Thor Ragnarok indeed Ragna-Rocks! I saw at least 5 reviews already using that tagline, and I really wanted to be the 6th.
Ragnarok not only is the best Thor film, it might be better than Age of Ultron and Civil War. I’ll have to rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy 2 again to see how that compares, but I feel confident in saying that it might be better.
Before I get into the film, I first I want to touch on the trailer. That first teaser trailer is pretty amazing. Even if you hate Marvel films, you must concede to that. But as I’m rewatching it now, a few scenes seem pop out at me. Mainly how they’re different from the film. Most noticeable was when Hela catches Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. In the trailer, they are clearly in some kind of alleyway. But in the final cut of the film, they are in an open field. It’s even in the final trailer as well. Also, it looks like the designs for Hela’s minions were changed. We get a shot of them as Heimdall, Idris Elba’s character, slices them up with his giant magic sword.
The differences aren’t Rogue One levels, but it was enough to notice them. The problem with releasing trailers for films that aren’t finished yet I assume.
One thing that is pretty clear by now with the top tier Marvel films is, you have to of seen the ones before it. Going into this blind might not be the best idea, as I doubt you’ll get half of what’s going on. That means you need to have seen Age of Ultron, the last two Thor films and Doctor Strange.
I really wanted more Doctor Strange in this. I was hoping he’d pop back up at the end to help take care of Hela. But he mostly has his minor cameo to get Thor and Loki on track with finding Odin’s location on earth, then after that he vanishes.
But this film already has a ton of characters, maybe adding him to the mix might have been a bit much. I have a feeling overcrowding is going to be the main issue with the Marvel films as they go on and more superheroes make more and more cameos. If they stick to the cameos like they did for Homecoming, it might be more tolerable. But I can quickly see this turning into a clusterfuck.
Marvel has done a good job of building up/spacing out things like Civil War and the upcoming Infinity War. The last Thor film was in 2013 with The Dark World. Don’t ask me to try and tell you what that one was about, because I can’t remember a thing about it. Who were the villains in that one again? Elves?
That film really missed the mark. The only thing it really did was set up Ragnarok… No, wait, Age of Ultron did that. Dark World set up that Loki took Odin’s place as king. How he managed to pull that off, I have no idea.
But that brings us to Ragnarok. Thor, going off the visions of destruction he’s been seeing, heads out to prevent it, looking for Infinity gems, but failing, he eventually finds himself facing off with Surtur, this giant Satan looking fellow. His goal is to absorb the flames of Asgard so he can become powerful enough to destroy it.
Kill him, you stop the prophecy.
Or so Thor thinks.
Thor isn’t the smartest guy in the world, I really don’t know how being the ruler of Asgard would work out for him. It might be better left in Loki’s hands. At this point in the story he has been ruling for at least 3 years. Things seem to be running fine with Loki in charge.
Thor automatically sees through Loki’s chicanery however, forcing him to take him to where he left Odin which happens to be earth.
Sadly, Odin is at the end of his life. The problem with him dying however is that his… power? His energy? I don’t know, he’s doing something to keep Hela from returning. Hela is Odin’s first born. He had to banish her once she grew too powerful and insane. If he dies, she will return.
So I’m guessing she’s our Death character for the MCU. She’s kind of important to Infinity War, or at least should be, seeing as Thanos’ whole goal is to pretty much impress Death. He’s in love with her but dat gurl don’t give no fucks. I think she’s in love with Deadpool. But there’s no way they’re bringing Deadpool into this. I know Ragnarok is basically a full on comedy, but it has yet to become self-aware.
That’s one issue I had going into this film. I was afraid it might be too jokey. But that might be the way to handle Thor. He’s a big dumb guy that tosses around a hammer, I don’t know how else you could do that character and not set him in a comedy.
The jokes do come at you one after another rapid-fire, much like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 did. I do think this is funnier however and the jokes land more often than not. A lot of the time Guardians would end a serious moment with a dumb joke, killing the mood. Here, the mood has two gears. It’s either super jokey or balls to the wall action packed. The closest we get to a dramatic moment is when Odin dies. And that happens like 10 minutes into the film, after that it’s two hours of Thor and Hulk dicking around on a trash planet.
Speaking of, I must mention how much I loved the trash planet Thor lands on. I love the design of the ships or just how there’s this city surrounded by nothing but junk everywhere. It kind of reminded me of that Kurt Russell film Soldier.
Once Hela returns after Odin’s death, she hitches a ride back to Asgard, kicking Thor and Loki out of the… I don’t know terminology. The beam thing that lets them travel to Asgard. Anyway, they spiral out into the universe, both landing on this trash planet.
Immediately, Thor is captured by cannibals. He’s saved by Valkyrie, a beautiful drunken mess. Saved isn’t the right word to use, more like recaptured by her.
I really wanted more of this. I wanted more arena battles, they’d be completely unnecessary, but I wanted it anyway. There’s something satisfying just watching Thor pummel dudes. But this is meant to be Thor’s lowest point, so him being unstable, constantly kicking ass I guess would defeat the purpose.
Almost immediately he faces off against the planet’s greatest champion. The Hulk!
So half of this story is taken from Planet Hulk, a story about Tony Stark jettisoning Hulk out into space where he is later captured and placed into a battle arena, where he becomes king, leading his forces back to earth to get revenge.
That’s not exactly what happens here, but parts of it are. I always thought that would make for a great standalone Hulk film. But I guess no way are we ever getting another one of those after the last two bombed so badly at the box office. People are a bit too hard on The Incredible Hulk 2008 film with Edward Norton as Bruce Banner. It has its issues, but no way is it as bad as the 2003 Ang Lee one.
It sucks that Mark Ruffalo was never given the chance to be the star of his own Hulk film. Kind of like how Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark, Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk. And if they ever were going to do a standalone film it would have been Planet Hulk. Now I don’t know what other story they could tell.
I really know nothing about the Hulk comics. I watched the old 70’s tv series on reruns back in the day. But besides that, and the Planet Hulk storyline, I know nothing about what kind of villains he faces, his love interest… or what the story is with She-Hulk. But I guess that’s what Wikipedia is for.
It goes without saying Hulk is amazing in this. And! He actually talks instead of grunting. I also love the similarities between Thor and Hulk’s personalities. They’re both big dumb dudes that love punching things.
Since the events of Age of Ultron, Hulk has been awake for 3 years, completely snuffing out Bruce Banner’s personality. And I especially loved the relationship/friendship he has made with Valkyrie. It seemed like they were trying to sneak in a possible romantic relationship with her and Thor, but I’d much rather prefer to see her end up with Hulk. The whole Bruce Banner and Black Widow romance thing never really worked for me, I always thought she had way more chemistry with Hawkeye.
Another character I love and is my favorite of the bunch was Korg, the rock monster looking thing Thor meets in the holding area with all the other gladiators. He was voiced by the director and automatically you could tell the voice in no way matched what the character looked like. He seems like this mean, giant rock monster, but really he’s just this good dude who, like everyone else, is a complete moron.
Turns out Valkyrie is Asgardian. She belonged to a unit of female warriors that got wiped out when they fought Hela. Ever since then, Valkyrie has been hiding out on this trash planet.
Eventually he is able to talk some sense into her and get her to join in on some revenging.
Now they have to work with Loki to steal a ship. And in a predictable manner, Loki tries to betray Thor. By this time he has become way too predictable and Thor is able to trick Loki right back.
Loki does kind of redeem himself later on, trying to be more than just a trickster.
Since Idris Elba’s character Heimdall has the sword to help them travel to different worlds, Hela has been stuck on Asgard, mostly destroying and killing all her people. Time however is running out for Heimdall as their location has been found.
Thankfully, Loki shows up with Korg and the other gladiators. Also they arrived in a gigantic ship, so that helps.
Loki and the gladiators are tasked with fending off Hela’s evil army while Thor tries to figure out how to defeat Hela. The problem being she is way too damn powerful. But, they have something there that is just as powerful. Remember Surtur?
Thor’s visions of Asgard’s destruction wasn’t something he needed to stop, ragnarok was something he needed to start.
Like every Marvel film, there were some after credits, and like every after credit scenes, I needed to go on Youtube to find out what it meant. Now that Asgard has been destroyed, Thor and what is left of his people are in this giant spaceship, heading to earth. That’s when they are stopped by an even bigger ship. From what I’ve heard that was Thanos’ ship. How long ago was it that they set up this Thanos character in the films? It goes all the way back to the first Avengers film, right? Or was that only until the first Guardians of the Galaxy film? I know I said they have been doing a good job spacing these films out, but at this point let’s just get to Thanos already. I’m sick of waiting for a character I know nothing about.
Thor: Ragnarok gets a big SEE IT. The action is superb, the set design was pretty outstanding, very reminiscent of something you’d see in the Blade Runner universe. The comedy, a bit too much at times, but when they hit you the right way, it will have you cracking up. I highly recommend seeing this. I don’t know if it will win over any new fans or others who are on the fence about Marvel films, but look at it this way. It’s still better than Justice League or any other DC movie. And yes, Thor is better than Wonder Woman.
Marvel fanboy out!
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.
And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.