Warning: There are spoilers ahead!
“Thor: Ragnarok” marks the third movie in the Thor series, and the fifth movie in which Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Many Thor fans have been anticipating this movie as Thor has been noticeably absent from the MCU since “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and the huge cast of “Captain America: Civil War.” The pressure was on for this movie’s performance to make up for Thor’s absence from the big screen.
After Thor’s hiatus from the big screen, fans were wondering what Thor has been up to these past two years. We are reintroduced to him when he is captured by Surtur, who will bring Ragnarok to Asgard, the home of Thor and the other Asgardians. Ragnarok is an event that is said to bring the end of Asgard, so it is clear that there are very high stakes for the characters in this movie. Thor soon calls his hammer and defeats Surtur, bringing his crown back to Asgard to keep it safely in Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) vault. Upon arriving, Thor discovers Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has disguised himself as Odin, and has been ruling Asgard in both of their absences. Thor forces Loki to come back to Earth to find Odin, and they find him with the help of Doctor Strange. Upon finding Odin, the two are warned of the return of their older sister, Hella (Cate Blanchett), who is the goddess of death, as Odin passes away. Hella appears and Thor’s hammer, previously believed indestructible, is destroyed. They race to beat Hella back to Asgard when they are knocked off course and stranded on a trash planet run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Throughout the rest of the movie, Thor enlists the help of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), an Asgardian Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and other prisoners of the planet to take Asgard back from Hella. Thor learns to control his powers without his hammer, which will likely come in handy in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.”
This movie is an enjoyable experience for general audiences, but also contains some disappointments. Marvel movies seem to use a recurring strategy of incorporating humor into these high action movies to bring a light-hearted feel to the high stake stories. This also helps the franchise appeal to people who do not know much about the comics. “Thor: Ragnarok” was no different as many audiences enjoyed the mix of action and humor. This was apparent by the critic’s Rotten Tomatoes score of 92 percent, which is a big step over “Thor’s” rating of 77 percent, and “Thor: The Dark World’s” rating of 66 percent.
However, this movie seemed to have missed the tonal aspect of a movie that is supposed to be about the end of a civilization. While Hella is terrorizing Asgard and killing anyone who disagrees with her, Thor is busy making jokes with the Hulk on a completely different planet. It appears that the creators do not have enough faith in their audience to handle a darker storyline. Everytime there was a hint of sadness or seriousness at any point in the film, one of the characters had to crack a joke, or do something uncharacteristically clumsy to bring levity to the situation. Marvel has found much success in bringing humor into their films. However, they must be careful not to force it in unnatural situations. If they are not careful, they may become less successful over time. Their movies seem to be trending towards being incredibly similar stories with different characters and often forgettable villains. They should not be afraid of some untapped darker themes in the future.
Overall, everyone will find something to enjoy in Thor: Ragnarok, but they will be disappointed if they are looking for something new and exciting that they have not gotten out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.