Like clockwork, Fiefo has already talked about Marvel’s latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last week in his review of the film and I agree with most of his thoughts on the film. He did a spoiler-free review though so he wasn’t able to discuss some details that I’d like to touch on this week. So without further ado, let’s talk Thor: Ragnarok spoilers!
- What really stuck with me after watching Thor: Ragnarok was how Marvel made this a full-on comedy – this isn’t just a superhero film with bits of humor sprinkled all throughout. Thor: Ragnarok is at or even exceeds the level of humor that the two Guardians of the Galaxy films had, even more than the Paul Rudd-led Ant-Man. It worked for me and looking at Thor: Ragnarok’s Metacritic rating – at 74 at the time of this writing, good enough to be in the upper-half when you rank all MCU films – it worked for the majority of critics as well. Marvel Studios really took advantage of Chris Hemsworth’s comedic chops and Taika Waititi’s specialty. I especially love how Hemsworth portrayed Thor – he’s almost buffoonish but not too much that you start thinking that Thor is stupid or something.
- I agree with the change in tone as far as Thor’s character for the most part, but I have to admit that he did seem out of character in several scenes. Exclaiming to everyone that Hulk was a friend from work? Palatable but a hard swallow. Screaming like a girl just before getting a haircut? That was a little too over the top for me.
- One major nitpick involving Thor – how is he vulnerable to electricity? I can understand it back during the first Thor film wherein he was essentially depowered, but he’s full on Asgardian in Thor: Ragnarok and yet he keeps getting knocked down by electric shocks. He’s the freakin’ God of Thunder – he channels high voltage lightning as part of his power set! Suspension of disbelief is required to accept this part of the film.
- Thor: Ragnarok also does a better job of deconstructing the character’s mythos without cutting off the potential for future storylines. All three films of Marvel’s characters tries to do this. Stark destroyed all (most?) of his Iron Man armor, had the arc reactor removed from his chest, and effectively retired from the role of Iron Man by the end of his third film but we see him go back to it later on. Captain America: Civil War forced most of the Avengers, including Steve Rogers himself, into retirement. Both characters seem to be at the end of their character’s arcs. But not Thor – he’s got new powers now, most of his supporting characters are dead or out of the picture, and his home planet no longer exists. That opens up several possibilities for the Thor franchise.
- On a related note, I kind of feel bad for hardcore fans of the first two Thor films. I don’t know how they are going to feel after seeing Thor: Ragnarok – I’m not a Thor fanboy and I’m aware of how badly both of the previous Thor films performed in terms of box office and critical reception relative to the rest of the MCU movies, so I can see why Marvel Studios wanted to mix things up with the franchise.
- I’m also a bit disappointed in the screentime the Warriors Three received – I’ve been wanting to see them play a bigger role since the first Thor film. I know that they had to be killed off, but they could have put up more of a fight at least – maybe have Volstagg and Fandral actually battle Hela a bit before dying? Although I wished that they had a larger part in the film – they could have been used at the Bifrost Bridge stand off. Oh well at least Heimdall wasn’t as disposable as them, I guess.
- Did everybody catch those special cameos at the start of the film? Matt Damon as Loki! Sam Neill as Odin! And Chris Hemsworth’s older brother Luke as Thor! It’s always fun to see cameos like this in any movie and I’m glad that we finally have one in the MCU. What makes this extra special for me is that my friends and I have been joking about Matt Damon playing the part of a Marvel superhero ever since Ben Affleck took on the role of Daredevil, so seeing Damon in a Marvel film resulted in an extra laugh out of me.
- Add Hela to the list of the MCU’s more interesting villains… Cate Blanchett did such an excellent job as the character and the character itself was well written. This is also a great example of how changing the character can be good – Hela is now Thor’s older sister and Odin’s eldest, who was also his instrument in becoming the overall ruler of the Nine Realms. Odin turning away from Hela made sense, and Hela coming back to exact revenge on Asgard made complete sense as well.
- Hulk now joins the list of MCU characters who have had growth arcs across different films. We’ve seen this approach work well for Black Widow and for Tony Stark, and it seems to be working great for the Hulk character. I love the approach that Marvel Studios has taken regarding the character – being in Hulk form for two years has now seen his intelligence grow. Will we see the Banner and Hulk personas unite into one by Avengers 4? That’s the most likely outcome for the character.
- I hope Hulk fans are happy to see bits and pieces of the Planet Hulk storyline get represented in Thor: Ragnarok. Planet Hulk in it’s original form would have been very hard to pull off and it would have lead to the World War Hulk storyline which doesn’t make sense in the MCU at the moment so I think this was the best representation of the storyline that we could have gotten.
- Sticklers for detail will also note that Thor: Ragnarok is quite far from either the Norse version of “Ragnarok” or what we got from Avengers Disassembled: Thor. And that’s okay – I’ve accepted long ago that superhero films cannot and should not match their source material to the letter. Some people may get disappointed though as the actual Ragnarok was an epic story similar to 300.
- A personal disappointment – I wrote about how the Soul Stone could be making it’s appearance in this film and it doesn’t. That doesn’t put the theories to rest though, as the mid-credits scene will show. If Heimdall truly has the Soul Stone in his possession, then Thanos could be going for a two-for-one by hijacking Thor and company (Loki definitely has the Tesseract with him now, no question). Getting both the Soul and Space stones in one intro sequence for Avengers 3 makes him immensely powerful and saves a lot of time for Marvel Studios.
That covers all the Thor: Ragnarok spoiler tids and bits that I wanted to talk about. Thor: Ragnarok has flaws and is far from perfect, but is definitely the best Thor film to date and is a bold step towards for Marvel in terms of deconstructing what came before. I hope Chris Hemworth signs up for more Thor films because this franchise has been rejuvenated and offers a lot of potential for future Thor films.
Have you seen Thor: Ragnarok already? Let us know what you thought of the film by leaving a comment or two below!