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Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo star in Marvel's THOR: RAGNAROK

Understandably so, Marvel movies have been greeted with anticipated pretty much since the inception of the MCU back when Iron Man was first released. And while many of these pictures have been highly regarded by both fans and critics alike, the Thor series haven’t exactly been as popular as the others so far. Well, with a significant tonal shift, that could change. At least I’m sure that’s what the studio heads are hoping for with Thor: Ragnarok.

Taking on a more comedic tone, the third installment of the Thor series follows the lead character not too far after the events of Captain American: Civil War. The son of Odin (Chris Hemsworth) has been doing some soul-searching while also looking for answers. His journey was difficult from the start, but it becomes even harder once he loses his mighty hammer and finds himself on a strange planet thanks to Hela (Cate Blanchett), a powerful foe who is determined to destroy Thor’s beloved homeland of Asgard.

With this new style, Thor: Ragnarok isn’t as focused on action as it has been in the past. Now it’s certainly still here, but you can argue that it’s not at the center of why people will be coming to see it. Nonetheless, it’s still important to what we’re watching, but it’s nothing that you can consider better than just okay. For some people this may not matter in the slightest since, as I said, the comedy is the focal point. If you’re one of the people who won’t mind that, this movie could be viewed as a rousing success in some ways.

For someone such as myself, this simply isn’t the case. Although I can kind of understand why some people will enjoy this movie more than I did, the comedy doesn’t work in most cases. What we bare witness to here is very simplistic, sophomoric and not all that amusing in most instances. I don’t know who exactly came up with this stuff, but it’s kind of on the level of the comedy seen in that Ghostbusters movie from 2016. I mean it isn’t that bad, but it’s usually not a whole lot better than what we suffered through in that movie.

Another issue that I have with Thor: Ragnarok is the casting. That’s something I didn’t expect to be saying since I actually like many of the actors here, but some of these people clearly don’t fit the roles that were given to them. The person who stood out the most in this way was Jeff Goldblum. I’ve always liked him as an actor, but his deadpan, straight-faced style doesn’t fit this character. The person that he stars could have been a positive addition to all that’s taking place, but it required an actor who’s capable of creating a more animated and eccentric character.

I also took issue with Cate Blanchett as Hela. While she’s an actress of good quality, she delivers a very bland performance here. Like Goldblum, she needed to showcase some more personality. With the exception of a flashback scene and when she first shows up, she was a bore every time she appeared. She’s partially to blame, but it’s also the fault of whoever came up with the particular scenes that she’s in. While I don’t particularly love the other stuff as much as I wanted to, it’s far more interesting than what they have her doing.

With all of my complaints, the biggest one has to do with Hulk/Bruce Banner played by Mark Ruffalo. I actually think he does a fine job, but he’s virtually pointless and serves no purpose to anything that’s taking place. This is being sold as if it’s some kind of team up movie with him and Thor, but it’s not. In fact, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie does far more than he gets to do. You can also say that Loki (Tom Hiddleston) gets more to do as well, but that’s not exactly a shock seeing as how he’s always been a vital part of these movies and he performs well in this role.

In saying all of this, I’ll have to say that the best part of Thor: Ragnarok is Chris Hemsworth. Even though his comedy isn’t great, his acting here was actually very good. I don’t pay much attention to him outside of movies, but I would say that he looked very comfortable playing the more loose version of Thor. Because of that, I’m assuming that this may be closer to his actual personality than the stoic, tough guy characters he usually plays.

Thor: Ragnarok isn’t fantastic by any stretch, but it’s a decent action movie. It’s just unfortunate that it whiffs on a number of things that could have turned it into something special. The most glaring problem that it has is the comedy. And although I wasn’t able to enjoy that part, I do believe that this series will benefit from this more updated approach. I’m guessing that there may be more of these being released over the next several years. If so, let’s just hope that there are better jokes and gags included in the future.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Taika Waititi

Chris Hemsworth
Tom Hiddleston
Cate Blanchett
Idris Elba
Jeff Goldblum
Tessa Thompson
Karl Urban
Mark Ruffalo
Anthony Hopkins

Film Length: 130 minutes

Release Date: November 3, 2017

Distributor: Marvel Studios

  • Score - 6/10
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