Kyle J. Steenblik

Thor: Ragnarok is Magnificently Entertaining [Review]

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Thor: Ragnarok
Directed by Taika Waititi
Screenplay by Eric Pearson
Story by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Eric Pearson
Based on Thor by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins
Production company Marvel Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Release date November 3, 2017
Running time 130 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material

4 1/2 stars out of 5
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

Thor: Ragnarok may be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining film in Marvel’s cinematic universe to date, however it is not the strongest of their films.  There were some sacrifices to story and character in favor of comedy.  The only thing that this really means is the film has some weaknesses in story and character development, but a lot of strength in delivering laughs, and the action is as solid as it could possibly be.  That is really just a very long way of saying this is simply a highly enjoyable and entertaining film.

There is an extraordinary amount of spectacular visual elements in Thor: Ragnarok, enough that the feast of eye-candy would be worth the price of admission.  This is perfectly evident within the spectacular opening sequence, which may be one of the best in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.  The opening nails down the overall tone of the film, the humor, action, and visual elements, not to mention how it is a complete joy to watch.

There are a few things that I feel were missteps.  The first being that, odd as this may sound, it was too funny.  There are a few key scenes that carry a significant gravity for the story where a quip or one-liner—funny as they may be—does not fit with the tone of the scene.  There are also some incongruous moments with the Thor character.  Incongruous with his previous appearances, he was written a little more lighthearted this time.  He was quick to make a clever or humorous quip, less sullen and serious.  While it worked in this film, taken in the context of the entire cinematic universe it was a little out of place for the character.  Had this been my introduction to the character, I wouldn’t have noticed and I’m sure I would be saying his other appearances were too sullen and serious.  The other issues I believe come down to editing, there are some issues with pacing remaining consistent at times, and scenes that feel slightly out of place.  These are all things I can more or less dismiss as they did not significantly detract from the film as a whole, it is really just the difference between 4.5 stars, and 5.

Some of the best parts of this film come from the supporting or side characters, particularly Valkyrie and Korg.  They were scene stealing, always on point, and overall my favorite parts of Thor: Ragnarok.  Tessa Thompson performance was phenomenal, and I want more than anything now a standalone film about her. I will say no more about them for fear of spoiling what are some fantastic surprises that come out of these two characters. Also, I would be doing a disservice to fail to mention Cate Blancett’s performance as Hela.  She was so seductively evil and vicious I could live happily if she took over Loki’s position as the recurring villain.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is bound to be my one of my favorite films of the year, and one I can see myself watching repeatedly until the tape wears out.

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