I have been dying to share my Thor: Ragnarok film review since I attended the World Premiere last Tuesday in LA. The Mighty Thor is my favorite hero among the Marvel heroes and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And as always, I keep my reviews spoiler-free. Because spoilers suck.
Looking for interviews? Check out my interviews with President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige, Director Taika Waititi, Karl Urban (Skurge), and live on Monday at 9 am EST Rachel House (Topaz). You can also check out my coverage of the media press conference here.
You might be asking why the Mighty Thor is my favorite among so many powerful superheroes, and it’s a good question to ponder. Like sports teams, we all have our reasons why. Some slight, others far more complex than I’m able to understand. My reasons lie somewhere in the middle. Simply put, Thor is an ancient God who comes packaged with 1,200 plus years of legendary valor. He’s the only leading hero in the MCU who was inspired by mythology and folklore. And he’s the hero who made me pick up my first comic book. Suffice it to say, the Thor: Ragnarok World Premiere was a special one for me. So what did I think of the film? Keep reading for my Thor: Ragnarok film review.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters everywhere now!
My Spoiler Free Thor: Ragnarok Review
Marvel never fails to impress when it comes to the MCU. I mean you really have to split hairs to find fault in a Marvel film, and I’m not much for splitting hairs. I’m more about the real talk. Did the movie suck? Was it a good story? Was it up to par with film tech and special effects? Were the characters well developed? Were there any surprises? Is there room for backstory? These are the things I ask myself when I’m walking away from a film. Without spoiling the film for you, I’m going to give you all my answers.
The film first and foremost was epic on all levels of superhero epicness. It felt like Guardians of the Galaxy in the sense that it takes place beyond earth, it’s riddled with humor and a slice of dysfunction. It makes watching gods as villains in mythical realms relatable.
It was unexpected but well played. I was delightfully surprised with the direction that it took. We all know that the Hulk is seen on Sakaar in a gladiatorial situation with Thor but the details behind this and the outcome are for you to find out when you see the film. It was an exciting film to watch and could have easily gone for another hour which leaves a lot of space for future stories. Especially the ones which raise questions regarding the Hulk and his years away from the Avengers, the Valkyrie and how she formed her relationships on Sakaar as well as what will be of Thor and his entourage now?
As for the Characters
Overall there was more humor and one-liners in this film than any Thor film before it. Thor and his allies come together with their own little quirks and hangups that make them more relatable than your average superhero. I can’t think of a single role that was underperformed, although we don’t see a whole lot of Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins), we do see new characters like Skurge (Karl Urban) and Korg (Director Taika Waititi).
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gets a new look. We’ve all seen the trailers, he loses his golden locks to the heartbreak of women and men all over the universe. But he does look smart with the shorter hair and more like a modern-day hero than an ancient one. I find his new costume to be fitting for battle and wasn’t the least bit disappointed that they did away with all the fancy armor.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) however took on a much more subtle transformation but you can see that the costuming is still along the same lines. There was a lot less rivalry on behalf of Loki in this installment which I found surprising, but we still see his mischief present.
Hela (Cate Blanchett) looked outright amazing and her headdress is pretty spot on with the comics. In my opinion, Cate is one of the best female villains in live action. There was no dilution of that in Thor: Ragnarok. She was every bit of wicked as you could imagine and may very well be the most wicked of them all. I’d love to see more of the backstory on her developed into a film.
I was not expecting the Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to play the role that she did, but as you watch the film you’ll understand why. She is a warrior in every sense of the word. I love seeing strong women in film and I think it’s necessary. There is a backstory waiting to be told regarding her presence on Sakaar that I think would make for a great installment that ties into the Hulk’s missing years.
There is more dialogue from the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) than we’ve ever seen before and I find this outright fascinating. For the first time, we actually see the Hulk acting and not just smashing. You won’t be able to wrap your head around it unless you see it for yourself. His face looked a lot more like Bruce Banner’s as well which I thought was a long overdue composition.
Skurge (Karl Urban) was a powerful addition to the film and the MCU. There’s an obvious duality in his character that gives him the need for redemption. In the end, his role is vital.
You’ll come to know The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), brother to the Collector (who we see in Guardians of the Galaxy) and an Elder of the Universe, as an egotistical yet quirky character. He’s been alive forever, can read minds and is fascinated with manipulating lesser life for his amusement.
Topaz (Rachel House) was a funny addition to the cast. She serves as the Grandmaster’s loyal guard who has some serious beef with the Valkyrie.
Korg (Director Taika Waititi) brought even more comedic relief to the film as the outcast rock warrior. Critics have speculated that he is the same rock warrior from Thor: The Dark World or even the brother of him. Whoever he is he’s hilarious and reminded me of a role Robin Williams would have played. Taika seems to be every bit as quirky in real life as he was as Korg, so I think the role was an easy one for him.
With Regard to Surprises
I think you’ll find some of the character development to be as delightfully surprising as I did. There is a special cameo (outside of Stan Lee’s traditional one) that will leave you rolling. If you want a little hint as to who it is you can watch this interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live.
So what did the film look like?
If you strip away the dialogue, the roles, and the story and just look at the film sets, costuming and CGI, the film was a marvel. It was downright glorious to look at. We’ve seen that over and over again from films that take place beyond earth like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, Thor: Ragnarok had every bit of movie magic you could crave in a Marvel film. The costuming (Mayes C. Rubeo) was fascinating especially on Sakaar. The fight scenes were epic and the sets were like a cross between Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy. It was nothing short of spectacular.
The fight scenes were epic and the sets were like a cross between Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy. It was nothing short of spectacular
What’s next in the way of future stories and backstories?
Well, Mark Ruffalo confirmed in an interview with IGN that Thor: Ragnarok is an arc of a three-movie story for the giant temper tantrum hero. We also know that this is not the last Thor installment as Thor 4 is already being spoken about. In a recent interview with Screenrant, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige talks about the possibility of working with Taika again
Speaking with Screen Rant, he said: “Well, we’ll see. I would love, love, love to work with Taika again and I have every confidence that we will.”
Will we see any backstories? I sure hope so! I think the Valkyrie, Hela and the Hulk have a lot more to tell in the way of their stories. But per usual, all we can do is wait with thirsty enthusiasm.
Watch the full trailer here:
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Looking for all the trailers, posters and images for Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel brought me out to LA for an all expenses paid trip to attend the World Premiere of Thor: Ragnarok. This in no way shaped my opinions in this post.