Last weekend I and some friends went to dinner and then to see the new movie, Thor Ragnarok.
The TL;DR version. I liked it. A lot.
Thor Huh! What Is It Good For.
Thor Ragnarok is the third movie in the Thor franchise, and the (I’ve lost count) movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which started oh so many years ago with Iron Man. I can say that I have pretty much enjoyed them all, with a couple of exceptions. Iron Man 2 wasn’t the best of them, and Ant Man wasn’t my most highly rated either. But generally, these movies have been of a pretty high standard. Definitely better than what has become known as the DC Murderverse.
I won’t do any spoilers here, other than what you’ve probably seen in the previews, but the movie basically comprises Thor confronting a new threat to Asgard played by Cate Blanchett, meeting up with some old and new friends, and old and new enemies, and confronting the big bad in a climatic ending. There that shouldn’t give too much away.
This movie takes a bit of a departure from the style of the first two movies. To my mind, it seemed a lot more psychedelic than anything I’ve seen in the MCU to date. In fact while watching I was getting flashbacks to the 1980’s Flash Gordon movie. Thor: Ragnarok almost seemed like an homage to that film. That didn’t just come through with the visuals. The soundtrack, in particular Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song which was featured in the first trailer lent that 80’s feel too.
If you’ve read anything about the movie, you’ve likely read that this Thor has a lot more humour than the previous two movies. All Marvel movies include generous doses of humour, but Thor: Ragnarok goes way over the top. In a way I think it does it a bit too much.
Some parts, especially towards the middle, were in my mind a bit too camp for my taste. The humour was such that I think it harmed the characterisation of some of the characters, particularly Thor himself. He almost played a different character from the first two films.
All the movies showed a character growth for Thor. In the first movie he was the angry, arrogant son of Odin, and learnt a valuable lesson in humility and wisdom by the end. The second movie, much more tempered by that experience and from his experiences with the Avengers. In Ragnarok, he moves further along that path, but… I felt the humour hurt that progression by making it perhaps a bit slapstick, clownish.
But that’s my only criticism of the movie. Some of the characters were truly funny, and as I said, humour is a trademark of the MCU. Definitely watch out for the Kiwi alien, with an attitude that belies his stony exterior.
There’s now only one more MCU movie before the culmination of the storyline that started with Iron Man, and that’s Black Panther. Black Panther will be released next year in February 2018 to be followed by Avengers: Infinity War, released on May 11.
A little while ago, one of my friends made the comment to me that he was getting sick of all of these superhero movies. It’s certainly true that the blockbuster release schedule is saturated with them at the moment. He was concerned that Marvel were overdoing it and that the bubble would burst sooner or later. He may be right. But I don’t see it that way.
I do a lot of reading, and while I read one off novels quite a bit, I generally go looking for series fiction where there are multiple books in a series. Sometimes different books focus on different characters, or a different location, maybe introducing new characters, and sometimes they bring a whole lot of previously separate characters together. This is how I see the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a series of novels all telling a part of the same story. That is what I like about the MCU.
Thor: Ragnarok does a reasonably good job of continuing the story and setting the stage for the next chapter. It has some faults, but then again what doesn’t? I’ll definitely recommend it if that’s what you’re into. If you hate comic book movies, then you probably won’t like this either.
And as always, make sure you wait right until the final credits roll. There’s always a little bit extra goodness.