Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Movie Review: Thor - Ragnarok

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Laughs, action
Cons: 80’s, some major elements glossed over
The Bottom Line:
Thor needs to race home
From planet where he’s captured
Laughs, but just okay

Thor Gets Stuck in the ‘80’s

Sometimes, I wonder what the people who actually write scripts think of the promos that are created for movies.  I’m completely sure that is the case with Thor: Ragnarok.  The marketing campaign actually ruined a perfectly wonderful moment in the film.  But more about that in a few minutes.

This movie opens with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on his latest quest.  He’s working to collect artifacts that he thinks lead to the destruction of his planet.  He’s been having dreams every night about Ragnarok, which will mean the end of his civilation, and he is determined to stop it.  Of course, when he gets home, he quickly figures out that it is really his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) on the throne and his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has been banished to Earth.  Things only get more complicated when Hela (Cate Blanchett) shows up and takes control of Asgard.

And then Thor gets banished to a distant world where he is taken as a gladiator in their arena.  Can he figure out how to survive and return?  If he does, will it be in time to save Asgard?

And actually, that’s where the movie went wrong.  This planet where Thor is trapped and spends most of his time is taken directly from an 80’s post-apocalyptic movie.  The sites, the sound, it just screams 80’s.  I found myself rolling my eyes more than I’m sure I was supposed to during these sequences.  I just really, really wish they hadn’t evoke those movies so much.  But I appear to be the only one this homage bothered.  I heard people in the audience I watched the movie with talking about how it was their favorite of the three Thor movies.

It’s certainly not that the plot was bad.  It was predictable, but it was entertaining.  There are some things they definitely glossed over, including some blink and you miss them cameos.  But on the whole, I was engaged, wondering just how Thor would be able to escape.

Which brings me back to my opening paragraph.  There is a moment half way through that absolutely was spoiled in all the marketing.  It’s not a bad thing, but it really would have been cool if they had managed to keep that surprise.  And this is all I’m saying, so if you don’t know, I’m not spoiling it for you.

The cast is strong, even those who are definitely embracing the 80’s of it all.  I have no complaints in that department.  Likewise, the special effects are great.

I think what saves this movie is the humor.  There are more laughs in this film than in any of the previous Thor films.  And yes, these are jokes written into the script, not unintended humor.  That helps lighten some of the darker elements of the movie.

Obviously, I didn’t enjoy the movie as the rest of the audience I saw it with.  Don’t misunderstand, Thor: Ragnarok is not a bad movie, but it’s not an especially good one either.  It’s definitely worth watching to get the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but on its own, it is only average.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've heard a lot of mixed things. I can't wait to give it a watch though! :)