"The Hammer Falls"
A Review of "Thor: Ragnarok" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Taika Waititi, Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett
Rating: 3 Stars, STREAM
Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
My level of excitement for another addition to the Thor franchise was somewhere between watching paint dry and watching a “Downton Abbey” marathon on an endless loop. The first entry in this franchise did absolutely nothing for me. In fact, it left so little of an impression I skipped the second film altogether. Not wanting to be left behind in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, I decided to take one for the team and venture out to my local cinema for “Thor: Ragnarok.”
From the beginning, the tone of this movie is different. I mean, my lord, Jeff Goldblum is in this thing! Somewhere along the way, the writers figured out that they were taking themselves too seriously. In this film, there are a lot of jokes. Those jokes land over and over. So much so, that it would be completely conceivable to think of this as a comedy instead of a drama based superhero movie.
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe draws closer and closer to the “Infinity War,” there is a concerted effort to have characters from other films interacting with lead actors in their solo films. Think Iron Man featured throughout “Spider-man: Homecoming.” In this film, Thor crosses paths with Doctor Strange and Hulk. As a viewer, these moments are welcome because up to this point this entire effort has felt like a daunting attempt to assemble a 1,000-piece puzzle of nothing more than a snowy landscape.
Of course, no superhero movie would be complete without a villain. Here, we meet Hela played by Cate Blanchett. Without a doubt, Ms. Blanchett is one of the greatest actors of this current generation. She has a way of commanding the screen in such a quiet and defined manner. In this movie, she is pure evil and plays the part magnificently. There is a scene in the film where Thor’s hammer falls to her power. Then and there, you know we are dealing with something extraordinary. Yet, we run into the same problem we find in these films repeatedly. The motivation and plotlines for the villain are so underdeveloped that we as an audience don’t grow to fear or understand them. Instead, we treat them as a nuisance. They are nothing more than a hurdle to leap before we move onto the next installment in the franchise.
Also, a regular feature in superhero adventures is the final boss battle. Over the last decade, these scenes have become an orgy of CGI and this meeting between hero and villain is no different. Of course, it features a little comic book magic and an amazing soundtrack to get you involved but like most of the movie, I found it sort of boring. Now, I do think this is the best entry in the franchise. Overall though, like most Gods, I don’t find the character of Thor relatable. Therefore, I believe this movie is best streamed in the comfort of your home.
Be good to each other,