There are times when you feel like you didn’t see something eye to eye with someone else. It all happens to us. But this time it was me against the vast majority of the audiences who saw Thor: Ragnarok. Now before the torches and pitchforks go flying, I did not hate this movie. Marvel has done a pretty good job so far (at least in the Cinematic Universe) of not having one bad movie that has been either a) a commercial flop or b) narratively a piece of garbage or c) both. Ragnarok to me was a thrill ride while watching it, but once I got off the ride, waited for my stomach to settle, and thought about it, it just wasn’t quite there for me. Some aspects are great but the rest of it is just meh. In the rankings I would put it slightly above Iron Man 2, and I liked Iron Man 2 better than most people.
I’m not going to do my usually PROS, CONS, etc., because in order to really do that would be to go heavily into spoiler territory for not just this movie but for several Marvel movies before that. What I will do is give my non-spoiler thoughts first, then go into my heavily spoiler notes.
The first thing to know is how Chris Hemsworth shines. They let him go all out in this movie and he delivers some of the best Thor lines heard in the MCU so far. He plays Thor so well it’s hard to imagine someone else playing the character and I don’t think he got enough credit in the Ghostbusters reboot. Tessa Thompson also makes a nice addition as a functioning drunk warrior with a heavy past and her chemistry onscreen with Hemsworth, while not fully embracing romance, is a nice touch. Cate Blanchett seems to be having a ball playing Hela, from her just slaying an Asgardian army to her perfect use of eye shadow to her being fun without going overboard. There are a ton of jokes in this movie and the ones that hit pull off very well. The action sequences are shot perfectly and they’re not throwaway scenes; it’s very engaging with a ton of don’t blink moments. Hulk is also allowed to grow more as a character and he and Thor steal every scene that their in.
Now on to the not so great stuff. This movie suffers from mis-marketing, although thinking back it was a bit obvious. For example, the film was originally marketed as a space hopping adventure much like Guardians of the Galaxy, and was focused on trying to find Odin. That doesn’t happen and the space hopping was really about three worlds. It was never really presented in the trailers either and there’s no way with the budget they could do any more with a couple films (possible, but again it was never shown in the visual marketing). Valkyrie was also said to be Thor’s new love interest but I felt the strongest they ever got was battle buddies. Speaking of love interests, I’m not happy with how they handled the missing Jane Foster. Two films were spent building the relationship between Thor and Jane; Thor’s character development throughout the MCU is dependent on his crash landing with Jane and it’s all thrown away in a matter of seconds. It’s still possible she might come back but it seems unlikely. There are also way too many jokes in this film; sometimes the audience is laughing so much that the film is moving on and dialogue is missed because all that is heard is laughter. Loki I thought was also mishandled; when he’s utilized properly he’s great and is the Loki we come to know and love but his character development for this film feels choppy (the good news is where he’s at by the end of the film seems a bit hopeful). This movie also suffers from unnecessary deaths and didn’t even bother to explain the absence of one character in particular. I’m also not quite sure what Dr. Strange was doing in this movie; this out of all of scenes felt like something that could’ve been either shortened or left on the cutting room floor but since it was put in from the Dr. Strange film, maybe the writers felt obligated to add it.
So far, the film has grossed to $502 million dollars in less than a week since it has been released. Thor and Hulk were already slated to return in the Avengers: Infinity War movie set to hit theaters in May 2018. I can’t see another Thor movie being released as this one, despite it’s flaws, seems to wrap everything up for that side of the MCU. I would like to see a Loki off shot though or at least a dance off between him and Dr. Strange.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! TURN BACK NOW!
- Not the best Marvel movie but certainly not the worse
- Too many jokes
- Chris Hemsworth shines
- Good action
- Good humor
- Good character development
- He lost an eye!
- Good playoff with Loki (sort of)
- The Revengers!
- Not our best example
- When he’s giving his all he’s good
- More of an anti-hero now
- Disappointed on the Dr. Strange fights
- I did like his playoff with Thor (most of it)
- Character development seems choppy but in the end he’s best bros with Thor
Valkyrie aka Tessa Thompson
- That entrance!
- She’s not exactly a love interest (as marketed) but that’s okay
- I like her sass
- Recently Thompson approached Fiege for an all female cast movie (which I am completely on board for)
- He’s been the Hulk for two years?!?
- He talks now (and usually what he says matters)
- I like the banter between him and Thor
- Loki is still terrified of him (ha!)
- Cate Blanchett being wicked is fun (as well as the use of proper eye shadow)
- She’s brutal and can deal pain as well as sass
- Not the greatest Marvel villain but she’s definitely as few steps up from Malekie (or whatever that dark elf name’s was)
- She’s the older sister? She doesn’t look like any of her parents
- Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum
- He tries to be malevolent without going too far
- Lord of Thunder!
- Birthday ship!
- It should be mentioned that the Collector is his brother
- I like this concept of Ragnarok (let’s move everyone to Norway!)
- The Valkyrie is a nice addition
- Despite some choppy character development, I like the position of Thor and Loki’s relationship in the end
- While some jokes were unnecessary those that hit were very good
- Stan Lee’s Cameo
- I didn’t like how they handled Jane Foster (she might come back)
- I’m not quite sure what Dr. Strange was doing there
- The sister reveal felt a bit cliche and an unnecessary plot point
- The problem with the jokes is the audience is laughing so much that the film is moving on and some details are missed
- Mis-marketing: it wasn’t an space travel adventure (they went to like three places)
- Unnecessary deaths (and they didn’t explain the absence of Sif)
- The Devil’s Anus ( like you couldn’t make up a word and just use that joke once?)
- Odin (his ‘death’ was like that of Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda)
- Other aspects of Norse mythology being thrown out the window (Hela is actually Loki’s daughter)
- The other fighters in the ring
- Karl Urban
ODDS AND ENDS
- So Matt Damon makes a cameo and I didn’t notice until someone pointed it out
- Loki totally stole the Tesseract again…
- …and that’s why Thanos shows up
- The mention of Xandar is not a coincidence (and I’m fairly surprised a clan of Ravagers didn’t show up)
- The director Taika Waititi did a lot of motion capture for this film