WARNING: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
Synopsis: In the third film of the Thor series, the Asgardian hero must team up with Loki (Tom Hiddelston) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to help save Asgard from Ragnarok.
Review: There aren’t many times where a threequel is better than the first two films. Captain America: Civil War bucked that trend, and Thor: Ragnarok is poised to follow suit. Chris Hemsworth returns for the fifth time as Thor, who must take town his biological sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) in order to save Asgard from doom.
Ragnarok does a great job introducing new characters like Scrapper 142 (Tessa Thompson) and The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), while also upping the comic relief in the film. Thor and Thor: The Dark World were definitely two of the darker films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it is evident that Marvel decided to change the tone completely with Ragnarok. While many have enjoyed the humor infused into films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, there seems to be a sense of real darkness missing now from the MCU.
The film does a lot of things right: it sets up next year’s Avengers: Infinity War up great, the buddy comedy feel of Thor and Banner actually works quite well, and Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is still refreshing four films in. The special effects and cinematography are top notch, and director Taika Waititi does a great job with the film.
One of the major upsets of the film is the lack of Heimdall, played again by Idris Elba. While Elba is fourth credited in the film, his arc is saved mainly for the last third of the movie. Heimdall is much more of a fighter in this film, and helps showcase more of Elba’s talents.
There are a few other things missing in the film, including Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster being sorely missed. While she hadn’t appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the lack of real closure felt missing in the film. While we got a throw away line about her breaking up with Thor, moviegoers spent two films invested in their romance. Another omission is Jaimie Alexander’s Sif, who could not appear in the film due to Alexander’s scheduling conflicts with Blindspot. While you can almost forgive Portman’s omission since the film takes place mostly in other galaxies, Alexander’s Sif surely would have been involved with the battle against Hela.
Like every Marvel movie, keep a keen eye out for surprise cameos (a huge A-list star appears pretty early on in the film), Easter eggs from Marvel history, BOTH post credit scenes, and some hilarious one-liners and callbacks to previous films.
Marvel has a proven formula that has worked with every film in the MCU. Even lesser known properties like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange have been box office successes. With Ragnarok debuting to a massive $122 million opening weekend (bigger than Thor: The Dark World’s $85 and Thor’s $65), it appears that the third time is definitely the charm.
Final Grade: 8.0/10