Entertainment Movie Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ | The Cullman Tribune


Movie Review: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Photo credit: Marvel Studios

This is the third movie of the Thor franchise, and the 17th of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and tries to shake up the tone of the MCU by making a pure comedy. One of the criticisms of the most recent MCU films is that the tone is very familiar and doesn’t try to be too different from the others, but Ragnarok takes a big step into the comedy genre to make the movie feel new and stand out.

Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as The Hulk and Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki. The newcomers are Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Cate Blanchett as Hela and Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster. Blanchett is clearly having a great time playing an over the top, fun villain. She has a connection with Thor and the rest of Asgard that adds an interesting element to her character and lays out her motivations very clearly. As villains go, Hela may not be the best the MCU has produced but she is definitely one of the most charismatic and fun to watch. The scene-stealer, however, is Goldblum. He seems to be doing an exaggerated impression of himself and as a result, all of his scenes are exactly what you want out of Jeff Goldblum.

The film is full of great action sequences that are informed by what fans know about the characters from past films. The MCU is getting far enough along that you can’t enjoy the films to their fullest without the context of past films. That context is what makes the comedy so great, especially when you consider that Waititi claims the dialog in the movie was 80 percent improvised. Hemsworth really gets a chance to show off his comedy chops along with Ruffalo’s Hulk. Two characters that are usually set aside for destruction are allowed to flesh out their roles and their relationship to one another.

The comedy really lands well and nearly every joke got a laugh from the audience, but the comedy may also be the only flaw. When you’ve been following these characters for nine years and 17 movies, you become invested in their homes and relationships. The film stays true to its comedic core while also establishing long-term implications for the MCU. These two tones clash from time to time and take away from the gravity of some otherwise huge events. It doesn’t detract from the film but may leave longtime MCU viewers feeling slightly underwhelmed.

Overall, “Thor: Ragnarok” is another fun, action-packed entry into the MCU, full of references, jokes and a couple of truly amazing cameos.

Griffin’s score: 4/5 stars

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