Movie Review with Brandon Yechout – Thor: Ragnarok


Kainin Blisset

As DC’s “Justice League” releases amidst a flurry of relatively poor reviews, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still chugging ahead at full steam. Its most recent release, the third installment in the “Thor” franchise, “Thor: Ragnarok,” received enthusiastic and positive reviews nearly all across the board. Not being one that has really followed the recent stream of superhero films (aside from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise), I was interested in seeing what “Thor: Ragnarok” brought to the table that made it stand out in a genre so oversaturated in this day and age. Though I did end up enjoying the film, I am again left a bit underwhelmed and confused. I’ll elaborate in a moment.

The film’s plot concerns Thor, who has just returned to Asgard, having been made aware of the absence of his father, Odin. There, he discovers his brother Loki posing as his father, and they both travel together to Earth, where Odin has been awaiting his own death. Odin explains to Thor and Loki that he had another child, called Hela, the goddess of death, and that with his passing, she will be released from her prison and will wreak havoc upon their homeland of Asgard. Odin dies shortly afterwards, leaving Thor and Loki to face off against the nefarious Hela, who destroys Thor’s hammer and banishes both Thor and Loki to a mysterious planet of garbage, with little hope of returning to Asgard. With the looming threat of Ragnarok, a prophesized cataclysmic event that is to destroy all of Asgard, Thor must search for a way to return to and protect his homeland from both the destructive forces of Hela and Ragnarok.

The most notable aspect of the film would probably be its look. It’s overall a very pretty film, with a plethora of dazzling and colorful images present to keep the audience entranced. It’s not as pretty as, say, the most recent “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, but it still looks pretty good in its own right. All of the performances here are solid, as each lends their respective characters an appropriate and enjoyable amount of flavor. That’s the most I can say of the film, really. It was a relatively harmless and enjoyable movie. A ninety-two percent on Rotten Tomatoes, however? Absolutely not.

Firstly, I should say that the humor was fairly hit-or-miss for me. There were some moments in the film that did have me chuckling, but for every one of those moments, there was another where I was just sitting there awkwardly and silently, waiting for the gag to be done with. There wasn’t anything offensively bad in the film, in terms of humor, though. Just some jokes that worked, and an equal amount of jokes that didn’t.

I found that the film also seemed to be a bit rushed and nonsensical in some scenes, though, which is of greater concern than a few unfunny gags. For instance, Thor discovers that his brother, whom he had presumed to be dead, is still alive. There is an exchange of only a couple of sentences between them that addresses this, and nothing more. They literally only talk about the fact that he had been alive this whole time for a few seconds, and carry on with their business. Then, shortly after this scene, they encounter Doctor Strange, who is only in the film for this one scene. Doctor Strange explains to Thor and Loki that Odin is in Norway, and then sends them both directly to him. Why is Odin in Norway? I don’t know. I guess because they needed an excuse to put Doctor Strange in the film for a few minutes? Nobody questions it, and it is never explained. They speak with Odin, who tells them of the goddess of death, and then dies. Again, Odin is only present for a few minutes before he disintigrates and blows away. The characters are given a few seconds to dwell on the death of their father, before the villain immediately appears and they must do battle with her. It’s as if the film is shoving its audience along, and I felt that many important plot points, especially towards the beginning of the film, were being glossed over like they were nothing.

Also, the villain sucks. I’ve not much else to say about that, really. She just sucks. She comes off as a shabbily cobbled together mess of cliches and otherwise generic villain dialogue and behavior. I understand that pointing to the cliches of a comic book movie villain may come off as a bit trite, but she is simply so bland and uninteresting that the cliches are brought to the forefront of her character, making them especially apparent, and thus, especially irritating.

Simply put, I thought “Thor: Ragnarok” was a solid, fun film. I am again underwhelmed, as the rave reception did not seem to align itself with the film I had seen, but I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed, just a bit confused. At least the film didn’t utterly bewilder me, as DC’s “Wonder Woman” did after I had seen the reviews and contrasted them against the actual film. Still, that whole situation baffles me. Did everybody else see the same movie I did? I digress. “Thor: Ragnarok” may not be as good as everybody says it is, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re looking for a good time. Brando’s rating? Three out of four stars.