In Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, and Anthony Hopkins are joined by Thor newcomers Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, and Karl Urban to continue the Lord—sorry, God—of Thunder’s cinema storyline where Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age of Ultron left our beloved Norse mythical figures off.
I won’t say I hated this movie, in fact I definitely enjoyed it. If you have watched any of director Taika Waititi’s other films or seen his interviews, then you will be pleased to know that his remarkable sass and wit are woven into almost every aspect of the film. Whenever there is a chance for comedy, Waititi and the actors deliver, through both conversation and movement. The characters we have come to adore, and even fear in some cases, develop new layers as they find convoluted ways to get under each other’s skin, making for some downright genius banter that has the whole theatre rolling.
However, this is not always a good thing. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are aware of the bleak tone Avengers: Infinity War will inevitably take, come May 2018, so it is understandable that Marvel took this opportunity to make a movie with a slightly more light-hearted atmosphere. While the comedy is certainly entertaining, the humor polluted scenes that were supposed to be serious. I never felt fully devoted to Thor’s suffering or Hela’s anguish because I was still riding high from Loki’s last sarcastic quip or expecting the scene’s sober spell to break thanks to the ever-precocious Korg (voiced by Waititi). After all, the movie title is Ragnarok, literally the end of the world. You would think you would fear a bit more for the characters’ well-being. Instead, you are laughing so hard that you miss crucial lines pertaining to Jane or Odin’s situations and again are left scrambling to fill in the blanks.
Those instances make the already fast-paced plot even harder to follow at times. With so many plot threads and characters, including Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), to incorporate, the pace is very fast. This further contributes to the detachment between audiences and Hela’s callous but legitimate crusade. Cate Blanchett portrays the scorned character beautifully but audiences are not allowed enough time to truly appreciate her, except perhaps during her fight sequences. Several of her altercations are almost identical to situations Thor found himself in, but whereas he barely escapes, Hela delivers swift and mesmerizing pain to all of her enemies. She truly lives up to her title as the Goddess of Death and it makes you understand Odin’s grumpiness a little bit more.
The fear and strain Hela imposes on the Asgardian heroes is amplified by Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song and the rest of the ear-gasmic soundtrack one would expect from a MCU movie, making the emotions in the scenes all the more intense. The visuals themselves are also incredibly stimulating, taking a turn for more comic-book style coloring rather than the drab, dark colors of the previous Thor films.
Everything else appears washed out whenever Grandmaster appears on screen as the eccentric Jeff Goldblum. Sorry, it is the other way around but, whom are we kidding? All we see is Jeff Goldblum dressed up with a little bit more make-up and hair gel than usual. Not that you will hear me complain, any movie with Jeff Goldblum is gold in my opinion (pun absolutely intended).
Consequently, Jeff Goldblum is not the only A-List celebrity making a one-time appearance in the Thor universe. During the Asgardian play near the beginning of the film, pay close attention to the actors playing the protagonists. Their cheeky and surprisingly accurate impersonations of Thor, Loki, and Odin is a small detail that makes the film even more delightful.
Despite the ominous tone the movie’s title sets, Thor: Ragnarok is a fun film. Chris Hemsworth is finally able to display his comedic skills at a level we have not yet seen from his character and the impact it has on Thor’s relationships with his allies brings audiences a little closer to rooting for Team Thor. I look forward to seeing how Thor, Loki, Hulk, and the Asgardians will work their way into the events of Infinity War and the paths the other MCU characters have chosen.
My rating: 7/10 would watch the Asgardian apocalypse again.