WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THOR: RAGNAROK PLEASE DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FILM
Thor: Ragnarok is the latest entry within Marvel Studios’ ongoing cinematic universe which continues to build toward the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. It is by far the greatest Thor film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and mostly delivers on what is promised in the trailers of the movie.
Although Thor: Ragnarok continues with the God of Thunder’s story after Avengers: Age of Ultron, it also continues Loki’s story from the last Thor film. Thor: The Dark World left a particularly sour taste in the mouths of many fans as the film is largely considered to be ranked the lowest of the films in the MCU.
This movie sets itself apart from the other Thor movies right from the start because it is a lot more comedic even in the opening sequence where our hero is fighting Fire Lord Surtur. In the scene, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) jokes about Surtur’s crown looking like giant eyebrows. It is here that we find out that Thor has been on a journey to search for infinity stones for the past two years since the last Avengers film. A mission that he has failed to make any progress in.
Fire Lord Surtur in the Comics and Movie
Also at this point in the movie, Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” is played as Thor battles the fiery demons of Muspelheim (the blazing domain over which Surtur resides). The song was featured in the various trailers for the movie and does not disappoint on its delivery within the film itself.
In defeating the fire lord, it is thought that Thor has prevented Ragnarok from occurring. Ragnarok is a prophesized event that marks the destruction of Asgard (Thor’s homeworld).
After finding that his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), is still alive and ruling over Asgard in place of their father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Thor and Loki then go to New York City to look for their father when Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) points them to Norway. At this point, one of the few problematic scenes in the movie takes place.
We see the death of the supposedly great and powerful king Odin, but the emotional scene very quickly turns to the villain, Hela the “Goddess of Death” (Cate Blanchett). The death of such an important character in Thor’s world is almost brushed over in favor of introducing the “big bad” of the film who proceeds to destroy Thor’s most precious possession, the mighty hammer known as Mjolnir. Although, this moment can be forgiven due to how fun the rest of the film is.
Hela is pretty good villain and is given an unexpected to connection to Thor as it turns out that she is actually his older sister. As the eldest of Odin’s offspring, she wants to take her rightful place at the throne of Asgard. Hela also reveals that much of what Odin told to Thor, Loki, and the rest of Asgard is lies. Most importantly to fans, she confirms that the Infinity Gauntlet seen in the original Thor movie is indeed a fake.
Infinity Gauntlet as Seen in Thor
Many fans questioned as to why there were two of these gauntlets in the MCU after a post-credit scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, these questions can finally laid to rest.
When we first meet the Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) character, she seems to be an alcoholic woman who does not care what others think about her. As the movie progresses, it is clear that she is a strong character with a troubled past.
Eventually we get introduced to Jeff Goldblum’s portrayal of the Grandmaster who is known in the comics for being an elder of the Marvel universe and the brother of the Collector, a character introduced in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. The character is humorous and mysterious, but turns out to be largely inconsequential within the larger plot of the movie. Still, the character is quirky and adds a unique flavor to the mix of the cast.
The Grandmaster pits Thor against his grand champion which many who have seen the trailers know is the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Even though the moment was constantly built up by the various trailers for the movie, the fight that ensued was still very enjoyable and a great spectacle to watch.
The Hulk as a character is seen in this movie more than almost any other Marvel film (aside from The Incredible Hulk). He is given dialogue and actually holds a conversation with Thor. As confirmed by Mark Ruffalo, Thor: Ragnarok begins a three movie arc for Hulk and it is interesting to see how his character develops in the movie.
Hulk in His Gladiator Armor
After a series of events and a telepathic message sent by Heimdall (Idris Elba), Thor and the gang manage to get back to Asgard to fight Hela. In the big fight, Thor gets pinned down by the Goddess of Death before she takes out one his eyes. It is in that moment that we see the scene from the trailers where Thor is enveloped in lightning. As he begins to fight back against Hela’s army of undead Asgardian soldiers, the “Immigrant Song” is once again satisfyingly played in the background while his “Revengers” beat up the undead army in an attempt to save Asgard and prevent Ragnarok from occurring.
Thor Using His Lightning Powers
There is an unexpected turn of events when it comes to how the heroes finally defeat Hela (which we will not spoil). However, the mid-credit scene seems to indicate where Thor will be when Avengers: Infinity War begins as a large ominous ship looms over the hero in outer space. That ship has been confirmed by director Taika Waititi to be the vessel of Thanos, who is set to be the next big villain that the Avengers will face.
Overall, the movie is a very exciting and fun ride that is an absolute joy to witness. If you are a comic book fan or a fan of the Marvel Studios and the MCU, you must absolutely watch this movie. If do not care about comic book movies or the MCU, but wish to see an epic, hilarious, action-packed movie, you should still go to see it. We would recommend Thor: Ragnarok to just about anyone, but the movie is definitely much more enjoyable if you are able to recognize the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) references to the larger MCU.
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