(During quarantine my girlfriend and I are going through the Marvel movies chronologically. Surprisingly, she is really enjoying them, maybe even more than me. We are already a couple down and I’m gunna do write-ups for all of ‘em, the good and the bad.)
Throughout this Marvel adventure, everyone tells me their favourites and their least favourites, but there’s one constant between everybody I speak to; that Thor: Ragnarok is much better than its predecessor, and in fact, that it’s actually pretty great. But I’m not gunna believe those fuckers. They’ve done me wrong in the past and there is no way a Thor movie could be… watchable.
At this point I was never going to enjoy it as much as everybody was telling me I would because it has been hyped up so much. However, in my write up for Thor 2, I said that it was better than Thor 1 in every way, but that is the only positive thing I could say about it. Well, Ragnorok is better than Thor 2 in every way, and that’s because it’s surprisingly a very good film.
The studio completely rebuilt the world from the ground up, they got rid of Natalie Portman’s character and explained with one line of dialogue *does chef kiss*, They got rid of that insanely annoying Two Broke Girls girl and essentially replaced her with a CGI character made of rocks *another chef kiss*, which strangely makes a lot of sense. No more is there constant interchanging between Earth and Asgard, and they’ve made Asgard much more interesting and the surrounding planets fascinating. They’ve turned it in to a real sci-fi adventure, complete with a knock-off Blade Runner type soundtrack.
The movie is really aesthetically pleasing. It looks great and colourful compared to the previous movies’ dull and drab vibe. And, of course, there’s loads of comedy, which is exactly what Thor needed. Though there was comedy in the previous movies, the comedy in Ragnorok is actually funny. However, the screenwriters may have over compensated a smidge because there is so much comedy.
The one thing they failed to course correct was the villain, Thor’s sister, Hela. Thor’s villains have always been hammy, and though this one is much more interesting than the others, Cate Blanchett gives the hammiest performance of her career. Her design is incredible though and she looks like the embodiment of evil. She reminds me of Maleficent. I wish the Maleficent movie never happened and Angelina Jolie was instead cast in this. Angelina Jolie playing Hela would have been the best casting in the MCU.
Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster is amusing, and the role has strangely shaped his personality off screen too. Very weird. I have never laughed more in an MCU movie than when Bruce Banner hit a button on the “orgy ship” expecting it to be a gun, but instead turned the ship into a dancehall with the Grandmaster singing “It’s my birthday” from the speaker. So bizarre. I hope we see more of the Grandmaster in the future.
A few nit picky things, but it’s gotta be done – why’s there a guy with a cockney accent in Asgard? Makes no sense. How did Bruce Banner learn to fly an alien ship that easily. And hot take, yeah, the Led Zepelin track is great, but I’m not gonna let it trick me in to thinking the fight scenes are great. I’m not an idiot.
Take away all the colours and all the jokes and the film is still by far the best Thor movie in the series because the film has brevity. The story is clear and concise. It actually makes sense. Thor has a long lost sister, she’s evil and wants to rule Asgard because she thinks she has the right to the throne. It makes sense, right? There’s no way I could explain either of the first Thor movies like that easily. Ragnarok isn’t amazing. I think people only give the movie such praise because relative to the other movies, this one is Citizen Kane.