Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review
I’ll say one thing for the Marvel Universe: even in a time of crisis when their world is on the brink of being destroyed, they still know how to have some fun, becauseThor: Ragnarok is a lot of fun.
Thor: Ragnarok is a comic-book movie with something for everyone: plenty of fight scenes and visual effects, a heavy dose of comedy, sibling rivalry and reconciliation, coming to terms with one’s past and having to create a whole new future – and some awesome beefcake thrown in for good measure.
Thor: Ragnarok – The Story
As the film begins, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) learns about Ragnarok, the prophecy of the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization. He’s being held captive by Surtur (the voice of Clancy Brown), a fire demon whom Thor believes is the one who threatens Asgard, but the truth is much more serious.
Thor returns home to find Loki (Tom Hiddelston) has been causing mischief on Asgard, and we are treated to some terrific stunt-casting, with Matt Damon, Sam Neill and a couple of Hemsworths making cameo appearances. What Thor doesn’t find is his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), whom Loki has left stranded on Earth.
The two brothers travel there and find Odin in Norway, with surprise help from Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Once the family is together, Odin reveals two important things: that he is dying – and that he had a daughter before Thor.
Not only are the brothers shocked to learn this family secret, but it turns out that older sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) is bent on destroying the world, and has only been held in check by Odin’s life force. Now that he is dying, she will bring Ragnarok to Asgard.
Their reunion is not a love fest, as you can imagine, as Hela is a serious badass and has no interest in making nice with her younger siblings. She’s much more powerful than either of them, and ends up destroying Thor’s hammer, something most of us (including Thor) thought was impossible. From there, the film takes us on Thor’s journey of self-discovery and renewal.
Thor faces loss after loss in this film, and he’s challenged in a way we’ve not yet seen in movies. He must come to terms with losing his father, gaining a sister (and then realizing he must destroy her), losing his hammer, losing his hair (to a delicious new haircut), losing his eye, and finally losing his home.
Along the way, he and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) become friends (and then he becomes friends with Bruce Banner, too), he meets one of the legendary surviving Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – and we see sweet little spark between them – and he learns to tap into a power he never even knew he had. He comes to truly embody his name: The God of Thunder.
Beefcake in Thor: Ragnarok
There is a scene that must be mentioned, a scene where Thor is not wearing a shirt, which some viewers (including yours truly) may never fully recover from seeing. There is only one of these scenes, sadly, but it makes a big impression.
Chris Hemsworth may in fact be a male human being who has spent months and months eating no carbs and doing Crossfit, but it’s also entirely possible that he is an engineering marvel and was carved with loving precision from a block of flesh and sex hormones by a truly gifted and talented sculptress. His torso is a thing of beauty. His arms are not to be believed.
So whether he has the hair that helped Tony Stark’s character dub him “Point Break,” or he’s sporting his new short hair and eye-patch look, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is a very handsome man. Lucky for us, he’s one of many handsome men in this cast.
Amazing Cast of Thor: Ragnarok
Cate Blanchett chews up quite a bit the scenery as Hela, the new villain in the series, and she’s got the coolest hairstyle/headdress we’ve ever seen in a movie. Her eye makeup is straight off the New York Fashion Week runways and is sure to be imitated.
Karl Urban is nearly unrecognizable at first as Scurge, the Asgardian who plans to survive the longest throughout Hela’s reign. He’s quite adorable bald with terrific tattoos as well. And spoiler alert: he comes through in the end.
Hulk is more like Mark Ruffalo than ever in this film, as they’ve given Hulk more dialogue and scenes when he’s not destroying things than ever before. In my opinion it was a risky move to see Hulk behaving like a normal guy, and I’m not 100% convinced it worked. I may be in the minority, but you’ll have to judge for yourself.
Tom Hiddelston’s Loki is a bit of a pussycat in this film, hardly misbehaving at all, and he stands in stark contrast to Hela in that regard. Loki and Thor act the most like brothers we’ve seen in a film so far, and they’re very believable as two adults sons of a father whose affections they’ve craved their whole lives.
Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is the newest addition to the lore of the Asgardians, and she’s a terrific character. The (apparently) lone survivor of the female warrior Valkyrie of the Asgard legends, Valkyrie herself has been living in exile on the scavenger planet Sakaar and drowning her sorrows in booze, trying to forget her past and in particular the battle lost to Hela when she tried to destroy Asgard the first time. While she resists Thor’s efforts to recruit her to the team at first, in the end she decides to join him and help defend Asgard from Hela’s return. The tiny spark between them may or may not turn out to be a crush, but alas, we’ll have to wait for another film to find out.
Jeff Goldblum, who plays the GrandMaster, ruler of the scavenger planet Sakaar, is about as on fire as you can get in this role. He’s clearly been given free reign to improvise and make up hilarious dialogue as he goes, and it’s just terrific. He’s his signature kooky genius self, and it looks as if he’s delighted to be there.
Finally, Director Taika Watiti has taken the role of Korg, a rock-man Thor meets on the planet Sakaar, and gives a very sweet performance.
Thor: Ragnarok is a terrific movie, and we highly recommend it. The film is rated PG-13 and opens in wide release on November 3rd.
Check out more at the Marvel Official website.
Follow Thor: Ragnarok on Twitter.
Follow Marvel on Instagram.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com. She was invited to a screening of the film and attended the press junket.