A Spoiler-Free Review of Thor: Ragnarok

Tyler Rains, Writer

Thor: Ragnarok captivated audiences across the country this past weekend. However, it captured their attention in a new way. Movie-goers and reviewers alike are equating Thor: Ragnarok closer to a comedy than any type of traditional action-superhero movie.

Comedy has been an effective tool for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the past. In fact, it found success in movies such as Ant-man and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, this movie was unique. There was a joke in almost any situation and used comedy to such an effect that it can almost be described as a comedy movie. However, this doesn’t mean that it is lacking action sequences.

The movie is set sometime after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. At the end of Age of Ultron, Thor is seen flying off into space on a mission to find the infinity stones and to discover who was trying to use them for evil purposes.

After searching for a while, Thor discovers a different plot. An ancient enemy, Ragnarok, was planning on returning to Asgard, where Thor and his people live, to destroy it. The beginning of the movie is a scene where Thor confronts Ragnarok to stop the plot before it is set in motion.

After returning from this mission, Thor finds Asgard under the control of Loki, who he thought had died. Audiences who watched Thor: The Dark World, however, already knew that Loki had survived. After Thor gets Loki to show him where their father, and the true Asgard king, Odin, was, events occur which set the scene for the rest of the movie.

Taika Waititi, the director of the movie, shows that he can put his own unique twist on the MCU. Although he hasn’t perfected action sequences, the main action sequences in the movie tend to revolve around large crowd battles versus either Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, or his companions.

Speaking of cameos and companions, there were many other characters who joined Thor in this movie. The two most notable would be the Hulk and Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, had a limited yet enjoyable time on screen. Even more than his own stand alone movie, Strange’s appearance showed how powerful of a character he is and can be.

The Hulk on the other hand, played by Mark Ruffalo, had more screen time. There are some complaints by reviewers that most of the Hulk’s scenes in the movie were already shown through trailers. This is true. However, the true fault with the Hulk’s appearance is how they quickly skip over one of the Hulk’s most important storylines in the comics — Planet Hulk.

It is a story deep enough to be worthy of its own Hulk solo movie. That is, if the previous Hulk MCU movie wouldn’t have underperformed like it did, making Marvel afraid to do a new Hulk movie.

Other supporting characters in the movie stood out as good compliments to the plot and its main characters. However, at times, it seems like the movie has too many characters. This damages it a slight degree, as some characters who deserved to be developed more, weren’t.

The action scenes and movie itself was well directed. There is only one complaint. In one scene, Thor and Loki travel to Norway. However, instead of actually flying to Norway, Marvel decided to use a green screen. The green screen is very noticeable for such a major movie. It is sloppy, but besides this one incident the movie visually looks great.

This movie also has something else that is surprising for a Marvel movie — a good villain. Marvel has notoriously had trouble perfecting villains in its universe. However, this time, the villain is well thought out, powerful, and effective.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is a fantastic movie. It’s comedy hits the mark nearly every time, especially if you’ve seen all the other MCU movies. It also never feels overdone, and brings a nice change to a cinematic universe 17 movies deep. Simply put, Thor: Ragnarok does comedy in a superhero movie right. It is one of, if not the, most fun and entertaining movies Marvel has released to date. It’s worth the watch.