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On this movie I have but a few poignant thoughts to share. Rather than give you a full review I would simply like to point out those thoughts that are most pithy to this marvel-ous tale. Allons-y!
- Thor loses Mjolnir only to be told at the end he never needed it. Why wasn’t he told this before??! How silly and lacking in foresight is Odin! Odin sounds like a complete fool. Depriving his son of this knowledge makes no sense and could have gotten Thor killed countless times!
- Thor and Odin are too forgiving of Loki’s mischief, which actually sets off Ragnarok. This part drove me bonkers. How could Odin (who will die for being separated from Asgard so long) just forgive Loki and pass off responsibility to his sons to defeat Hela so apathetically!
- Hulk’s dominance over Banner is never explained; Hulk keeps Banner locked away for two years. This is neither explained nor touched on further. I get that this was not touched on for the sake of focusing on Asgard, but explaining this phenomenon could have helped lend this film some much needed depth.
- Hela is ‘OP’ (supposedly drawing strength from Asgard) and yet Thor doesn’t experience the same burst of power despite the Valkyrie telling him he also draws power from Asgard; how Hela manages to become invincible from Asgard but Thor isn’t is never explained. Plus, if Thor is the new King of Asgard his powers should have augmented. This is never touched upon.
- Cheap jokes, which show an overreliance on humor (e.g. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol II, Spiderman: Homecoming); this is seen in Thor getting hit with a ball on Sakar, the Valkyrie drunkenly falling over before capturing Thor, and Korg checking if his friend is still alive are just a few. When will Marvel learn: we don’t need humor 90% of the time to stay engaged in their films. They can look to Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier as examples of this
- Hela is never fleshed out much beyond rage; we know she despises her father and wishes to rule Asgard since she is the firstborn, but what does she gain by completely destroying it? This could have been altered to become a propaganda campaign to win all Asgardians to her side. Instead she just becomes another generic power hungry villain.
- Thor and Loki needlessly sacrifice Asgard? Ok, why did the two Asgardian gods just sacrifice their whole realm to stop Hela? Why did they release Surtur? Could not Thor banish Hela as Odin once did? The fact that neither he nor Loki tried another solution to beating her baffled and horrified me. Sacrificing their homeworld was so pointless and confusing. If Thor explained that magic and technology are the same in Asgard why could they not defeat the Prophecy of Ragnarok? Why did Asgard need to die?? That Thor, an Avenger, would not apply his mind to the problem of stopping the bad guy is completely un-Avenger-like. He had a troop of aliens at his command and the Incredible Hulk. Yet he chose to destroy his own world. This is my BIGGEST problem with this movie.
- Thor becomes a more powerful ruler. The film ends with Thor reigning supreme as King of the Asgardians onboard a colossal ship flying towards Earth.
- We get a new character in Skurge the Executioner. Karl Urban’s portrayal of the selfish brutish fiend is actually refreshing. He is a much more sympathetic character who joins Hela in a bid to prove himself. Skurge is remorseful when he says so many of his people dead and turns to their defense. This was a welcome change.
- Hulk shows a lot more personality in this one: we see that even though he has just fought Thor he is playful to the Norse god and even tells him he doesn’t want him to go, whats more he tells Thor that he is comfortable on Sakar since he is not wanted on Earth. This causes Hulk to stand out a little more from his normally minor role in the Avengers.
- Sakar is actually fleshed out as a distinct culture; from giant holoboards to various alien species walking the futuristic streets, the makers of this move made Sakar feel like a completely new planet and not just another Earth 2.0
- The Grandmaster feels like a unique villain with personality; he is childlike, petty and unconcerned with world domination, instead he is obsessed with being entertained at the expense of great warriors.
- Hela’s makeup and wardrobe feels unique and true to Norse legend; she is clad in dark green with a thorny black crown that covers her head much like Loki’s goat-like helm. Her wardrobe invokes fury and dismal gloom.
- Thor’s battle with Hulk was an entertaining segment with an unexpected end (Thor could have clearly beaten Hulk). The fact that Thor was thwarted from defeating the green giant leaves the audience groaning and wanting more.
- Thor Ragnarok manages to entertain and move you (from family betrayal to whimsical escape sequences to the death of a homeworld it all feels telling and leaves you feeling something for the Norse Aesir)
If you couldn’t tell from my bullet points: I enjoyed this movie. I liked the story presented and the characters that drove that plot. However, this story was rife with gaping plot holes and character flaws that truly left me feeling disappointed with the finished product. Thor: Ragnarok is a good movie. But it could have been a great one.
Final Score: 68%
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