4/5: So funny- actually, too funny.
When I went to the movies last Friday, I expected what would be standard Marvel movie fare: big explosions, snappy dialogue, a few cool fights. As an MCU fan since the sixth grade, I’d gotten used to what a superhero movie entailed.
What I got was “Thor: Ragnarok.”
The story follows Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) two years after we last saw him in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” In this movie, Thor has been cast out of Asgard after his father’s death and when his older sister Hela, goddess of death and heir, rolls up to take the throne that she wants. After losing his hammer, his friends, and his home, he’s stuck on a literal trash planet on the other side of the galaxy, trying to find a way to stop Hela from causing Ragnarok. Joining him are his eternally estranged brother Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston), Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo, who has also been missing for two years, movie-wise), and newcomer Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson).
From the very first lines, I was laughing. The movie feels less like a typical superhero movie and more of a silly physical comedy, with the characters trading quips every five seconds and someone (usually Thor) getting hit with some- thing. Even Valkyrie’s introduction is comedic—instead of confidently walking down the gangplank of her ship, she ends up drunkenly falling into a trash heap. The whole movie was hilarious.
And hilarious was a bit underwhelming. The comedy tended to distract from more heavy hitting, emotional scenes in the movie, such as Odin’s death and Thor’s fight with Hela. It felt that every serious scene immediately had to be defused by a joke, which became frustrating to watch. Furthermore, I felt that this movie was a large departure from how Thor was characterized in previous movies. In his last two independent movies and in the Avengers movies, Thor is mostly seen as the stoic god, a little brusque and aware of his place. In this movie, he’s either saying something funny, getting hit in the head, or both. It was funny, but felt very out of character through the whole movie. It reached a point that during a scene near the end where Thor vents his insecurities about defeating Hela to Odin in a dream, I was startled because nowhere else in the movie had Thor shown the slightest worry about defeating Hela.
Other than that, the movie was great. It was fun to watch, with its 80’s—esque setting and retro feel. Both the Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum) and Hela (played by Cate Blanchett) were interesting and eye-catch- ing antagonists to introduce. Valkyrie, being the newest character introduced, was a badass, snarky drunk who stole my heart the second she fell off the stage. And even if the movie wasn’t great in the “serious bits” department, some scenes (like Valkyrie’s backstory) were pulled off beautifully. I especially liked the growing relationship and sibling bonding between Thor and Loki as they’re forced to work together.
Was it a good movie? Yeah. It was hilarious, campy and a serious departure from the standard superhero fare. It wasn’t perfect, but it was fun. Plus, I got a free poster out of it.