Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

By Leo Epema 18.12.2017 2

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Thor: Ragnarok (UK Rating: 12A)

From director Taika Waititi comes Thor: Ragnarok - the third instalment in the Thor movie franchise. Waititi is known for directing short films, such as Two Cars, One Night and five episodes of the TV show The Inbetweeners. For many people, this raises the question: does Waititi do well at directing a superhero movie? Has he done the Thor movie series justice?

This part revolves around the return of Hela, the belligerent daughter of Odin (ruler of Asgard), who was banished from Asgard by him. Now that Odin is gone, she has come to claim the throne. This revelation comes after Thor returns from a trip to Muspelheim, where the humoristic tone of the movie is first set.

Thor: Ragnarok will be considered funny by many viewers. It contains dry humour, slapstick, and even some puns. The humour is timed very well and is never overacted. What does eventually become grating, though, is that almost every character fills an amusing role, almost like each character serves as comic relief. Nevertheless, the humour is rationed fairly well.

What's nice about this movie is that it's a balanced combination of important elements of superhero movies: humour and loads of action. Unfortunately, however, this is also a big flaw, because it renders the characters shallow. One of the ways this manifests is in the lack of back-story.

Secondary characters, like Korg (Taika Waititi), and the familiar Heimdall (Idris Elba), are not afforded any back-story. Even Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) has no meaningful personal interaction with anyone. Viewers don't even know why he's there, really. Due to that, it's impossible to become invested in what happens between him and the others. You get a sense that he's intended to come across as a psychopath who just liquefies people he doesn't like, but it's unknown why he does it. Even Hela is a cipher and tells her simple tale in mere seconds through an expository monologue. There is no history between her and the characters, nothing that arouses an emotional response. The worst thing is that Loki is used to progress the plot and is turned into someone utterly incompetent.

While the characters are weak, the actors deliver powerful performances. They are clearly comfortable in their roles, and you can almost see the delight in Cate Blanchett's eyes in every scene. The story doesn't suit any of that: it's a fast starter, but there are far too many short, irrelevant scenes. In addition, a large part of the story focuses merely on the plot, not on things related to Thor or other main characters. Fans of the Thor comics and movies shouldn't expect much from this flick except a few satisfying action scenes. Thor also finally uses his lightning, instead of constantly throwing his hammer around.

Indeed, when it comes to action, the movie shines. Each punch is filled with power and speed. However, there are a few scenes with unnecessary visual effects taking the place of stunt work. Hela often looks blurry, for instance, and the camera moves more than it needs to in order to obscure the mediocre CGI. That's a real shame, considering Hela is fast and agile, which shouldn't be hidden like this.

Rated 6 out of 10


All in all, Thor: Ragnarok's humour is entertaining, but the comedy elements make up a large part of the runtime, and because of this, a fair bit of time is wasted, which doesn't help the weak characters. The result is a mediocre story that's in service of the plot only. Thankfully, the action is very nice, albeit a bit sparse, and occasionally unfocused in a literal sense. This third instalment, on the whole then, is a fairly enjoyable romp.

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My fear was that because the trailers I've seen are so hilarious, the rest of the movie would be disappointing... I've yet to see it, but it sounds like that might be the case Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
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Yeah, that's how it was for me. The characterizations of the characters are fine, but pretty much everything they do is in service of the plot. While I liked the movie, I later sat down and realized nothing that happened was of much consequence, really. Hell, half the movie is spent on a planet that has nothing to do with the overall story concerning Thor. That part of the movie really only focuses on showing Thor and the Hulk being friends, but even that doesn't really go anywhere in a dramatic sense.

Basically, it's a summer blockbuster kind of deal. It's fun to watch for the people with raging testosterone, but it's not something you go to for the story, or even the characters. Nothing about it was good, nothing about it was bad. Just... eh.

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