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[Movie Review] Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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Plot Summary: Imprisoned, the mighty 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.

Director: Taika Waititi

Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle

Runtime: 2h 10min

Main Cast:

  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki
  • Cate Blanchett as Hela
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall
  • Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
  • Tessa Thompson as Valkryie
  • Karl Urban as Skurge
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk
  • Anthony Hopkins as Odin

Review: by SymphoTitan

Stepping into the theatre I was ready for a genuine Marvel movie: comedic, easy to follow plot points, character introductions that feel organic, and serious action coupled with drama.

Trying to prevent his visions of destruction that is brought at the hands of Surtur, Thor finds himself imprisoned while trying to restore order to his homeworld. The only way he can free himself is to win against the gladiator champion that is the Hulk, who also happens to be trapped with him. Thor needs to survive these trials in order to prevent Hela the goddess of death from conquering Asgard and leading her armies to conquer all the 9 realms.

What I Liked:

From the beginning, you could understand the direction Taika Waititi wanted to take this movie. I was a little concerned about how Waititi and the writers would use the story that is “Ragnarok” but this is the big screen and now the comic book so I held onto an open mind. Ragnarok is the prophecy that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) will bring the enemies of Asgard to its doorsteps to destroy Asgard, and for it to be reborn again. This movie stays close to how the comic told this story, but with enjoyable additions and changes that melts well into the MCU continuity. The use of the supporting cast and their introductions were also not wasted or used as filler. Introducing Korg (Taika Waititit) who is a staple for the “Warband” in the comics as well as Skurge (Karl Urban), though his character differs from the comics he held true to the overall trope that is a hero dying for Asgard. This movie is a joy ride that grabs you by the heartstrings and pulls you along just hard enough so it feels fast, but gently enough so you catch all of the emotions thrown in. It is an absolute wonder of a movie visually and conceptually.

The feel of the movie is so playful at times, and the actors seem to have a great time on screen showing that. However when Hela (Cate Blanchett) shows up on screen the tone changes immediately. That playful tone turns to genuine terror or the projection of fear from a would-be tyrant. Hela was amazing to see on the big screen and she held command the moment she stepped out of that prison she was kept in.  She wasn’t the plotting or scheming type like Loki, she held the power to walk into a room and take what she wanted. Loki has also evolved for me. From the first time Loki appeared on screen, though still a trickster, he seems to have rebuilt his bond with Thor. Their bond feels legitimized by the end of the movie and to those who have siblings this will hit home because this is how they communicate with one another.

The Hulk and Thor communicating was incredible. Not because it was funny or heartfelt, but because it revitalized the Hulks character and allows people to connect to him a lot better. Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) was silly to watch on screen while watching you will find yourself saying “That’s definitely a Goldblum character”. This isn’t a bad thing at all because his character brings a lot of playful evil into the movie. Let’s not forget Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) his entry to the MCU as well as the brief part of this move, I feel, brings the possibility of a multiversal expansion of the series.

What I Didn’t Like:

The movie was incredibly fun to go through, however, I have a few nit-picks. Valkryie (Tessa Thompson ) felt like a very flat character to me. Her interactions felt forced and she only felt organic or helpful after her encounter with Loki and the reason for that felt odd but understandable. Another point would be Bruce Banner as a character. His confusion is easy to understand and get through, but his initial burst into the movie felt like it disrupted the pacing or the flow of the movie. Once he picked himself up he joined the rest of the movie in its pace.

Surtur (Clancy Brown) was introduced early on in the movie and then immediately forgotten amidst the rest of the plot and I feel that was a waste of a good and powerful character. Making the importance of the destruction of Asgard feel like something like a tree falling in a forest almost. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) also felt like a backseat character, but considering the need for his character and what he was used for in this plot it is a minute detail when looking into the bigger picture.

Images Courtesy of IMDB

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