Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

The wildly profitable Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) nevertheless has issues. Apart from the aging out of actors starting their second decade of playing the same, sometimes supposedly ageless character, other superheroes are simply difficult to bring to the screen in an all-around successful way. Thor is a prime example.

One of an alien race mistaken by mere humans as Gods and glorified in Norse mythology, Thor has always been a bit of a stick in comic-books; lacking the banter of a Spider-Man, the cockiness of a Human Torch, or the feistiness of a Wolverine. So how to build a cinematic universe around someone so literally alien, and somewhat unrelatable?

The plan has been to surround him with foil and to gradually “lighten him up” due to his interaction with humans. Financially this plan succeeded, since Thor’s earlier films were profitable despite tepid reviews. What Marvel really wanted was a Thor film that got good reviews and made bank. They get both in Thor: Ragnarok.

Taking a comedic cue from their other successful properties (Guardians of the Galaxy), and learning lessons from rival studios which created superhero films deemed too grim (Man of Steel), Marvel has fashioned Thor’s third solo film as a straight-up comedy; albeit one that includes a hefty amount of PG-13 carnage, first rate special effects, a cast to kill for, and a surprising amount of loss (although at such a clip, there’s no time for grief). But under the guidance of beloved Indie director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople), although Ragnarok is about ten minutes too long and its abundant humor sometimes crowds out its heart, it’s also too good of time to miss. Finally letting titular star Chris Hemsworth’s comedic talents shine as well as surrounding him with fan–favorites all further around their own character arcs (such as Mark Ruffalo’s “Banner/Hulk” and Tom Hiddleston’s “Loki”) while introducing new female leads (Tessa Thompson’s “Valkyrie” and Cate Blanchett’s “Hela”) turns out to be a winning combination with both critics and audiences alike, which will no doubt be reflected in the box office.

Thor: Ragnarok directly addresses the criticism leveled at its predecessors and takes a fundamentally different approach, resulting in a thoroughly entertaining movie not only for a “superhero flick,” but for any film in the Action, Adventure, or Comedy genres – a tall order that is abundantly fulfilled.


Thor: Ragnarok TRAILER:

Directed by: Taika Waititi (directed by)

Writing Credits: Eric Pearson (written by) and Craig Kyle (written by) & Christopher Yost (written by) (as Christopher L. Yost), Stan Lee (based on the comics by) & Larry Lieber (based on the comics by) and Jack Kirby (based on the comics by)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material

TRT: 2hrs 10mins

Richard Bonaduce
Richard Bonaduce
Rich Bonaduce was born and raised in Pennsylvania but has lived in Utah now for half his life. In addition to being a regular contributor as a Film Critic for Salt Lake Magazine, he is also the Film Critic and Entertainment reporter for FOX13’s weekly morning show Good Day Utah. He’s also a drummer in local band “Mojave Rose,” and is much shorter than he appears on television. You've been warned.

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