Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
by Jason Koenigsberg
For the most part, Thor is basically everyone’s third or fourth favorite Avenger. His standalone movies are the weakest compared to his superhero comrades. The Thor films are not as intricately written or masterfully directed as Captain America’s. Nor is Hemsworth as versatile and charismatic of a leading man as Robert Downey Jr. as Ironman. He is a good guy and all, but other than the fact that Chris Hemsworth is the perfect physical specimen to most women, there really is not much to his character or his movies… until now. Three is the charm for the God of Thunder. Thor: Ragnarok is taking a page from the Guardians of the Galaxy films and is just trying to have fun. Luckily for the audience, Ragnarok is a fun, vibrant and exciting adventure.
It opens up with an elaborate new Marvel logo that fades into rising red smoke. The camera scrolls up and reveals our hero Thor in a cage upside down along with some narration to catch the audience up with the previous films and how he ended up a prisoner. Ragnarok then jumps right into the action and like all other Marvel movies, the puns are plentiful and lighthearted and jovial tone is established right away. This movie is more of the same and some people may be tired of that but it is very colorful and well done. It features masterful use of music especially Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”, on two separate occasions, and the score by Mark Mothersbaugh is very synth heavy at times, reminiscent of the Tron pictures or the movie scores of Vangelis.
Thor: Ragnarok succeeds with exactly what it set out to do, be a fun and sometimes silly spectacle, nothing more. The plot is predictable and does not matter, it involves the ageless Cate Blanchett as Thor and Loki’s evil sister resurfacing, while they are forced to work together and trapped with The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) on a planet rules by a vile yet laid back dictator played by Jeff Goldblum. All the of the actors seem to be enjoying their roles and that enjoyment is transferred to the audience. Blanchett is basically Marvel’s equivalent of Disney’s Maleficent with her look and mannerisms. The story itself has bloated subplots that are abandoned for long stretches of time only to be resurrected before they are forgotten.
There is never a sense of urgency or dread in Ragnarok. The movie like many Marvel films before it is only concerned with providing escapism and eye candy. Fortunately it does both of those very well. As long as the audience knows what they are getting into and are looking to just have fun for two hours, Thor: Ragnarok is an easy recommendation. There are some great cameos in the film and not just from the typical actors that already inhabit the Marvel Cinematic Universe that should not be spoiled. Plus, the climactic action sequence is an all out battle royale executed perfectly. Well, maybe with one minor flaw. The not so subtle pro gun statement near the end looked cool but some viewers may find it to be in bad taste. However, everything else was practically flawless that 30 seconds of possible right wing propaganda is easy to excuse. For those looking to be intellectually stimulated, go see something else. For those that just want to have fun Thor: Ragnarok is the impeccable choice this weekend.