Review by Brian Fisher
“Thor: Ragnarok” does what its predecessors couldn’t, which delivers an interesting story. It’s a great standalone film outside the overarching story while solving some of the questions that previous Marvel and Thor movies had left unanswered. The movie is easily the best out of the Thor movies and ranks near the top in my opinion of the entire MCU. Needless to say, ” Ragnarok” is another excellent entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The biggest problem Thor movies have had in the past was the characters just were not all that likable. The friends Thor made on Earth including his love interest, Jane, were either not given enough screen time to make us care, or were uninteresting characters. “Ragnarok” doesn’t have this issue, simply because those characters no longer exist. They’re written off and Jane “dumped” Thor which is a nice way of saying they were ditching that part of the story. Instead, “Ragnarok” chooses to focus on the characters we do enjoy: Thor, Loki, Hulk, and a new ally, Valkyrie (as well as a few others without spoiling too much).
On top of a much more enjoyable cast, the story of this film is highly enjoyable. We have a highly entertaining villain, Hela, the goddess of death. It is a very simple to follow a story with no head scratching twists or fake math. Hela wants to take over Asgard and rule over all realms, but it is her charisma that makes her an interesting villain. She may have a one-track mind and a simple goal but her actress, Cate Blanchett, plays the role of an evil dictator so well that you can’t help but almost like the antagonist, similar to how well Loki is liked.
In the process of trying to take out Hela, Loki and Thor end up on stranded on a gladiatorial planet on the far reaches of the galaxy. This planet and the entire part of the story had a very, “Guardians of the Galaxy” feel to it as well. The story is simple, but in this case, it was not a bad thing, as the character interactions more than made up for any lack of deep storytelling, the movie is abundant with light-hearted moments – for better or for worse – and quotable moments. For the sake of not spoiling things I will leave it there.
The music like most Marvel movies was good but could be better. While all the music fit the scenes nothing was standout that is going to make me go out of my way and buy the official soundtrack. One song that people will notice is Led Zeppelin’s, “Immigrant Song” which is used perfectly at the climax of the story, but other than that nothing is worth noting.
In terms of CGI it is up to par, CGI has gotten to the point where it is a consistent struggle to define what reality is and what is computer generated, so when I say it is on par that is a good thing, but I expect nothing less from a big budget Marvel movie. The standout scene from the film in terms of visuals is when we see into Valkyrie’s past, it is rendered in such a way that it looks like a moving painting and is absolutely gorgeous to look at, I wished for the scene to never end. Color is still a constant problem in Marvel films. They never truly balance their blacks properly so when colors should be deep or vibrant it always comes out looking a little washed out, but nothing so bad that it detracts from the movies enjoyment level. Having watched the movie in 3D I can also safely say you aren’t missing anything if you decide to see it the classic way.
“Thor: Ragnarok” was an enjoyable film with many enjoyable characters, a fun story and good visuals. The only negatives to the film were its less than standout soundtrack and its use of comedic relief could at times be a bit overly frequent.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is now playing in theaters.