Thor Ragnarok is technically the 3rd Thor but it was never marketed as Thor 3 and there’s a very big reason for this. The massive shift in tone and style, compared to all other appearances of Thor, is huge and it is made abundantly clear from the start. If you do not accept this and you are accepting a movie with the Thor we know, you will hate this film. If you accept it and embrace the new Thor, this is a great movie. Luckily, I accepted.
Thor begins with taking down Surtur while cracking the jokes, which for me actually did make me laugh. Upon his return to Asgard we find Odin laughing at a play depicting the end of Thor 2. The play itself is littered with celebrity cameos including Matt Damon, which in itself made me laugh a lot. Straight away, somehow, Thor knows that Odin is actually Loki. Now this moment is needed to drive the movie forward, but it also takes a massive shit on the serious events of Thor 2 when Loki took over. It happens very quickly but again, this isn’t like Thor 2 and it isn’t really Thor 3, this is Thor Ragnarok.
Thor and Loki go to New York where they are summoned by Doctor Strange. This begins a couple of funny shots and scenes that probably aren’t necessary, but bit more Doctor Strange is never a bad thing. Strange then sends Thor and Loki to where Odin is located. This is really the first serious moment of the movie and it works well. The death of Odin can be felt along with the revelation that Thor has a secret sister, Hela. This isn’t quite accurate to the comics, but in the context of the MCU, it works really well. I really loved the way Hela was portrayed and the fear and power of Hela was proven straight away with the destruction of Mjolnir. If we needed even more proof that the threat of Hela was real, the first thing that Hela does on Asgard is kill the Warrior’s Three. These 3 characters were side characters but they were present in both previous Thor movies, thus proving the gravitas of Hela. I also really enjoyed the mythology behind Hela and it all tied in very well.
With the threat and great presence of Hela firmly established, we get to see her explore the Asgard Vaults. Now this is where in a couple of seconds, a pretty big MCU plot hole is sorted. In the first Thor, it’s clear to see Thanos’ gauntlet is safe in the vault. Now how can this be when Thanos is the big bad that’s been through out the MCU and thrusting on screen in Avengers Infinity War, how is he going to get the gauntlet? Well Hela walks past the gauntlet and declares it as a fake. It’s a small action but a big one for the MCU and a satisfying one.
With Hela wrecking Asgard, we get to see Thor vs Hulk which did not disappoint. With Thor captured by Valkyrie, more on her later, he is made to fight the Contest of Champions champion. The fight itself is a great set piece and it’s the first time we get to see a glimpse of the real power of Thor who summons electricity and really has Hulk beaten if it wasn’t for the intervention of Jeff Goldblum’s charismatic Grandmaster. The movie moves at a nearly perfect enjoyable pace and goes by very quickly, all building up to returning to Asgard to defeat Hela. The Hulk as a speaking character was always going to weird for me but it works well and is the reason for a lot of the humour. We can’t talk about Hulk and the weird inclusion of his green ass. A funny moment, but probably an unnecessary one. The best thing for me about the Hulk is that he doesn’t steal the show. Thor is always the main hero and isn’t overshadowed by his big green buddy.
One character who is a usual scene stealer is Loki. Loki is ever present through out and as per usual, tries to betray Thor, only to come and help and be the good guy at the end. Now this is where Loki is an issue for me. The MCU clearly has a great character in Loki and a great actor in Tom Hiddlestone, but this whole Loki is good, Loki is bad, has been going on since the first Thor. There’s no character development there and where do you take Loki now. At the end Loki gets a good look at the Tesseract in the vault and I would bet anything, he definitely lifted it, and I’d also bet that, shock, he’s going to betray Thor and the Avengers in Infinity War and help Thanos. Does Loki have to die, maybe. Do I care if Loki is good or bad, no because he is going to change his mind again in the next 5 mins.
One character who did steal a few scenes was Valkyrie. Valkyrie is an Asgardian who was involved in trying to take down Hela before, only for Valkyrie to survive, just. We learned this by Loki going into her mind and seeing the memory through great visuals and one of my favourite parts of the movie. Valkyrie isn’t a damsel in distress and she can thoroughly hold her own through any battle. FINALLY we have a female character who can rival Black Widow, it only took 17 movies. Valkyrie is a great female addition to the MCU who we will hopefully see more of in future films.
The final act with Thor fighting Hela definitely builds suspense and really shows the strength that Hela has. Thor then loses his eye, which all but completes his transition to replace Odin and become King of Asgard. This was well kept under wraps especially as there were scenes in the trailer that are now changed in the movie. Which leads to seeing the money shot of the trailer. Thor walking down the bridge and defeating Hela’s army after becoming the full lightning Thor gave me tingles and was very comic booky, which is a great thing to see in my eyes. It was definitely one of the best parts of the movie for me. Hela is then defeated by Surtur, when Thor realises that he needs to let Ragnarok occur and sees the destruction of Asgard.
With the people of Asgard safe and on a ship, we find out that they are on their way to earth to rebuild Asgard. However Earth might not be the safest place to go right now and I can’t wait to see how it unravels.
Diagnosis – Inpatient Care
If you can accept the tonal change, this will be a great movie for you. Ragnarok is more a soft reboot than a sequel and it works. The new Thor is awesome and the MCU could have a good new villain with a clear back story and purpose to reappear in future movies, if not dead. The mix of comedy and the MCU combine perfectly for this and could be another, new winning formula for MCU.