Thor: Ragnarok – A Review
It's time for a limited-spoiler review (but there are some) on Thor: Ragnarok.
This is without question the most thrilling installment in the Thor trilogy. It has comedy. It has action. It has major MCU hero crossovers. And the most important thing about it that was lacking from the first two; it is fun, and fun from the opening scene. It was much closer to Guardians of the Galaxy in tone than to previous Thor films.
To describe this as a cosmic buddy comedy is right on the money. Thor and Hulk have to escape the planet Sakaar and the Grandmaster’s gladiatorial arena. Jeff Goldblum is consistent as always as the Grandmaster.
Tessa Thompson really shines as Valkyrie. She has a future in the MCU and going from drunken ex-warrior with a chip on her shoulder to Lady Thor would make for a great arc. In fact, I’ll make the prediction now. Valkyrie will become Thor in phase 4.
Though this is technically a Thor film, it marks a huge milestone for Hulk as well. Bruce Banner has spent two years as Hulk, and his alter ego starts to form his own personality, actually speaking instead of just grumbling. This is a turning point for the character that will provide excellent potential going forward over the next couple films.
Cate Blanchett's Hela is a truly disturbing villain, one powerful enough to destroy all of Asgard. She gives Thor all he can handle. I don't know whether she'll return as the MCU's Lady Death for Infinity War, but I sure hope she does. She's one of those villains that deserves not to be one-offed. And as usual, Marvel leaves her fate up in the air.
Loki, Thor's dastardly brother and every MCU fan's favorite villain, is a once again one of the most interesting characters on screen, with an arc that's starting to look like a hero's. Granted, his only loyalty is ever truly to himself. But though we've always suspected a genuine decency hidden inside the God of Mischief, it starts to rise to the surface here. Which direction will he go in Infinity War? Whether he teams up with the Avengers or betrays them again to work with Thanos, his arc is sure to provide more twists and turns as we, and he, figure out where he ends up.
Director Taika Waititi needs to do more films in the MCU. His refreshing humor gave new life to a character that was in danger of becoming stale. And we learned that Thor does best when he has a buddy crossing over. In this case, not just Hulk, but a cameo from Dr. Strange as well.
This is where spoilers start creeping in.
The supporting characters don't fare well in this, as expected, but some do live to fight another day. Sif is not in the film, and though no explanation for her absence was given, it does leave the potential for her to appear again in the future.
The biggest disappointed for me was the treatment of Odin. I get what they did, but Odin deserved the glory of falling in battle, so I felt a little cheated there.
The characters introduced were among the most interesting we've seen in this franchise, from Valkryie and the Grandmaster to The motion capture Korg and Miek. It makes me wish they had been brought into the franchise sooner so we could get more of them.
Now for what everyone wants to talk about: that mid-credits scene. It was actually my most anticipated moment of the movie. Right after Thor is crowned king, Thor and Loki see a huge ship hovering in front of them, blocking their way. It was done well, using the impending shadow as a sign that those onboard aren't friends. But who are they?
This is where I leave you. After all, I have another piece on this topic to prepare.