Man, am I ever done with Superhero movies. I’m not sure when it happened, probably before Spiderman and Wonder Woman, before Guardians of the Galaxy 2; all I know is that superhero movies don’t fill me with girlish delight like they used to. Still, I was looking forward to it – this was directed by the man who gave us “What We Do In The Shadows” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” so I was expecting Thor: Ragnarok to be something amazing. And it was. It really was.
Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
I gotta hand it to Marvel, putting out movie after movie that’s appealing and watchable, funny and action packed. Also beautiful – epic action shots where we see the awesome elemental nature of fire and/lighting, giant beasties and fantastical locations. Great to look at. And funny – I chuckled throughout the whole movie and I wasn’t the only one. And perfectly paced, too, each scene and each act moving flawlessly from one to another so that things moved quickly (but not too quickly) through the necessary plot points. It didn’t feel like two hours. Marvel has gotten really good at making these.
Thor: Ragnarok looks like it was a lot of fun to make, or at least the actors looked like they were having fun. Especially Cate Blanchett as Hela, looked like she was having a blast. I also really loved Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster and Taika Waititi, who was hilarious as Korg. I was so glad to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange. The interaction between Strange and Thor and Loki was a joy. Tessa Thompson as a hard-drinking Valkyrie was also pretty fun. I think the characters are my favorite part of these movies and every character has at least one very awesome moment.
Not everything was perfect, though. Thor: Ragnarok was a little predictable. Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies lately, but I found it easy to guess the answer to the hero’s predicament in this installment. It was set up beautifully, completely logical but you could see it coming over the hill. Which doesn’t actually matter all that much, really. Another thing was how much reference there was to all the other Marvel movies. In order to really get into Thor: Ragnarok, you’d have to be familiar with every last detail of every other movie. I’ve seen them all but even so, I noticed there was some emphasis on odd things. It was distracting and I had to look it up later. I’m torn about this – I like having Easter Eggs, I do, but a movie should be able to stand on its own, even if it’s in a series.
So is Thor: Ragnarok worth watching? Hell yes, I’m going to see it again. Mostly that’s because of the shirtless scene with Chris Hemsworth and also his glorious arms throughout the whole movie. And Shirtless Hulk, it must be said, who is definitely growing on me. But if it feels like I’m a less enthusiastic than this movie deserves, it’s because I feel like I’ve been here before. Marvel movies are all magnificent but they’re also very similar. It’s like having pizza for the third meal in a row – pizza’s still awesome, it’s not pizza’s fault but there’s definitely some diminishing returns. Don’t let that discourage you though, Thor: Ragnarok is one of the better films this year.