Review: Thor: Ragnarok
Dir: Taika Waititi
I like the movie character Thor, but I havent been a fan of the first two solo Thor films. The first one felt like a better version of 1987s Masters of the Universe. It wasnt bad, but it was forgettable. The second one, I dont even remember a lot of it. I know there was a bad guy. Hes after an Infinity Stone. When theyre not in London, theyre on Asgard and Natalie Portman is talking shit to the elders about their magic versus science comparisons. I remember Loki dying and then it being revealed that hes actually alive and has taken Odens place. Big thanks to Alamo Draft House cinemas exclusive pre show that helped me recap that at last nights screening of our titular heros third movie.
Im not sure what it was that made those first two movies just not connect to me or many other audiences, but thankfully they decided to go another route. Taika Waititi brings a whole new attitude and aura to the Thor franchise that is refreshing and satisfying. The humor in this movie is extremely welcome from the beginning when Thors cellmates jaw falls off. It felt to me like I was watching Chris Hemsworth do his impression of Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China. Now while comedy is a huge chunk of this production when it requires the drama, nothing is taken away from the pace of the story. In addition to directing Waititi cast himself as Korg, the rock gladiator comic relief. Its no coincidence he gets the funniest lines as well.
I keep talking pace, and it ramps up when Mark Ruffalos 3D composite of Hulk comes in. Its a pretty fantastic scene and I wish there was a way to have made Hulks part in this a surprise. Probably an impossible task with the hype machine the way it is. Ruffalo brings weight to his characters of Hulk and Bruce Banner. When Banner finally comes into the movie he still thinks hes on Sokovia from the second Avengers movie where we last saw him. Its a nice touch that they could have easily overlooked. I understand why Hulk doesnt get his own movie anymore, however I would love it if they teamed him up more with the other Marvel Cinematic Superheroes.
To talk up our supporting characters some, I feel we didnt need Doctor Strange. His character in this movie for its 6 minutes only serves to get Thor and Loki to Oden, but I know they could have found him another way. His scene feels like a reason to spend $5 million for the sake of doing so.
Jeff Goldblum kills it as Grandmaster. And to reiterate its “Grandmaster”, not “The Grandmaster” and not “Jeff, The Grandmaster”. Grandmaster is the intergalactic Vince McMahon and to be honest Im not sure if he was the ruler of that planet as well. He steals all his own scenes and is in quite a lot more of the movie than I thought he would be in.
Tessa Thompson who you’ll remember from 2015s Creed and Dear White People, is great as Valkyrie. I look forward to seeing more of her in the next Avengers which is only an assumption based on how the movie ends. The only thing that threw me off was her accent. Which I guess in essence was just proper english. I was thinking she was part of the Aussie/Kiwi crew that makes up the majority of this movie, however IMDB says shes an LA native, which is exciting for the people of Los Angeles.
Marvel has never been one to give too much attention to their villians. They even full on admit to it. They want us, the audience to focus on the heroes. And that fair. But when it comes to the motivations of Hela, itd be good to not only focus on that angst she carries, but to actually watch her inact on her movitations. She makes a point to call out that she is responsible for helping Oden ruling the 9 relms and was banished from Asgard from wanting to conquer more relms. At no point in this movie does she attempt to take on a tenth relm. She and Karl Urbans character focus on the final survivng citizens of Asgard who are hiding in mountains.
In my opinion neither Blanchette or Urbans characters are very interesting to me. And while it has nothing to do with either abilities, I think their characters are the weakest parts of the movie.
So, to surmise, I think this is the best Thor movie of his solo trilogy. I think its the funniest Marvel movie. I think the action was only ok. Thor vs Hulk is as fun you think it will be. The Green Screen portions of this movie look like beautiful living paintings and not nightmare eye straining visuals of what Ive seen from the Justice League promos. I hope Justice League is good, but I have no intention of seeing it. If that gets a review here, it’ll be a surprise for both of us here. Sad to say, and because its the new Disney, and new Marvel, the 3D is pretty unimpressive. That could also have been because of the angle I was sitting at in the theatre.
Id say see it with a good crowd, but you never know how to find those after opening night.
4 out of 6 Blueberries.