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Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to catch all of the latest blockbusters including the brand new Disney MCU film, Thor: Ragnarok! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

To lay all my cards on the table, I’m not the biggest Thor fan. I think Chris Hemsworth is amazing in the role, and I think that the Thor series has given us the MCU’s best villain so far in Loki, but it’s probably the least compelling series, for me, when it comes to solo films. I think that the first Thor is a very good movie, but I didn’t really care for Thor: The Dark World. It’s probably in the bottom two or three MCU films for me. I have to say that I was excited for this one for a couple of reasons. First, Hulk is back, and he and Thor work really well together both as physical opponents and as “people.” Also, Taika Waititi is one of the most interesting choices as a director Kevin Feige and the rest of the crew has made. If Taika Waititi could bring his style to this movie instead of becoming a director in-name only while it’s really handled by the studio, I’d say we’d be in for an absolute treat. Let’s see if he could! Also, I do want to mention that this review will be SPOILER-FREE. I should have a spoiler discussion later this week once the film is released, but for now we’re going to keep all of the secrets!

Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, and Idris Elba. When Thor is cast to the other end of space by his evil sister Hela, also known as the goddess of death, he becomes the challenger in a gladiatorial match against his avenging brother Hulk. While Hela takes Asgard, Thor is stuck trying to become a Thunderdome champion on a brand new planet so that he can head back to Asgard and fight for his kingdom.

Like I said, I really like the first Thor movie, but I’m not a fan of the second one. Luckily, this movie is on par with the first Thor, possibly even better. This is one of the most enjoyable movies in the MCU, which is something I didn’t expect to say walking out of the theater. The pacing is honestly some of the best I’ve seen this year, and I don’t think that there was a single second in which I wanted to know how much longer a single scene would drag on. What I think is awesome about Thor: Ragnarok is that it has the complete opposite feel of the typical blockbuster that feels like it’s directed “by committee.” I’m not saying that all Hollywood blockbusters feel that way, but some do. Thor: Ragnarok has a definite style, and that style is brought by Taika Waititi. The snappy dialogue and comedic tone is absolutely what Waititi brings to the table, and it’s exactly what I wanted when he was announced as the director. I also think that everything that was advertised with this movie delivers in spades. One of the biggest marketing points of the film was the gladiator battle between Hulk and Thor. This battle actually, for me, tops what Joss Whedon was able to do in what is arguably the best MCU movie in 2012’s The Avengers. The back and forth between the two and seeing exactly how they’ve developed since then made for one of the most entertaining fights as well as one of the most creative and beautifully choreographed brawls we’ve seen in this genre. I also loved Valkyrie, and Tessa Thompson proves once again that there’s not a world that she doesn’t fit into. It’s awesome to see her right next to Thor in the action sequences, and this team that gets put together throughout the film doesn’t feel like it has any holes. It feels like its own complete team, and I loved them as a group.

I also loved Cate Blanchett’s Hela. Obviously when Marvel goes out and gets itself an actress like Cate Blanchett, you can pretty much guarantee an amazing performance, but on top of Blanchett being able to move effortlessly from the darkness that comes with being the goddess of death and the comedic tone that Waititi and the MCU bring to the table, Hela is a great movie villain. We comic book movie fans always complain and complain about Marvel’s villains, but when you look at what they’ve done this year, they’ve gone two-for-three, maybe three-for-three depending on how you feel about Ego in Guardians Vol. 2. Hela has a backstory and motive that fits within this universe, and she also has a terrifying presence about her. She’s scary, and I always felt like she was more powerful than Thor. I always felt like she had the control, and Thor was going to have to be the best he could possibly be to win this battle. A surprise character that I loved was Korg, played by Taika Waititi himself. Korg perfectly delivered comedic jabs, and I don’t think that he had a single line of dialogue that didn’t hit exactly the way it was intended to. Jeff Goldblum also gets to act like, well, Jeff Goldblum, and he fits right into his character and the tone of the film. This movie also has a good amount of depth to it. One of my biggest issues with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was that when it was all said and done, I didn’t see the point. I don’t think it did much to further the MCU or push the overall story arc, so it’s probably not a movie I’m going to include in my pre-Infinity War marathon. I will be including Thor: Ragnarok, and I think it sets the table perfectly to finally join earth’s mightiest heroes with Marvel’s cosmic heroes.

I do have a couple of issues with the film, and I’ll start with Thor. Though I loved what Chris Hemsworth did in the movie, and I love that Chris Hemsworth has fully embraced and become Thor, I don’t like that Thor knows that he’s funny. This is something that I noticed in the opening scene. Obviously he’s a much different character now than he was back in 2011, but seeing him acknowledge how funny he is takes away from the fish-out-of-water element that I love so much when Thor visits a new place. He’s so accustomed to his Asgardian ways that when he goes to a new planet, everything seems different, and he challenges the way of life in those new places. It’s almost like he’s pulling a Deadpool in this movie, becoming self-aware and breaking the fourth wall, so that didn’t always work for me. Next, I hate that Loki has become the little kid that everyone bullies the lunch money out of. Why is Loki such a push-over now? We’ve taken who is probably the best villain in the entire MCU and made him laughable. I’m not kidding when I say that his level of strength is literally a joke in this movie. I get that Thor and Hulk would take Loki in a fight where you get out the good ol’ fisticuffs and go at it. Loki is the god of mischief, and we’ve seen him use his brain to win fights. I still don’t love that he gets to turn his physical capabilities on and off whenever the story pleases. Now, when I see him physically battle, it takes me by surprise when he’s actually able to do damage because I’ve been cultured to believe that he has the fighting capabilities of a toasted marshmallow. It’s not a huge issue I have, mostly because the back-and-forth between Thor and Loki is so great, but I think that Loki could be so much more individually.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen this year, and it’s one of the most enjoyable in the MCU. I definitely don’t think it’s the best of either the year or the MCU, but if you go out to the theater to enjoy yourself and take your mind away from the real world for a couple of hours, I can’t imagine a better movie to see than Thor: Ragnarok. Chris Hemsworth isn’t playing a role anymore. He’s just Thor, and he’s both funny and dramatically capable of showing off everything that Thor can do. Taika Wapiti’s footprint is all over this movie, which is awesome to see in a film that could have very easily had producers veto his style. All of the returning characters like Hulk, Loki, and Heimdall absolutely pay off as well as they could have, and the new characters like Hela, Valkyrie, Grandmaster, and Korg are all memorable enough for me to want to revisit Thor: Ragnarok. It hits the darker points that come with a story about a city falling, but it’s also able to balance those points with well-timed and well-delivered comedy. I do sort of miss the hilariousness that comes with a Thor experiencing new places because the Thor we have now is very aware of just how funny he is, and I’m kind of getting sick of the MCU dumbing Loki down to make him a joke, but I had a blast, and I’ll say that this one is a must-see if you’ve been keeping up with the Marvel Universe or if you just like to have a good time at the movies. I’m going to give Thor: Ragnarok an 8/10.

Will you be seeing Thor: Ragnarok? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]