Thor: Ragnarok Review

“Thor: Ragnarok” is far more Drax the Destroyer than “The Dark world”


Jack Lynch, Editor-in-Chief

This movie Ragna-rocks. The third film in the “Thor” franchise is the best by a mile, and proves that nearly a full decade after “Iron Man” premiered, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only gotten better.

As with all Marvel movies and their seemingly impeccable casting, “Thor: Ragnarok” features amazing performances by everyone. The titular Thor (played for the fifth time by Chris Hemsworth) is once again well done, though he is finally having a bit of fun, a nice change of pace from the first two solo outings. Tom Hiddleston again is fantastic as Loki. Heimdall and Odin (Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, respectively) do fine work with their limited screen time. Newcomers Valkyrie, Hela, Skurge and the Grandmaster (Tessa Thompson, Cate Blanchett, Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum) are also good additions to the cast. Even Mark Ruffalo is great in both of his roles (as well as portraying Bruce Banner he also does the voice and motion capture for Hulk). Even Benedict Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange shows up for a few minutes.

By now the relationship between Thor and Loki is a well worn cycle of hope, trust, betrayal and then repeat—a fact pointed out in the film. But instead of Loki’s schemes becoming boring and repetitive, director Taika Waititi has his characters play with expectations by breaking the cycle and joking as they do it. In fact the entire film seems to be a huge wink to the audience that these characters are no longer taking themselves so seriously.

One of the best parts of this film is a flashback sequence featuring Hela. The few shots in this sequence are constructed as oil paintings. This pairing of cinema and canvas gives these and the few other times Waititi implements this technique a unique blend of film and traditional art, all while being intensely intimate with the characters.

The only shortcomings in “Thor: Ragnarok” come from one of its greatest strengths: the humor. The first two films took themselves too seriously, owing to “Thor” director Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean background. The grandeur of Asgard and these characters were present but they lacked sorely in consistent humor. “Ragnarok” has the opposite problem. By having these characters quip and joke their way through the film they start to lose their standing as “gods.” By making them more personable they lose the opulence that ought to define these characters.

Going in to see this, the 17th film in the MCU, I was tired. Between the first Avengers movie and “Thor: Ragnarok” I found none of the films all that enjoyable or memorable (save “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). This film made me excited for them again. Out of all the films released this year, few will be as effortlessly fun as this one. Watching this for two hours and 10 minutes will make your week.