Thor: Ragnarok (2017) — Revengers, assemble!

“So much has happened since I last saw you! I lost my hammer, like yesterday, so that’s still fresh.”

Justin’s rating: Drinks!

Justin’s review: For a guy who has sworn off of the MCU and modern superhero movies in general, I do a real bad impression of someone who sticks to his guns. Honestly, I don’t want to see any more Marvel flicks. I didn’t even WANT to see this one, but people kept yammering at me, “What, you haven’t seen Thor Ragnarok? You’ve GOT to see Thor Ragnarok! Thor Ragnarok is totally your kind of movie! When I saw Thor Ragnarok, I lost five pounds and mastered two dead languages! THOR RAGNAROK IS LIFE.”

Fine. I saw it. Would totally serve you people right if I ended the review right here. If I was just a shade more ornery, I’d do that.

Unlike the drab and forgettable first two Thor flicks, Marvel apparently decided to refocus the character toward a career of comedy by way of ’80s synth rock. And when things weren’t really working out before, why not go in a bold new direction? Eh, I’m on board.

Troubled by dreams of his home planet Asgard being totally wrecked by the apocalypse by his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), Thor investigates the who and what and why and whimsy behind it all. Along the way, he rediscovers his (I guess) not bad any more brother Loki, loses his hammer, and gets exiled to a backwater gladiator planet where he’s got to battle for Jeff Goldblum. Also, Hulk is there, because this is Incredible Hulk Returns all over again I guess. Now he’s got to fight his way home while assembling a team to call his own.

Going the comedy route was an amazingly good move for the character, setting, and actor. The whole “Norse gods in spaaaaaaace” setup was already inherently silly, and trying to make it serious in previous films felt like the franchise was swimming against the flow. Now it’s flipped around and everyone is free to let loose with jokes, over-the-top action, and so many visual sight gags that both my ear and eye were pleased. Honestly, when we’ve come to a point where CGI fights in superhero movies are so humdrum, it’s nice that the visuals are used for a higher purpose than combat.

It also helps that Chris Hemsworth looks like he’s having the time of his life being the superpowered goofball that he was clearly born to be. Knocking him down a peg by taking away his hammer and forcing the interstellar trust fund baby to work a day in his life wasn’t a bad idea. Take the guy’s toy away and see if he’s more than posturing and power-strikes with Mjøllnir.

The ’80s influences add a nice layer, with a pretty kickin’ synth score, loads of neon, and visuals that could be transplanted onto many heavy metal album covers. Seeing as how that decade already embraced an “anything goes” attitude in movies, why not borrow a little of that spirit?

I mean, OK, I still don’t care about the MCU and huge overarching event storylines and the pointless CGI battles that punctuate each. But Thor Ragnarok? Yeah, I’ll happily take a swig from this mug of mirth.

Didja notice?

  • Skeletons make good sounding boards
  • Des and Troy
  • Girls don’t like gross decapitated dragon heads
  • Thor the play!
  • Self-filling beer mug
  • “I have been falling… for THIRTY MINUTES!”
  • Well, that hammer is toast
  • That was a blood-free massacre
  • Thor gets a dark ride!
  • “I didn’t hear any thunder but out of your fingers, was that little sparkles?”
  • All robots should have knives for hands
  • It’s a freaky circle
  • Thor is “New Doug”
  • All the finger-spark jokes
  • Thor’s “YES!” at seeing Hulk
  • Hulk in a hot tub
  • “Point Break!”
  • “No, I won, easily.”
  • The melt-stick
  • “You’re a scientist, use one of your PhDs!” “None of them are for FLYING ALIEN SPACESHIPS!”
  • The fireworks button

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s