Thor: Ragnarok (2017) Review


Summary: Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
Cast and Characters. Most of these characters are new in this film, outside of the three we have been used to seeing. Highlighted here are definitely the lead standouts and a few of the supporting cast.
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor Odinson, and he is great. He definitely made this character into something special. In Thor, I liked him enough but he was probably one of the characters I cared about the least in The Avengers. However, I think I liked him the most in this movie because he felt like a real person. Yes, Thor is a bit untouchable considering he is a god and what not, but he still has to feel personal and this time I felt that he did. He’s still the mature Thor he became at the end of the first movie, but he obviously hasn’t given up his more light-hearted nature. I like that about him. I like that he can toe the line between being funny and being serious. It’s like he’s a good medium between Steve and Tony. In this movie, he doesn’t really have any lessons to learn but something to save instead and he really fights for it. I like it. Plus, I really like how sincere Thor always seems. Chris Hemsworth really knows this character and it’s easy to tell that he loves Thor and has fun portraying him.
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki. As always, Loki is fantastic and fun to watch. Tom Hiddleston owns this character. Loki isn’t in the film as much but whenever he is, he’s a presence that draws my eyes to him. Tom Hiddleston just lights up the screen as Loki. In this film, *minor spoilers if you haven’t seen The Dark World* he starts off as Odin considering how he faked his death in the last film and is living the life as “King” of Asgard. Thor ruins that plan and they go off to find Odin. Loki’s role in this movie is interesting. Thor usually reacts to him but he doesn’t do that a lot in this one and it seems to bother Loki in ways, being that has been their relationship for a long time. I find that aspect quite interesting and I would have liked to see more of it. Loki remains mischievous and rude lol but I still love him. Tom Hiddleston is still great in this role, so likable even though he’s still a douche.
  • Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. She starts the film as a tough, hard-drinking bounty hunter who works for the Grandmaster and goes by “Scrapper 142”. She used to be part of the Valkyrie army but has run from her past due to what happened when they went against Hela. She is gruff, a drunk and it’s quite funny to see her just down a huge bottle of alcohol and she’s so tiny compared to Chris Hemsworth (even Tom H. towers over her). I quite liked her. I think she is underused and underwritten in the film but Tessa Thompson did her thing with the role and I thought she managed to stand out quite a bit even though her role wasn’t that strong personally. I thought her accent was pretty good, she looked great in the world, I thought she had great comedic timing and great chemistry with both Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo.
  • Mark Ruffalo as Hulk/Bruce Banner. When we first see Bruce, he is The Hulk and the champion of Sakaar. It’s “Perma-Hulk mode” (I totally looked that up) but he does talk a bit and it’s fragmented, like a child. It picks up from Avengers: Age of Ultron and I think this film allows for him to be seen as more than a mindless rage monster. Though I never really thought he came off as a rage monster in the Avengers films as he was able to understand what was going on. Mark Ruffalo is always great, I like the fact that we can see his face and mannerisms within The Hulk’s face and I think his Bruce Banner is a cute, neurotic nerd. He has great chemistry with Chris Hemsworth and his comedic timing is also great. To be honest, he’s not in it that much but whenever he is, I think he’s fun to see as The Hulk. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce is always endearing as well.
  • Cate Blanchett as Hela. Hela is released from her prison and wants to take over Asgard. Basically, she feels scorned and that it’s her right to be Queen. Cate Blanchett OWNS in this role, she is absolutely fantastic and she steals the scene every time she’s on-screen. Her outfit was amazing, her headdress is amazing and Cate Blanchett does such great body movements and eye-acting that I just could watch her all day. Hela has the ability to summon an infinite number of weapons which is cool in itself. I hope she is a Marvel villain who is around later on. I mean she is a Goddess.
Supporting Characters:
  • Anthony Hopkins as Odin. He’s not in the film very long. He has a great scene with both Thor and Loki in which he talks about their mother and life and it was an emotional, quiet moment between the three of them. We don’t get to see that much of the three of them together but when we do, it’s great. Odin is also shown sporadically throughout the film. Anthony Hopkins is always great and he plays Odin well, I thought he was great in the first film especially, but even here, he’s just so regal and quiet in this one.
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall. He is the all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian sentry of the Bifrost. He doesn’t start off as the sentry in this film, which I assumed had something to do with the fact that Loki is posing as Odin (and Loki doesn’t like Heimdall and vice versa lol). In this film, he has a bit of his own arc, still a small role, but he has become more hands-on with what’s going on and when Hela invades, he takes it upon himself to try to save the people. I like Heimdall and I think Idris Elba is great in the role and I actually wish he had a larger role.
  • Karl Urban as Skurge. Definitely a small character, but he’s an Asgardian warrior who has taken on the role of guarding the Bifrost Bridge in Heimdall’s absence. I won’t spoil what happens with him in this film but I thought he had the chance to be really cool and I like Karl Urban but I feel like he was underused and underwritten.
The Action. Of course being a Marvel Studios film, there have to be great action set pieces and this movie is no exception. There are some really great ones. At the beginning when Thor is in Muspelheim, he has a great fight scene with the minions there. Of course, his fight scene with Hulk at the stadium is big, fun and fantastic. Hela’s first scene in Asgard is shot so beautifully, that my jaw was dropped the entire time. Of course, the fights at the end are also great. I think everything is shot so the viewer can actually see what’s going on. There isn’t any shaky cam, no weird (Dutch) angles, nothing going on that prevents you from seeing the action.
The Chemistry of Characters. Since this movie requires certain characters to team up, including new ones, the chemistry is always important. All of the actors worked very well together, but I’m going to only highlight the ones that are the most noticeable.
  • Thor & Loki. Of course, they are always great. Their antagonistic relationship as brothers is always so interesting. Honestly, I’d really just watch an entire movie that talked about the Odinson family because they’re so interesting. I love how they tease each other, how they argue with each other (and totally mean what they say) and when they come together and work together. It’s always so sweet.
  • Thor & Bruce/The Hulk. This, of course, is a big part of the film as well. We see Thor interact a lot with The Hulk, which in itself is interesting considering how they fought in the first Avengers film. Then when he has to interact with Bruce, we never really see the two of them talk so to see that happen was also great. Two characters who weren’t involved in Civil War, get to have their own “buddy cop” film. I thought they had really good chemistry with each other and they’re both really funny.
  • Thor & Valkyrie. So I thought what was building here was interesting. She’s the one who delivers him to the Gamemaster so in the beginning, their interactions were antagonistic and they were often arguing. However, I thought they had really good chemistry, it would develop into a nice friendship. I really liked how he was encouraging for her and while she was encouraging for him, she wasn’t necessarily nice. It was cool lol.
The Humor. It’s important to note that this movie is funny, I’ll talk about this more in the cons as well. I laughed and I enjoyed myself. Chris Hemsworth has fantastic comedic timing and I think it’s great that Marvel Studios allowed him to utilize that in Thor’s character, who can be very funny. It feels like a buddy cop movie in a lot of ways. The last few movies we saw with him, he was a bit more stoic and mature but this film allows him to be both that and lighthearted which I think is a good balance for his character. There needs to be someone in the Avengers group who is like that (outside of Spider-Man who technically isn’t an Avenger yet) and I think Thor is the best choice to be a balance of being mature but also being childish when he’s allowed. It fits him a bit more than just that stoic persona.
The Look of the Film/Cinematography. Oh man, this film looks so beautiful. Props definitely go to the director Taika Waititi and the cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe. This film has a significantly different look from Thor and Thor: The Dark World in that the colors definitely pop. I mean, have you seen that awesome poster?
I first of all, really want this poster lol. But look at the colors in this thing. These colors are utilized in the film as well, especially when they are on Sakaar. The way Hela’s abilities are used on-screen and just her look is fantastic. I love how this film looks. It feels alive and vibrant compared to the sophistication of the first film and the dark, gritty look of the second film. Not to mention, we get to see a flashback of someone’s past and it’s like a painting, oh my goodness it’s so beautiful.
The costumes. I think all of the Thor films do well with the costumes, mostly when they’re on Asgard and since we hardly spend any time on Midgard (earth), most of the clothes aren’t “earthen”. Though I will mention that snazzy black suit that Loki wears in the first half (you’ll know what I speak of) when they’re on Earth and we do go to New York to see a previous MCU character. Anyway, I loved Thor’s look when he got his makeover on Sakaar, I think the short hair looks better on Hemsworth anyway. I don’t mind the longer wig compared to the short one from the first film. But I liked the look, the war paint, the torn cape, the short hair. It worked for him and it was a new direction for his character. I loved Hela’s entire look. I loved how she could turn her hair into her headdress, oh man, it was so awesome. I mean LOOK AT IT!
Gosh, she looks amazing! Her oufit as well. It was skin tight (Cate Blanchett looked amazing in it too) and she moved like it was a second skin. Plus her CAPE! *dies* I thought Valkyrie also looked great. I wasn’t too thrilled about her second outfit but seeing it in action, it looks much better in the film then it did in pictures or the trailer. I think the attention to detail in her outfit really show that she used to live on Asgard but has taken a “darker” turn. I loved how she looked “darker” in her first outfit (right) but when she dons her Valkyrie uniform (left) she looks open but fierce.
Also, I really liked Loki’s new look too. His helmet received an upgrade and I liked the outfit he wears for most of the film, especially that cape he wears. All of the costumes are always so beautiful! Grandmaster’s outfit! *Dies* Just so amazing!
The Music. Mark Mothersbaugh did the music for this film and I thought it was awesome!! Definitely a soundtrack I would have in my iTunes. The fact that “Immigrant Song” (Led Zeppelin) is actually used in the film and wasn’t just regulated to the trailers was awesome, I think it was used twice actually. Also “Pure Imagination” is during this great kind of “indoctrination” scene when Thor is taken to The Grandmaster and I cracked up hearing it during that scene. It reminded me of the tunnel scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The film is bold, colorful, fun and quirky, so the music fits it to a T.
Weak Payoff. So, I haven’t decided if I’m going to do a spoiler review yet but the ending just felt weak to me. There was this big journey and there is a big fight, which I enjoyed, don’t get me wrong, but then it seemed like it didn’t go anywhere. We went on a road trip almost but the destination had a few really cool bumps but then it just ended. I felt dissatisfied with the ending.
The Villain. There might be minor spoilers here. While I thought Cate Blanchett was awesome in her role, I mean awesome, I didn’t think the villain was really anything special. At least like I wanted her to be. She came and she conquered but after that, it just fell flat. I don’t know what her ending technically was in this film, but it felt like maybe a setup for her to return later. So after the light show in the first half of the movie, she had some cool moments during the climax but then that was it. I get what she wanted, what she tried to do, her motives aren’t confusing, it just felt like she was a side note. We would see what she was doing, she would give a lot of exposition and then we’d jump right back to Thor and Bruce.
The Humor. So I always think humor is subjective so it’s hard to judge but while I thought this film was funny, I can imagine some people not liking that it’s funny or as funny as it is. Thor, especially in The Dark World, was a bit more somber and stoic. Even in both Avengers movies he wasn’t really there for laughs, I mean he had his one liners and moments (I love the scene where the Avengers are trying to pick up his hammer and Cap slightly moves it and Thor’s face hahaha) but nothing where he’s like funny. I can see where a lot of people would want to compare it to Guardians of the Galaxy and while I can see that, I didn’t really think about those movies while watching. I think they have two different kinds of humor. I would probably prefer to watch this over Guardians vol 2. But anyway, I got sidetracked, I do think some jokes were oddly placed, like they were in the wrong spot. I didn’t mind it, but it didn’t allow me to really catch my breath before something else funny happened. Sometimes, moments have to linger before a joke it put in there.
Overall, I really liked Thor: Ragnarök. I thought it was really fun, exciting and something different when it comes to the character of Thor who in the past, hasn’t really been shown this way. I think it’s great that we got to see Chris Hemsworth show his comedy chops in this movie. It shows that he loves this character, has made him his own, which I think makes Thor feel more human instead of “other”. I thought all of the actors worked well together, no one really out shined the others but whenever they were on screen, they stole the moment. The music was absolutely fantastic, it fit so well with the movie. I actually think it’s one of the best musical scores from a Marvel Studios movie, I enjoyed it so much. The film looked beautiful, just the attention to details, the colors, how characters looked on screen, including their costumes (shout out to Mayes C. Rubeo). The movie is very funny, lighthearted and makes Thor feel more accessible. However, it does have some flaws mostly in the villain in that she doesn’t have much of a presence. The threat doesn’t feel like it’s looming unless she’s on screen and even then, I really just want to look at her lol. The ending also felt a little weak to me, like the film had more to do, or maybe it’s Thor: Ragnarok part I and there is a part II coming… but it doesn’t. Overall, I really really liked this movie.
Rating: 4. 32 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Thor: Ragnarök? If so, what did you think of it? Where does it rank on your list if best Marvel Studios films (The MCU)?
Let me know in the comments below!
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