So two Fridays ago (yes. two Fridays ago. I live a busy life of looking at memes, having two jobs, playing video games, and being a grad student.) me and my roomy watched Thor: Ragnarok, and we didn’t simply watch it casually as certain peeps are wont to due, we watched it in IMAX 3D with recliner chairs, because some days between our trash-esque drinking and horrible commoner behavior we try to be fancy. I went into this knowing I’d enjoy this movie. The advertising proved I’d like it. The use of “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin proved I’d like it. The humor proved I’d like it. And I say this as a guy who didn’t like the previous Thor movies. Just did not care for them.
And though I’m reviewing this, I must first state that this is a Marvel movie. If you’re a fan boy and want me to reassure your confidence that this is a good movie, I will give you that. This is a good movie. Maybe even great(?). But when it’s a Marvel movie, you’ve come to expect decent to great movies, they rarely ever bomb it (Captain America: The First Avenger). And as much as I enjoyed the movie, my roomy had a problem with it in that he felt it to be too humorous, while I only had one real issue with it, though that’ll come later.
So the third movie of the Thor series, still goes about things in the same manner that the previous movie do. It’s a movie centered around Thor, of course, but also focuses on things such as his quite cumbersome relationship with his brother Loki, and Thor’s relationship with his home world both as a member of this civilization and as an heir to the throne.
How this movie differs is in how it explores these themes. Capping off from the end of Thor: Dark World where Loki has fooled everyone into believing he’s dead and is in guise as Odin, we see Thor’s journey kickoff (after the intro of the movie) with him searching for his father. We the audience, along with Loki and Thor, find out Odin is dying. He’s been holding back the Goddess of Death, Hela, who’s actually Thor’s sister. It’s an interesting premise, but then that morphs into another story where Thor is sent to another world, not only because he can’t beat Hela yet, but also because simply having him face the big bad twenty minutes into the movie makes for a short (and probably bad) movie. This movie is a wonderful master class in looping different threads together in a way that doesn’t feel like simply trying to prolong the climax. Rather it’s an entertaining way of bringing in ideas that starts to make sense, that starts to extend the plot in a fun way.
Having Thor face Hulk in a Colosseum-esque battle makes for wonderful popcorn flick action. But also what I enjoyed about this sequence, having Thor and Hulk battle/ the entire thread about Hulk being the champion of the arena, was the exploration of Hulk not merely as an alter-ego for Bruce Banner, a means of fighting/ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type contradiction, but also as his own person. We had Hulk expressing his ideas and not wanting to let go of the freedom he had as something not used as just a creature to summon once angry. And that almost made me wish for another Hulk movie, but the track record when it comes to Hulk movies is just…yeah.
Now that I’m on a tangent, and will probably not come back for a while, I must say that I enjoyed the inclusion of Tessa Thompson in this movie. She was a welcome addition to the movie. I loved that for the most part she was a drunk that didn’t care, but she was also a badass. Though unfortunately with her addition other previously prominent Asgardians were cast to the wayside. Which leads to a few other issues I had with the movie.
After Mjolnir is destroyed by Hela, Thor has two visions (both in near death situations) that go back to his father. It makes it seem as though Thor is having issues with his father dying, and that would be par for the course with the other Disney and Marvel movies that’ve been released this year, but the death of Odin isn’t focused on that much. It isn’t given heavy consideration mainly because the arrival of Hela doesn’t allow for much reflection on it. Also it’s an action movie, so there aren’t really enough times to pause in general. What we find out with the second vision of Odin is that what Thor misses (in priority) is actually Mjolnir and not so much his father. Even if we are given this answer on why Thor can’t tap into his lightning, the only other real reference to him missing Mjolnir is before he goes into the arena to fight, where that’s more treated as a joke than anything. And I realize that there were two other movies to express this relationship between Thor and his hammer, but since the hammer was an emphasis for this movie, I had wished that there was more of a focus of Thor missing it, I mean the movie is like two hours and ten minutes, we can spare time for some emotional hammer grief.
And as much as I love the way this movie loops together so many threads, on a narrative point it works, but for those small moments our characters need for development, so much goes missing because we’re going from one point to the next to the next without ever really staying on one small point that might be needed. Also my biggest complaint was the makeup for Thor’s missing eye. Cause you could still see it, and I don’t know what the make up artists were trying to convey. I was glad that he eventually covered it up with an eye patch.
So should you see this movie? Yeah. Of course you should. Should you think in depth about it? No. Cause then you end up like me. Wishing for moments you didn’t receive. Anyways, this is a solid movie. I’ll give it a good ol’ who cares over ratings don’t matter. I leave you with a badass song. Later days.