by Trang Dinh
Thor has always struck me as the blandest character in the Avengers. It doesn’t help that I haven’t been a big fan of the two films preceding Ragnarok (yes, I am aware that a lot of people think the first Thor is hugely underrated). However, I have always thought it was a waste for Marvel to play down his superpower as the God of Thunder and make him entirely reliant on Mjolnir.
Thor: Ragnarok seeks to fix these problems, and does it very successfully. In the movie, without dwelling too much into spoiler territory, we get to see Thor tapping into his full potential and really presenting himself as the God of Thunder. This movie does more for Thor than the last two combined: he is no longer the lost foreigner adapting to the intricacies of life on Earth; he is powerful, responsible, and relentlessly, effortlessly hilarious. This movie is extremely funny, and I would even go as far as saying that it is the best comedy out of all the Marvel movies. All of the characters, well-written script, and exceptional pacing from Taika Waititi make the humor work, ensuring that you are constantly laughing in the theater.
The actors’ incredibly charismatic performances elevate the movie even more: Chris Hemsworth shines as Thor, Mark Ruffalo is awkwardly funny as both Hulk and Banner, Tom Hiddleston is excellent as always, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is memorable and her chemistry with Hemsworth makes for a fascinating dynamic, Jeff Goldblum’s Goldblumness is utilized to the max, and Cate Blanchett’s Hela (yes, this is not a typo) is mesmerizingly terrifying. All the characters make the most of their screen times and seem to relish being on screen, making the movie even more enjoyable to the audience.
Of course, Ragnarok is not without flaws. As I have said before, the movie is very funny, but there are times when the humor undercuts the tension and dramatic moments in the story. There are also plot holes in the story that the movie fails to explain. There are also times in the movie when I feel like it repeats things the audience already know because it fears the audience already forgets it, which makes various moments feel unnecessary.
Despite these nitpickings, I still think Thor: Ragnarok is a blast and worth checking out in the theater, even just for the contagious humor, special effects and Waititi’s immensely stylish direction. Make sure to check it out on the biggest screen you can; you won’t regret it.
Thor: Ragnarok is now available in Laemmle, Claremont 5, as well as most major theaters.