We haven’t seen Chris Hemsworths Thor in almost two years, being absent from the huge Marvel crossover Civil War and being put towards the end of the MCU’s third phase has seen him be put to the side a little, which is a shame because director Taika Waititi does some interesting stuff with the character and his corner of the MCU. To me though it doesn’t quite reach the heights I was hoping for in what excited me most about the movie.
One thing that has stuck with me the most after the credits rolled was the score, whilst the soundtrack only consists of two very good uses of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ the actual score is surprisingly fantastic. The synth-techno mixed in with standard orchestral tension from Mark Mothersbaugh was a great match to the films tone and bright aesthetic. It nicely tied together change in attitude towards the Thor franchise, the new upbeat, bright, dare I say it fun motif Marvel have gone for. Speaking of the aesthetic it does stand out in the film landscape well, it might feel a lot like James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy a lot at times but it still has enough variety for it to stand on its own whilst simultaneously building on the cosmic universe Gunn began to build back in 2014.
Director Taika Waititi absolutely nails the humour, I think Marvel might finally realise that to get at least good humour out of their movies they shouldn’t just get a ‘Joss Wheadon’ (or literally Joss Wheadon) to do a snarky, quippy humour. Don’t get me wrong the film has that but there was a very clear idea of writing the humour around a scene or a set, with some off the cuff jokes thrown in. Waititi’s character Korg is amazing! He seems so nonchalant about everything yet so sincere and his comic timing is superb, the heart of that character is an embodiment of the films humour. Hopefully now if Marvel want to have actually legitimately humorous films they’ll go to people who can do it well.
As we know from the promotional material Hulk is in this movie, who has also been absent from the MCU for a while. Now there was speculation going around that this film would be about 50% planet Hulk, because of the Sakaar setting and whole gladiator thing, it isn’t. This is a Thor movie, which some might dislike, but then again it doesn’t claim to be some superhero buddy cop movie, which would have been pretty good honestly though. Whilst it is great to see Banner and the Hulk, and a semi-intelligent one at that they don’t really do anything with it, which is a real shame. Though we do now know that this is the start of a three movie arc for the Hulk and Banner so the plot thread for him that goes unresolved will likely being to get addressed in Infinity War, but still, it would have been nice to see a little more.
This movies villain, Hela isn’t anything special honestly, within the first 20 minutes there is a pretty unoriginal, uninspired and frankly, unused twist about her character that just goes to waste. She is more serviceable than most villain’s and the way she is finally dealt with and the repercussions that has is interesting, but that is about it. And then there’s Loki, Tom Hiddleston again proves how well he fits this role but even then not much is done with him, his and Thor’s relationship is expanded slightly and we go through his anti-hero routine but even Thor acknowledges, we have see it before, so it’s rather uninteresting.
Oh! There’s also a great easter egg in helping resolve a plot-hole involving Thanos, so watch out for that!
Whilst Thor: Ragnarok suffers from what is clearly studio interference on Marvels part, in them setting Thor, Hulk and others up for Infinity War there is still something of merit here, a vision that dared to be different in the Marvel landscape, nothing as groundbreaking as the Avengers (for its time) but certainly a well executed change. So I recommend Thor: Ragnarok.