by Brandon Matzke
Let me get something straight: I am not a big fan of Thor. I only read about two of his solo comics in my entire life, didn’t like the previous two Thor movies, and I had very little anticipation for Ragnarok. But, when critics and audiences alike started hailing this as “Marvel’s best film yet,” I decided to check it out. I took a friend to see it with me, had two full buckets of popcorn, and despite the hype, I was still skeptical. And while I don’t agree with people who say this is “Marvel’s best film”, I can definitely say it’s in their top 5 best.
After a two-year quest spent on finding the infamous “Infinity Stones”, Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth in a very fun performance) journey ends up fruitless. After returning to Asgard to find “Odin” (I mean Loki) has been a fraud, he finds the real Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is on his deathbed. When Odin does die, an ancient evil is unleashed: Hela (Cate Blanchett). When Hela casts Thor onto a gladiatorial planet (shortly after destroying his trademark hammer) run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum, charismatic as always). Not all hope is lost; a familiar face happens to be on this planet too… which has been spoiled by every trailer, so I’ll just say it’s Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
This film is a ton of fun; it’s got some absolutely hysterical dialogue, some breathtakingly awesome fights (one of which is between Thor and Hulk), and a great makeup and costume department (I mean, this is the stuff the makeup awards dream of!). The acting is charismatic and fun, from Hemsworth and Hiddleston (Loki), to Goldblum (in what must’ve been a role he only dreamed of up until this point), and so on and so forth. The Marvel universe feels more fleshed out than ever before, especially when compared to the previous two Thor movies. You see, for whatever reason, the writers of the previous two thought that the best way to make a Thor film was to drag him down to our boring planet, instead of the countless planets and universes he can access. Thankfully, those guys got the boot, and we can FINALLY see more of the Marvel universe. There are a ton of familiar creatures for fans to geek out about, and they all feel very realized. This is definitely the most entertaining Marvel film, and is fun all around.
For me, this film had some moments that weren’t needed for any other reason than to be a punchline two seconds later. And sometimes, the CGI didn’t work very well. There were moments where I was just like, “Let me guess, greenscreen?” Realistically, all CGI can be thought of that way. But great CGI can truly immerse the viewer into the world, no matter how ridiculous the thing it’s showing seems (War For The Planet Of The Apes is a great example of this). This movie’s CGI? Not so much. There is a particular character that worked really well for the visual effects, but not much else. And I feel that this film needed a better mix of drama and comedy; there were moments that I felt should’ve been a bit more serious, but was given a punchline instead. But those are my only real complaints.
Thor Ragnarok is a film that really surprised me. I was smiling from beginning to end, a rare accomplishment for a film. Is it Marvel Studio’s best? No. I feel that a few of their other films are better (Guardians Of The Galaxy, Captain America Civil War, Iron Man, Avengers), but this is a very entertaining film that definitely shows Marvel is far from slowing down. Is it the best of the year? No. Get Out is. Is it the best comic book film of the year? No. Logan is. But is it a good time? You bet. 8.5/10.
What the critics are saying (as of now):
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
What did you think of Thor Ragnarok? I’m curious. Let me know in the comments, be sure to subscribe to the GHS Voice. As to what my next article is? I’ll let you decide.