Film: Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo
Highlight of the Movie: The film starts out on the right foot, with a hilarious bit of dialogue and a great action scene which results in Thor (Chris Hemsworth) slaying a powerful demon, and setting up a triumphant return to Asgard with a return of Tom Hiddleston as fan-favorite Loki to boot.
This is easily the best part of the whole movie, starting everything off perfectly and getting the audience excited for the two hours yet to come. The dialogue in the first fifteen minutes of the film are easily the most clever and polished bits throughout the two hour and ten minute runtime.
The re-introduction to Asgard is also wonderful in these scenes, the floating sky fortress has never looked better, showing a natural evolution from the first two films, and showcasing how much better Marvel has gotten at utilizing their settings over the last six years.
Worst Part: Twenty minutes in, the film makes its first clear mistake in killing-off Odin without having much emotional weight or payoff, the death feels brushed over and doesn’t have as much effect on Thor as a father dying should have. Shortly after, Cate Blanchett makes her first appearance as Hela, as much as she nails her role, Blanchett’s introduction is rushed. Hela quickly says her cliche villain introduction lines, and defeats Thor and Loki in an instant; the scene where she destroys Thor’s hammer is in the film, but because of it being shown in the trailer, the destruction isn’t a wow moment, it’s expected.
The biggest problem with Hela’s quick defeat of Thor is that even though it’s a handily defeat, there is no lowpoint or feeling of absolute hopelessness from Thor, but instead the plot just keeps moving, which is one of the most critical flaws in this movie, director Taika Waititi doesn’t take his time and ever look at all that has just happened, but instead just keeps moving in full gear into the worst section of the movie.
Sakaar may have beat Ego for worst planet to base a Marvel movie on, whereas Ego was unpopulated and boring, Sakaar is just bland. Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster was just a complete miss, plain as that. The sci-fi tone that the movie shifts to isn’t warranted, and takes away from the very interesting side plot of Hela retelling Asgard’s history.
Best Character: With Tom Hiddleston (a guaranteed hit) as Loki, Chris Hemsworth returning as Thor, and six time oscar nominee Cate Blanchett, this film has a stacked cast. As much as those three nail their roles, Tessa Thompson steals every scene she’s in. Valkyrie is easily the most interesting new character in this film, and her backstory is a great segway to get out of Sakaar and back into the rich history of Asgard.
Worst Character: Jeff Goldblum. There isn’t a right place to start when analyzing his performance. The jokes written for him are awful, and the ‘ooo I’m crazy’ villain stereotype doesn’t fit his character at all.
Biggest Takeaways: Loki is the ultimate plot device for Marvel. His double-crossing nature can come into play for whichever side the plot requires it to in order to create a better story.
Valkyrie is much better and more interesting than Jane Foster was as Thor’s love interest. She isn’t going to be a damsel in distress all the time, and feels so much closer to Thor already; instead of being a painful reminder of how inhuman he is, she’s a great connecting bridge to the Asgard side of Thor that is much more interesting.
Marvel needs to abandon the sci fi tone that it had for the middle of this film, it doesn’t fit. This world is outlandish and just plain fun. Exploring Asgard’s mythology has always been the strong point of the Thor films, and the more that appears in the future, the better.