The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had its ups and down, but lately, it’s hit its stride, turning out one hit after another, and Thor: Ragnarok is no exception. Indeed, even though the franchise hasn’t had a true flop since Avengers 2, this film is a massive hit for a trilogy that has had a mediocre showing for the first two Thor movies. (Although all three of the films I just mentioned still have worryingly high critical reviews.) Either way, Thor: Ragnarok was briefly Rotten Tomatoes’ highest-rated Marvel movie of all time, and while it has now slipped below Iron Man 1, it’s still some of their best work, and a great setup for the upcoming Infinity War.
Thor: Ragnarok follows on the second Thor movie, in which Loki took over Asgard by impersonating his father, Odin, and exiling the real Odin to Earth. Unfortunately, separated from the power of Asgard, Odin is dying, thus releasing his firstborn from her own exile: Hela, the goddess of death. And having the woman whom Hell is literally named after come to town is bad news. Thor’s hammer is destroyed, Thor is knocked to the far end of the universe, and Hela soon conquers Asgard, and that’s all in the first 30 minutes! And only Thor has the power to find his way back and stop his sister from bringing about the Norse apocalypse of Ragnarok.
If I had to make a criticism of this movie, it would be that it’s a bit rushed—trying to do too much in too short a time. Hela’s curb-stomp of the defenders of Asgard, including some notable secondary characters, just felt too fast to have the desired impact. But even with that, the movie is very-well produced. It’s fun, humorous without being campy, and manages to pack in great character arcs for all the major players.
Really, I think that’s the best part, for all the silly antics, we really get to see Thor, 142, Banner, Loki, and even Hela’s henchman go through real growth as characters, all in the space of two hours. And of course, we get to see Hulk beat up Thor. Basically, it’s a pretty great time all around, one of Marvel’s best, and definitely worth the ticket price.
My rating: 5 out of 5.