in the full movie.

    After seeing this film I’m more hyped than ever to see Black Panther and just hope that Ryan Coolger delivers a great superhero experience because I want that hero to be given the right treatment.

    P.S. Sorry for the long comment., I could honestly talk about this film for ages but I don’t wish to bore you. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I’m not a comic book reader though I’ve always liked superhero characters.
        That said, as a reviewer and critic, I could not care less about how scenes are interpreted by comic book readers.

        Cate Blanchett is so naturally talented so I agree. I think the villain character she was given to be was pretty bland, but she did the best with what she was given.

        Liked by 1 person

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