Thor: Ragnarok – 4.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Thor: Ragnarok – 4.5/5 – There is something that is said about Marvel; they stay winning.  No matter what you may think about comic book films, Marvel (as in Marvel Studios) has always delivered.  With another entry into the MCU, the third Thor film does not disappoint.  With a good blend of action, drama and some new-found comedy, Thor: Ragnarok blends the fantastical with enjoyment.  Even with a standard styled third act, Thor: Ragnarok is another triumph for Marvel, and the best Thor movie in the trilogy.

Premise: With a new threat to Asgard and being trapped On Sakaar, Thor must bring a band of misfits together to stop Hela from total domination.

The main members you have come to enjoy on this journey return:

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Idris Elba as Heimdall

Anthony Hopkins as Odin

With the addition of another Marvel favorite:

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk

No matter how big a role each of these actors play, they continue to provide that individualistic spark unique to this franchise.  With an odd group of characters, the comradery is superb.  From the brother banter between Thor and Loki, to the ongoing relationship between them with Hulk is unpredictably funny.  Each of the cast members have come into their own, providing their own brand of personality with new added humor.  Going beyond the clichés of ‘comic book’ archetypes, the actors add wittiness to their behavior.  That additional layer provides a signal of change.  With this indifference, it is a new-found flavor that gets mixed into the melting pot, adding characterization that is strong, whimsical and daring to take chances.  Having that ‘all for nothing’ mentality brings out the life of the characters.  With the new cast, there are a lot of big names:

Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster

Cate Blanchett as Hela

Karl Urban as Skurge

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie

With these four (and a few others), you get to see that same chemistry brought by the original cast.  With these new actors/actresses, they provide a level of grandiose that is welcomed to this franchise.  With another group of outlandish characters, they go that extra mile to show distinction in their fortitude.  No matter if it the villain Hela, the obnoxious ruler Grandmaster, or the new Asgardians Skurge and Valkyrie, they feel as raw and fun as the original members.  They aren’t just plot point driven characters, they have real purpose to everything going on.

The direction takes the common comic book storyline and meshes it with other genres.  Within the traditional comic book outline, the director infuses comedy and a buddy/road trip aspect into the story.  Adding the latter helps push the predictability aspect (for the most part) out the window.  What you have is an engrossing tale that entertains with the journey.  What this does is allow for the characters to feel authentic within the new element of comedic material.  That aspect adds a dynamic to the ongoing relationships from previous films (especially between Loki and Thor), revitalizing old tropes with slick/witty dialogue.  That ‘oddness’ is what makes the film so special.   As this story begins, you have the common introduction to the main characters (Thor, Loki, etc.).  Once they are introduced, you are given the standard setup of a dire situation (The end of Asgard) with a new villain (Hela).  The exposition is bland, but it is only there for a short while.  Once the prologue/first act completes, the film moves into the second act, leading Thor and Loki to the planet of Sakaar.  This is when the film mixes the comedy and buddy/road trip angle.  We get another quick introduction to the rest of the cast (Grandmaster, Valkyrie, Hulk) and the floodgates of the journey begin.  With a mixture of off-the-wall humor, ad-live dialogue, witty situations and unpredictable circumstances, it leads the audience through a doorway of excitement.  The meshing of the mythos from the comics with the ideas of comedy provides something enthralling, imaginative and original.  Even if there are borrowed concepts, the mixing results in an ‘edge of your seat’ kind of thrill ride.  Watching all these characters mingle is entertaining, especially when their unpredictable reactions.  As we move along this journey, there is the looming ‘premonitions’ from Thor.  Even in some subtle telegraph methods, you are completely hooked by the characters and their journey to save Asgard.  As we move into the final act, the film begin to rush a lot of story material.  Within a ‘wrap-it-up’ mentality, there is a lot of convenient plot points to bring everything together.  With a few twists, epic action scenes and final confrontation, you have a climax that is visually amazing but expected.  Once the epilogue comes, you are left with a smile because of the journey you just had with the characters.

The cinematography is surreal.  Seeing the creation of these mystical realms and other worlds brings believability to a whole other level.  From Asgard to Sakaar, you feel the livelihood of all the fictional worlds.  Even with knowledge that majority of the set pieces/creatures are created by CGI, the detail of it all grounds everything to realism.  All of this can be summed up by the creation of the Hulk.  Being a completely CGI character, you must bring personality to him.  Having that detail and range of human emotions helps define how great everything is visually.   The score is another strong part of the film.  With a mixture of synthesizers, loud/resound noises and oddity in instrumental sounds, you have a surreal bravado to the atmosphere.  It is otherworldly, but that contrasting of warmth and escapes helps add another dynamic to the film.

Thor: Ragnarok is Marvel’s best Thor film.  From the amazing characters, witty humor and overall fun journey, you will not be disappointed.  If you’re a fan of the MCU, the actors or like anything unique to the genre, this is one for you.  It is worth the full price, a fun-filled adventure for anyone.

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