Thor finally completes his own “trilogy arc” with Thor: Ragnarok after fellow Avengers Iron Man and Captain America. With visions of the destruction of Thor’s home realm of Asgard, Thor decides to investigate and stop Ragnarok from happening. Adding to the complication is the appearance of Hela, the goddess of death, and with Odin death, she invades Asgard for Odin keeping her locked away. Thor has to fight with everything he has left, along side his brother Loki, the Incredible Hulk, and the Valkyrie as the best superhero team yet: the
Revengers! Or maybe not.
Visuals are colorful and vibrant, stepping away from the darker tone set by The Dark World. With the recent success of GOTG and Doctor Strange, the 3rd Thor movie now has more leeway with both visually and artistically. Thus, there’s more room for suspension of disbelief, and it can focus more on having its audience enjoy the ride watching the film.
Battles are pretty much okay, some scenes were made to utilize the 3D effects. Nothing in particular different or stand out aside from a clip or two from Hela (she’s summoning swords like crazy), and also Thor showing off the power of the “God of Thunder” by the final battle. It has a spaceship battle scene, which might make you wonder if you’re watching Thor and not GotG or may be star wars.
There are three primary places in this movie where story takes place: Midgard (Earth), Sakaar, and Asgard. With Earth and Asgard already known in the last two Thor movies, the most world building was located on Sakaar. No need to say that Ragnarok is full of CGI effects. Also, the very colorful sets, with some complicated areas, makes the dumpster world of the universe an amazing addition to the MCU. As comic-book fans would put it, Sakaar is a world that settled everything which looked like Jack Kirby together.
The movie title says Thor: Ragnarok, so apparently either way we’re gonna deal with Ragnarok which is the Ultimate destruction of Asgard in the MCU. But have it in mind that director Taika Waititi envisioned this film to have more fun side, so expect lots of funny lines and in-jokes during the entire run. Again, it steps away from the somber tone set by The Dark World.
Personally, I think they stepped away from the serious notes a bit too far. We know Ragnarok was supposed to be a cataclysmic event, along with it is the most significant battle that the Asgardians would face. And then we get this film’s version of Ragnarok… which may fall flat to the expectations of many viewers. At some point in the film, the flashback of Valkyrie is way more “Ragnarok-ish” than the real deal. It worked out great as a plot point though, and it makes sense why it was shot that way.
If I analyze Thor: Ragnarok; we see three distinct parts, then we’d have: Act I: Midgard, Act II: Sakaar, and Act III: Asgard, where Sakaar is getting the most screen time . Sakaar is also the place where Hulk shows up, seemingly containing his own story-arc within the film.
Perhaps the best point of Thor: Ragnarok is its characters, with the Avengers veterans Thor and Hulk joining forces with fan-favorite Loki and newcomer the Valkyrie. Heimdall also return, and we also get to see new characters joining the great cast namely Skurge, Hela the goddess of death, and the Grandmaster.
May be because of the movie’s comedic nature that it shied away from being heavily story-driven and more character-driven. As such, a considerable part of the film’s success is due to the actors’ ability to deliver their punch lines very well – not to mention being able to insert a joke or two.
Looking at Thor alone, we see the culmination of his entire character buildup from Thor and The Dark World by starting it up with the destruction of his weapon, the Mjolnir. Then he steps into one final transformation that shapes him up to be the God of Thunder. We get to see that he’s got some real character development here, standing out over characters like Loki or Hulk.
Speaking of Hulk, he’s one of the best parts of the movie. I guess being Hulk for two years straight made Hulk grow as a being, although poor Banner was left out. Some of the Sakaar scenes build up into Hulk and Banner’s own story that does seem to indicate that it would continue to be a subplot coming into Avengers 3 and 4.
Hela also gets a proper backstory and is not your typical throwaway villain. She’s a badass character that will kick Thor’s behind with ease. And don’t forget the Sakaar characters. The great Grandmaster. Korg. They make the movie even more lively and dynamic, adding more layers and personality to Ragnarok.
There are too many characters in here that writing about them one by one would be too long.
Connections to the MCU Franchise: 4/5
Okay. Now that’s out of the way, Thor does indeed have several MCU nods, including but not limited to Doctor Strange, Hulk, Age of Ultron references, and much more. It does assume, at some level, that you have watched or at least are familiar with the events of some previous MCU films. There are also several comic-book easter eggs all over, and it’s tough to pinpoint them when you can’t hit “pause.”
Of course, there’s always the great cameo by Stan Lee!
And so for the Recap and Verdict:
It’s a fun-filled movie that primarily aims to have the audience an enjoyable MCU experience.
Ragnarok is character-driven instead of story-driven so the Ragnarok event itself may fall flat to some audience.
There are lots of characters! And jokes! And colors