Thor: Ragnarok Review
As we near the end of Marvel’s Phase 3, with only Black Panther left as the last solo film before Avengers: Infinity War, I have to say I have been pretty disappointed so far. I have often felt that within this phase, the films have generally started to become something that isn’t quite for me, but when it comes to Thor: Ragnarok, I was NOT disappointed. Sure the film wasn’t perfect, and it did have some of the traits that are wearing thin with me when it comes to the MCU, but putting that aside, Thor: Ragnarok is fun, had real style and was a great example of how powerful the God of Thunder really is.
Thor’s lack of appearance within Asgard (due to him hunting for Infinity Stones) causes certain things to unfold, which I don’t want to spoil for anyone. These things ending up being the cause for Hela, played by former Actor of the Week Cate Blanchett, to be freed from a dimension she has been trapped in for centuries. Blanchett is a brilliant actress, one of the best, but I do feel her character was a bit throw away. She didn’t play the character poorly, I just don’t think there was much to work with. Hela worked well as a plot device to help us see our hero grow, but other than that, she was just another bad guy wanting to seek revenge.
To cut a long story short, Thor and Loki (who is still alive and perfectly played by Hiddlestone yet again) attempt to defeat Hela, only to fail and end up being stranded on a planet called Sakaar. Sakaar is ran by the very camp, and very funny Grandmaster played by Jeff Goldblum. I am a huge fan of Goldblum, as he has a really unique style that I find absolutely hilarious, and they manage to channel this into his character. Goldblum doesn’t have a huge amount of screen time, but when he does, he doesn’t disappoint.
What makes Sakaar so unique is the Gladiator-like games that the Grandmaster makes people participate in, with one participant being Thor himself. This is due to him being captured by the female lead, Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson. Thompson did a brilliant job at replacing Natalie Portman as the female lead within the Thor trilogy. Not only is she beautiful, she is badass. One scene in particular springs to minds, where she takes out several ships by jumping from one to the other. With Thor forced to fight in this Gladiator match for his freedom, he is pitted against an unlikely adversary; his fellow, long lost Avenger, Hulk. It has been several years since any Avenger has seen Hulk and he is certainly different to what we are used to. As we saw from the trailer Hulk has become very self-aware. Unlike before, when he would just say a word or two, he is now having full conversations with Thor, and even taking baths, with Bruce not anywhere to be seen. I understand Marvel want to give Hulk another dimension, rather than just being this rage monster, but for me I wasn’t too bothered by this. The duel between Bruce and the Green Man himself was interesting enough for me.
With Thor now reunited with an old friend, he plans his return to Asgard to save his home from the God of Death - Hela. Thor is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of the film. We really get to see him like we have never seen him before. With him missing his Hammer due to Hela destroying it (as shown in the trailers!!), he has to learn to fight without his trusty weapon, realising that he is more than just what the Mjolnir makes him. When we hit the finale of the film we see Thor show his true power like we have never seen before and it is so awesome, especially with the song they chose to back this incredible scene.
The score is composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, who people may know from films like 21 Jump Street and Last Vegas. Personally this score did the job, but that is about it. It didn’t blow me away, but it certainly matched the tone of the film and worked well at enhancing scenes where necessary. Sadly though my favourite parts of the film’s soundtrack were not tracks he wrote, such as Asgard’s theme, pulled from the first Thor.
Before I wrap up this review on this entertaining film, I have to mention the character Korg, voiced by the director himself - Taika Waititi. Korg is probably the funniest character in the whole MCU. He genuinely had me in stitches and the girl sat behind me certainly enjoyed him as well - I could still hear her laughing 5 minutes after one of Korg’s scenes had finished!
As I said at the top, this film still has aspects of the MCU which are starting to wear thin with me, such as the need for a joke seemingly every 5 minutes, ultimately taking the edge off what could be some really heroic and heartfelt scenes. But putting that aside, Thor: Ragnarok is certainly one of the best MCU films so far, and I, for one, cannot wait to see this new and improved Thor again in Infinity War.