Movie Review

At The Movies: Thor: Ragnarok

I wasn’t able to see it opening weekend, but I finally saw Thor: Ragnarok. From the moment we got the first trailer, I was excited to see the film. Here are my thoughts on the film. Warning: spoilers ahead!

Humor

When word was released that the next Thor film was going to deal with Ragnarök, I expected dark and angsty. This movie was a lot of fun. There were plenty of funny moments from the main cast and even minor characters like Topaz, the Grandmaster’s assistant played by Rachel House. Korg, who was voiced by director Taika Waititi, made me laugh every time he came on screen. I loved that character. I’m still quoting some of his lines to family and friends and laughing about it.

While the humor was great, I did feel like it took away from other parts of the story. For example, Odin’s death. The brothers don’t have time to mourn because they immediately had to deal with Hela and then ending up on Sakaar where Valkyrie is drunk and flopping off of ramps.

We’ve seen Thor deal with loss, but never quite like this. His father, his beloved hammer, and his homeworld in one film. I would have liked to see a bit more of an emotional performance from Hemsworth. We got the small moment of the cliff, his moment of disappointment while looking for a weapon on Sakaar, and then the scene where he kicks things in frustration like a teenager.

Visuals

As usual for most Marvel films, the visuals for Thor: Ragnarok were spectacular. Ever since the first film, I’ve been awe at the scenes where they use the Bifrost and portals to travel. Hela’s transformations were seamless. Visually, one of my favorite scenes was the flashback of the Valkyrie battling Hela.

Another one of my favorite visual moments is the return to Asgard from Sakaar. Overall, it was a nice movie for the eyes.

The Villain

Over the years, Marvel Studios has gotten critiques that the film adaptions of well-known villains haven’t been that great. I think Hela was a better villain than others in the MCU. Beyond the writing, Cate Blanchett’s performance brought strength to the character. She knew what she wanted and had qualms about killing anyone to get there. Her motivations and backstory are believable.

I have a preference for hints in earlier content about things to come in storytelling, i.e. a secret sibling. But when you have different teams writing each film and some altered storyline for characters, it’s almost impossible for any one writer and director to guess what the next team will bring in and what Marvel will approve.

Now, I’m left wondering about the relationship between the departed Frigga and her eldest child. Was she in support of her imprisonment? How did Hela react to news of Frigga’s death? Questions that may be irrelevant to the plot of Thor: Ragnarok, but questions I have none the less.

Favorite Parts of Film

1. Valkyrie

I loved her character. Flawed and dealing with the loss of the other valkyrie and the disappointment of the royal family’s drama, we see this woman once bond by duty coping in the way she knows best. Tessa Thompson’s performance was great. Question: How’d her hair go from half up and braided to flowing. Does her armor style her hair too?

2. Korg

Like I mentioned earlier in the review, Korg kept me laughing. He was a funny and interesting device to provide some backstory when telling Thor about the Grandmaster’s fight dome. His inclusion later in the story wasn’t expected but made sense. I thought he was just going to be a funny throwaway character, but he actually got to do things.

3. Thor Getting His Full Powers

Watching Thor use his lightning was cool and fulfilling. I was expecting him to somehow reforge Mjolnir, but maybe that’s to come later even though we don’t know where the pieces are. I think him freezing in combat to have visions of Odin probably didn’t make sense strategically, but they were interesting.

Honorable mention to the great Heimdall played by this handsome and talented Idris Elba. I wasn’t feeling the dreads, but I was definitely here for his storyline. When the film started with Skurge at the Bifrost, I was like “That isn’t Heimdall!” but I was pleased to find him doing his own thing and being heroic.

The Jacobs

 

 

 

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