Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

I was fortunate enough to have a chance to sneak out to catch Thor: Ragnarok last night.  I am going to have to agree with the others and endorse the Norse.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle

Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Cate Blanchett as Hela
Idris Elba as Heimdall
Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Karl Urban as Skurge
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk
Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Taika Waititi as Korg
Rachel House as Topaz
Clancy Brown as Surtur (voice)
Tadanobu Asano as Hogun
Ray Stevenson as Volstagg
(Many more at IMDB.)


Hela is raised, Thor ends up trapped on a distant world where he is forced into gladiatorial combat with the Hulk.

High Points

The movie knows what the fans want, epic slow motion shots that would make an incredible poster.  They do not skimp on these.  The use of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song adds as much to the movie as it does to the trailer.

Low Point

There is a line where campy comedy goes from outrageous to over the top.  This movie jump ropes with that line, landing on the wrong side of it often enough be noticeable.

The Scores

Originality:  4/6  There wasn’t much that we saw in there that doesn’t originate elsewhere, but they combine the elements into a different result.

Effects:  6/6 You can see it in the trailers, and it only gets better with the final film.  I saw it in IMAX 3d, and it was stunning.  It’s fight scenes between giant wolves and green brutes that make you forget you’re actually just watching an animated movie.

Story: 5/6 The story is not complex, even with the surprises they put into it.  I do have to give them credit for actually making more lasting effects.  We will see how long those changes remain after this film, but the places that the characters end the film is drastically different from where they began.

Acting:  4/6 I’ve read that 80% of the dialog in the movie was improvised, which does make the lines feel more honest, but it makes if feel like actors quipping more than heroes bantering.

Production: 6/6 I don’t think there are any points that they tried to pull off that they didn’t.

Emotional Response: 6/6 Twenty-four hours later and my viking battle cries are still echoing around the house.

Overall: 6/6 I wouldn’t claim it’s fine cinema, but it’s a great adventure flick!

Total: 37/42

12 replies on “Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok”

  1. Regarding humor. I would rather the movie push it too far then wash everything in humorless grey. Did I mention I’m a bigger fan of the Marvel movies than the D.C. ones? ;-)

      • I’m with Alexander on this, I came home and downloaded it. It was also yet another one derived from the Stranger Things soundtrack. I am sure we will hit the over-saturation point very soon, but we are still at least an episode or two away from it.

  2. Yeah, there were a few bits where the dialogue strolled up to that line, tapdanced on it, studied where it had been, strapped on a portable bifrost, and went on an expedition deep in the “over the line” territory. Especially during a particular cameo. But you know what? I think it basically worked. After all, they *were* in the literal garbage dump of the universe for a lot of it.

    What was really cool was the Chekhov’s gun set up in the first act that goes off bigtime in the climax. I knew it was going to go off at some point but I didn’t see the exact circumstances coming. And before they did come, I wouldn’t have thought they would actually go there. Still, it does fit with the the recent trend of raising the stakes substantially. You can’t raise the stakes much more than that mid credits scene.

  3. I enjoyed this movie – it was a lot of fun and the trailers didn’t completely ruin it for me (they tried really hard, though. Imagine watching this thing not knowing about Hulk! And the 12 trailers before the movie weren’t helping either).

    I mentioned in another comment that the soundtrack was a low point for me. The thing about instrumental classical music is that it’s timeless. When you do anything else, you’re kind of sticking your movie in time. Which is fine when you’re doing a period piece about a certain time, but hardly ever works in a fantasy setting. GotG did a really good job with it in the first movie, but it’s a lot less impactful in the second and god help them in the future.

    We’ve all wanted Immigrant Song in a Thor movie, and having it in the beginning worked – but repeating it in the end… not so much.

    And the heavily electronic soundtrack the rest of the time… watch this movie in a decade or so, and see how weird that feels. If you want a preview, watch Ladyhawke.

    • I tend to agree with Jethro here. I’ll put aside “The Immigrant Song.” I like Zep, but that song has always struck me as one step away from Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge.” (Yeah, yeah. Lots of people disagree with me). The lyrics work for this movie, and so does the (as I see it) camp factor of the song.

      But the rest of the soundtrack really felt like it will sound dated very soon.

      And going over the line? Why is there a gag line inserted during Asgard’s destruction? That felt jarringly off-tone.

      But those kinds of things aside, I found the movie a LOT of fun. It felt like late 60s/70s Marvel, with the Hulk having actual dialogue, the alien societies being totally nuts, and the Kirby kostumes going completely over the top. Hemsworth shows a real flare for comedy, without sacrificing the heroic/warrior aspect of the character.

      I had hoped, based on the previews, for a Valkyrie more in keeping with the comix version, but I’ll settle for the hard-drinking, hard-punching one. She definitely suited the tone and style of the movie.

      Waititi clearly has to direct an MCU Howard the Duck or She-Hulk or Squirrel Girl.

  4. Why no shout-out to the Lady Sif? The actress couldn’t do it ’cause of scheduling issues, and Marvel can explain her absence a number of ways, but Jane Foster got a shout-out, and the actress has nixed future appearances. Did I miss a shout-out for Sif?

    Also, with no more Jane Foster, I guess that means that just as Thor becomes funnier we lose Kat Dennings?

    • I heard they originally planned a Sif appearance, but since she wasn’t there, maybe they never got back to refilm it? Besides, with no mention of her at all, she can be off on a journey into Mystery and return with a solo movie or whatever whenever Jamie Alexander gets those tattoos washed off.

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