Release Date: November 3, 2017
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
“Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.“
Over the past 14 days, I’ve decided that it would be a brilliant idea to write a review for every single movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to the release of this film, thinking that it would be so easy, well I was wrong. I somehow managed to complete that task even though I’ve been busy with work, and trying to not neglect the girlfriend while writing the longest reviews that I’ve done so far. You can find the Spoiler filled reviews of all of the other MCU films at the link here.
Below is the first trailer that was released for this film, followed by the non – spoiler review.
Thor: Ragnarok Trailer – Source: Marvel Studios
Cast and Crew
Thor: Ragnarok was directed by Taika Waititi, who really made this movie his own. It is very much a ‘Taika Waititi’ film, in the sense that it’s a lot of fun, has interesting characters, and still has its dark moments. He is most well known for directing such films as ‘What we do in the Shadows’ in 2014 and ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ in 2016. He also directed the hilarious shorts on Youtube for Team Thor. I’m extremely happy that he made this film and these character his own, while still respecting their history in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s something that was truly amazing to watch.
Thor Ragnarok was written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost, with everyone involved saying that while there was a script, they used it more as a general guideline to what the characters should say or their inflections. Pearson’s previous work as a writer includes writing several Marvel One Shots, as well as being one of the writers for the ‘Agent Carter’ television show Thor Ragnarok was his first feature length film. Kyle has previously worked on numerous Marvel projects over the years, mainly in the animated movies / television shows, with this also being his first feature length film. I’ve mentioned Yost in my Thor: The Dark World, as he was one of the writers for the film, and with the help of Pearson and Kyle gave this film character and a great story.
The cast of Thor: Ragnarok includes Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Taika Waititi, Rachel House, Clancy Brown, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi and Stan Lee.
This movie has been getting fantastic reviews from almost everyone, and I tried to temper my expectations going in, and I only half succeeded. I will start this review off by saying that this movie definitely deserves the extremely high praise that it received. I ended up watching this film with a big group of friends, which I pre purchased approximately 20 tickets and the evening and the movie was a success. I can’t wait to see this movie a second time, and I just came out of seeing it as I’m writing this.
The story for this film is something that threw out everything you knew about the character of Thor, and gave it new life. The team that put this film together did a marvellous job at making the most ‘vanilla’ character of the MCU have an amazing personality. Thor shined in this movie, and the reason why is because they gave him life. They managed to make the characters a lot more interesting than the previous films have done, while respecting the past that they had at the same time. I’m still stunned at how much this movie skyrocketed near the top of my list for MCU films.
The biggest takeaway from watching Thor: Ragnarok is, that it is was extremely entertaining and a blast to experience. I love movies, and most of the time, I will watch them multiple times in theatres and at home, but rarely do I find a movie that makes me want to walk out of my first viewing, and go back in and watch it right away. Unfortunately, I now have a job, where I have to wake up absurdly early to get to it, and I won’t be able to watch it a second time until later this weekend.
While this movie features a lot of entertainment and fun times, there is also the a lot of death and destruction in Thor: Ragnarok. It’s something that I think balanced the film on the edge of the knife, and managed to thread that very thin line to make it work. The film’s character is that you fear for the individuals involved, that you have grown to care for them over the last 16 (now 17) movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The weight of characters dying is not felt if you don’t care about them, or have not gotten to know them. I’m not saying that you won’t understand the film unless you’ve seen others, because you still will, but the gravity and the punches to the gut won’t hit you as strong without that prior knowledge.
The cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe was without doubt absolutely breathtaking. The visuals of this movie, taking a page out of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s playbook, was extremely bright, vibrant and full of life. The shots were beautiful and it’s not something new to the Thor series, as they’ve had some of the nicest shots in all of the films, but to me, right now, the look of this movie was fantastic.
The music of Thor: Ragnarok was done by Mark Mothersbaugh, and it continues the trend of Marvel doing music right. There’s no big theme that people will associate with the characters like other great franchises have been able to do, but the music and style that they went with for this film was perfect for this film.
Unfortunately for Doctor Stephen Strange, Thor Odinson has become my girlfriend’s new favourite character after watching this for the first time, and I have to agree that the Thor that we got in this movie, can stand toe to toe with pretty much any other MCU hero that we have gotten so far in terms of likeability and greatness. As I’ve mentioned above, they made him fun, they made him more than some guy who doesn’t understand the ways of humans, he’s past that now, and we get to see the Thor that has fun, and is sure of the character. Chris Hemsworth does a brilliant job at bringing this character to life. While I’ve enjoyed the other Thor movies to an extent, this one blew them all away.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in space and the Incredible Hulk was amazing in this film, and the best version of those characters that I’ve seen on the screen. Like Thor, they gave Hulk personality, they gave him friends, and he’s beloved on Sakaar, and he loves being there after getting all of the hate from the people of Earth. Feige and Ruffalo are on the record as saying that since they are unable to make a solo Hulk film (Universal owns the distribution rights, so Marvel Studios wouldn’t see a penny, but would pay to make it), they have decided to give this character a story arc over the next three films for that characters (Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers 4: Title Unknown), as if it was his own movie.
Tom Hiddleston returns as the ever charming and charismatic Loki in this film, returning for the fourth time so far. He brings new energy to the character, and we get more of a feel for who he is trying to be after the events that transpired in all of the other movies that he was in. I feel like out of all the returning characters, his has been and remained the most consistent.
The story of the Valkyrie is a short and tragic one, but it’s her character and personality that makes the character fun to watch. The chemistry that Tessa Thompson had with the other cast members felt instantaneous, and it felt right that she was part of the group. I look forward to seeing more of her characters in future MCU films.
Cate Blanchett as Hela was probably the most badass and ‘scary’ villain that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had so far. While some of you might be thinking to yourselves that that’s not saying much with the quality of the Marvel films’ villains, however I feel like they did an amazing job with this character. I would love to see more of this character and Blanchett in future films.
The Grandmaster played beautifully by Jeff Goldblum, and there’s not much to add about that description without going into spoilers. Let’s just say that this character is very much a ‘Jeff Goldblum’ character, and it was a perfect fit between actor and role.
The character of Skurge, who was played wonderfully by Karl Urban had a much better story arc, and place in the movie than I would have thought. I was pleasantly surprised that they managed to do a good job with how little screen time the character was given.
The surprise hit of the film was Korg, a Kronan warrior similar to the one that Thor destroyed at the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok. I don’t want to spoil his parts, however I have to say that he was hilarious, and added the right amount of humour (or too much for some) to the movie. He was voiced and motion captured by the director of this film, Taika Waititi.
Heimdall was featured in this movie a bit more than his previous two outings as the character, and I loved what they did with his story arc. What happens in this movie hints a lot more that it might be Heimdall who is in possession of the final Infinity Stone, while still not confirming it.
There was a lot of fun cameos in this movie, and while people already know about the Doctor Strange one, I feel like his was the best one, as the Doctor Strange in this film was a much better Doctor Strange than what we were presented with in his solo film, and I really enjoyed that film, as can be seen in my review of the film.
There are two post credit sequences, where one is foreshadowing possible events for Avengers: Infinity War, and the other is a little fun one. If I were to rewatch the movie again, and had I not been with a big group of friends and family, I would say that you do not need to stay for the second one, unless you love the character that Jeff Goldblum plays.
While I was driving home after watching this movie, I was talking with my girlfriend, and we talked about something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and that’s to write two reviews for movies that are huge blockbusters such as this one, Justice League and Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, examples. After writing this review and thinking it over, I have decided that it is precisely what I’m going to do.
Starting with this movie, I wanted to release both a non – spoiler review on the Friday to let people know what to expect going into the movie, and my general opinions of the film, while on the following Monday or Tuesday. As I didn’t receive any feedback or comments regarding this, I’ve decided to shelve this idea for the future.
Overall, This movie was entertaining, the villain was amazing, the story was fun and dark at the same time. They gave us the best iteration of both Thor and the Hulk that we have seen so far. I absolutely had a blast watching this movie, and now I really hope that nothing bad happens to Thor or Hulk during the eventual battle with Thanos, as I’ve now gone from ‘they’re alright’ to ‘I fucking love these two!’ after seeing it once, and I would hate for that momentum and growing love of the characters be for naught.
At the end of the day, I am surprised with how much I enjoyed this film, even with high expectations. I’m also surprised by the final score that I’m giving this movie, and that is a score of 9.25/10.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,