Opens: November 3, 2017
The seventeenth installment in the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe is definitely one of their funniest, and by far their silliest, entry to date. Thor: Ragnarok, the third standalone Thor film (following Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013)), is a playful good time and the most fun I have had watching Chris Hemsworth play the titular Asgardian Prince. There is a big emphasis on quirky and comedy, especially with Loki whose deviousness is toned down in exchange for increased snark and deprecating humor, but we should not overlook several of the battle scenes which are well staged if extremely CGI heavy (when the Hulk is involved, I guess that’s a given). After the very dark and brooding one two punch of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, the more recent MCU movies have made a great attempt at levity and heart. This angle worked well in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and particularly well in Spiderman: Homecoming, and that motif definitely continues in Ragnarok. You’ll recall that since The Dark World came out, audiences got to see a playful side of Chris Hemsworth in his comedic turn in 2016’s Ghostbusters. Those comedy chops are put to good use in this movie.
As I left the theater, the thing that stuck out most to me was how (a) comfortable Hemsworth has become in his Thor skin as well as his easy chemistry with fellow recurring cast-mates, Mark Ruffalo (as Bruce Banner/Hulk) and Tom Hiddleston (as Loki), and (b) how mature a character Thor has become in his three movie arc. In 2011’s Thor, Thor was a cocky Asgardian full of himself and not much else. In The Dark World, Thor was humbled for sure but still being bamboozled by his little brother. But here, we have a complete character that is still cocky but also smart and funny and appropriately humble when necessary. This Thor is a leader of
men Asgardians. We know we’ll see Thor again in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018, but I hope we get to this Thor again in a standalone film where he can shine as the lead versus an Avenger among many.
Tessa Thompson, who makes her Marvel debut in Ragnarok but will be back for Avengers: Infinity War, is a great addition to the Superhero family and as an ass-kicking Valkyrie, female warrior badass, well … we can’t have too many of them. You’ll know Thompson best from her turn as Charlotte from HBO’s Westworld. Cate Blanchett as Hela, Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, and Karl Urban as Skurge, round out a strong cast of heroes and villains and weirdos.
I am giving Thor: Ragnarok 4 Mjölnirs at out 5.
Before we give you a spoiler laden blow by blow of the movie after the jump, let’s catch you up. We last saw Thor two years ago, at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, flying off to investigate the Infinity Stones and all the weird shit that’s been going on lately in the Galaxy. Last year, in the mid-credit scene of Doctor Strange, we saw Strange and Thor meeting in the New York Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange wanted to know why Thor’s trickster brother, Loki, was on Earth and Thor admitted to the Sorcerer Supreme that the brothers were searching for their father, Odin. Strange agrees to help them, if for no other reason, than to get Loki off of Earth which he is trying to defend from supernatural forces.
Spoilers Ahead. Last chance to turn back.
Still there? Ok. After the jump, we take you through Thor: Ragnarok step by step so you can act like you saw the movie even if you haven’t (or won’t). Grab your Hammer and let’s go!