By Jeffrey James
The first Thor movie was a good, if not forgettable, origin story that set up pieces for future installments. The second movie was an overall mess that just couldn’t live up to the hype. The third entry is easily one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Just when you think the superhero genre might be overplayed and stale, Marvel digs into it’s bag of tricks and throws out new surprises. It seems Marvel has found a new formula to make the genre seem fresh again; blend it with other genres.
- Superhero movie + Spy movie = Captain America: Winter Soldier
- Superhero movie + Heist film = Ant-Man
- Superhero movie + John Hughes = Spider-Man: Homecoming
With Ragnarok, we are given a blend of superhero and comedy. This movie is indeed a comedy. And it works. It is absolutely funny. Chris Hemsworth has this natural delivery to his lines that just adds humor to scenes. And the reason why it works is because the humor adds light to an otherwise dark story. The overall plot of the movie is about the apocalypse coming to Asgard, home of Thor. So with this darkness looming, it is a brilliant decision to make the audience more relaxed by adding the humor, and an overall enjoyment level to it. The best part about it; the humor never feels forced or too much. It all seemed natural to the point that the question must be asked; where was this in the first two films?
Ragnarok benefits greatly from dispensing with the Earth storylines. Where the first two spent a considerable amount of time on Earth, there is only about five minutes on Earth in this installment. Two great things come from this decision. The first, Doctor Strange! Majority of Thor’s short time on Earth is spent meeting Doctor Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme is wondering what he is doing in his city. It is not only a great cameo, but we get to see how far his powers have advanced since we last saw the Doctor. The second, no annoying side characters. To be more specific, no Kat Dennings. The decision to exclude Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and all her annoying friends is a genius move.
Another great addition to the film is the inclusion of the Hulk. We finally get to see what happened to Big Green after he went missing at the end of Age of Ultron. And it seems quite a bit has happened because he can speak! His relationship with Thor is an interesting one to watch develop. Thor’s relationship with his brother, Loki, is also expanded in this film. Loki continues to be the best villain, or anti-villain depending on how you look at him, in the MCU. He is still the sneaky God of Mischief, but just when it seems he is about to be “predictable Loki”, he surprises.
MVP: The MVP award will be split between two new characters, both scene stealers. The first belongs to Jeff Goldblum’s The Grandmaster. He is eccentric, crazy, terrifying and fun. In other words, he is Jeff Goldblum. Every time he is on screen, you know you’re in for a treat. The second scene stealer is the rock-monster Krug. Soft spoken and naive, he brings a whole new level of fun to the movie you didn’t know you needed.
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is an incredibly fun film that stands toe-to-toe with Marvel’s best. This film is highly recommended and it is sure to please audiences of all kind. And one can’t help but notice the pieces that were set during the film for Infinity Wars.