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. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94% (Critics) / 89% (Audience)
MetaScore: 73 – Generally Favorable Reviews
Directed By: Taika Waititi
Written By: Eric Pearson
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett
Studio: Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
This is a Taika Waititi movie first and foremost and a Thor/Marvel movie second. And that aint a bad thing at all. Anyone who is familiar with Waititi’s film-making past (or a fan of his wonderful mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS) then Waititi’s style permeates every fiber of this film. THOR: RAGNAROK is a quirky sometimes slapstick comedy with a little bit of action thrown in and the comedy is freaking hilarious!
I also liked the look of the film. It was like a moving graphic novel using cotton candy colors. There was also a hint of Zack Snyder’s style tossed in with a lot of the scenes in this film too.
The chemistry between all the characters was pitch perfect too. Who knew that Thor and The Hulk were this good together? We wasted 2 whole Avengers films not mining this comedy duo in favor of a sappy romance between Banner/Hulk and Black Widow. Of course thor and Loki’s interactions were great because Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have always worked well off one another.
Also the new characters were wonderful especially Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie (who needs to be in a Lady Liberators movie with some of Marvel’s other super-hero ladies STAT!), The Grandmaster (played with peak Jeff Goldblumian quirkiness by the man himself) and rock alien gladiator Korg (voiced hilariously by Taika Waititi).
And I enjoyed the Dr. Strange cameo more than I enjoyed the entire Dr. Strange movie.
I really was not a fan of anything that was going on in Asgard and that includes Cate Blanchett’s Hela. I would have preferred staying on Sakaar with The Grandmaster’s Contest of Champions than going back to the banal shenanigans going on with Asgard. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I really did not like the acting choices that Blanchett made as Hela. She was just another run of the mill snarky villain instead of being the fearsome Big Bad that I would expect the Goddess of Death to be.
No Sif in a movie about the destruction of Asgard is a major problem for me. I don’t even recall there being any mention made to explain her absence which is kinda odd. I get there was a scheduling issue with this film and Jaime Alexander’s show BLINDSPOT but some mention of her whereabouts would have been nice.
Final Verdict: THOR:RAGNAROK is a major change in tone from previous Thor films and for that I am hugely thankful. This film is a hilarious comedy that brings the fun and funny for the majority of its running time. Great performances, cool characters and a director with a signature style turns out to be a winning formula for Thor’s third movie and any qualms I had were extremely minor and didn’t interrupt how enjoyable this movie is at all.
2 thoughts on “Thor: Ragnarok – Good, Bad & Ugly Review”
I wonder if that little moment of the pretend-Sif running away instantly when Loki is dying in the little play Loki-Odin puts on was any kind of in-joke on their part or perhaps a built-in explanation for why Sif wasn’t around. We know, real-world wise, why she wasn’t, i.e., Alexander and scheduling, but in-universe she really should have been there shepherding the people to safety alongside Heimdall. Maybe Loki stashed her away somewhere? Then again, Loki has a crush on her in the comics and kinda, sorta in the movies. That might have been all there was to that little joke of fake-Sif being so aggrieved to see fake-him die. It’s just an ego stroke for him.
I didn’t catch the actress Sif running away until the second time I saw the movie. Good catch!
I hope they explain her absence in the next Thor movie or maybe even in one of the Avengers movies.