Thor: Ragnarok Review – Another Hilarious, Fun, and Generic Marvel Film

Daniel Oden, Staff Writer

Thor: Ragnarok completes the Thor movie trilogy and is the 17th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it was highly anticipated by many fans, including myself, there was still a bit of wariness to be shared when entering the theater, as the previous two Thor movies have been  universally panned for their lackluster plots and characters. However, there was a lot more hope for this movie because it was not just a Thor movie – it promised to include more elements from the overall cinematic universe, something that the previous movies did not have. The final result? A funny, entertaining movie that’s not great, but still worth a watch or two.


The story, of course, follows Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, as he attempts to look for the infinity stones, an element introduced in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. In his pursuit to do so, however, he is confronted by his brother Loki and by this movie’s antagonist: Hela, the Norse goddess of death, played by Cate Blanchett. In this first confrontation, both Thor and Loki are defeated and stranded on a planet called Sakaar. Once there, Thor is taken prisoner by the Grandmaster, played by the ever-cheesy Jeff Goldblum, where he also finds Hulk. The majority of the movie follows these three, along with a new character named Valkyrie, who works for the Grandmaster, as they attempt to escape Sakaar and stop the Hela from taking over Asgard, Thor’s homeworld.


The central plot is easily this movie’s greatest strength. All of the characters within the plot are likeable and each have their moment in the spotlight, with the exception of Valkyrie, who isn’t given much time for her character to be fleshed out beyond being an exceptionally strong fighter. Everyone else is given plenty of time to deliver funny lines and develop their own individual arcs. Hulk’s arc is especially interesting, as we get to see how he got to his current state. The movie is also fairly self-aware, as there are multiple jokes directed towards the idea of creating a team of heroes to stop a villain. The intriguing cinematography, color aesthetic, and theme of the setting are the cherry on top of all of this.


Unfortunately, anything outside the central plot is not very interesting or entertaining. The movie often switches between the events on Asgard and Sakaar, with the events on Asgard following our Hela as she finds a way to invade other worlds. Hela herself, while intimidating and powerful, is a pretty generic character with little to no motivation to her character, reminiscent of other villains within the MCU. This B-plot also lacks the personality and creative imagery that the central plot has. The Ragnarok portion of the movie is also severely lacking. Ragnarok is a prophecy that will end in the destruction of Asgard; however, it only contributes to the overall plot in the very beginning and the end, where it becomes a Deus Ex Machina to defeat Hela, which is very misleading and results in a mediocre climax.


Luckily, all the good parts of the movie take up the majority of the experience, easily redeeming these sore spots in the plot. Overall, the movie is a fun experience for not just Marvel fans, but for moviegoers in general. Junior Coltrane Whiting sums it up pretty well, saying “the mixture of comedy, action, and the small fourth wall breaks keeps you completely immersed in the movie.” While the plot might not hold for the entirety of the movie and ultimately brings it down as a result, that doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable Marvel movie as we continue to follow this cinematic universe.