Movie: Thor Ragnarök
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Director: Taika Waititi
Producer: Kevin Feige
Scriptwriters: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher L. Yost
Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo
Release Date: November 3rd 2017 (US)
Running Time: 130 minutes
Well, this is good timing isn’t it? With Thor: Love and Thunder having just dropped in UK cinemas, why not take a quick look back at the film which made Thor into one of the most popular Avengers: Thor Ragnarok? Thanks to a great cast, with Hemsworth, Blanchett, Hiddleston and Thompson amongst others, and a wickedly funny tone provided by Waititi Thor Ragnarok easily became the best Thor film in the trilogy. Yes, now it’s technically a quadrilogy… Anyway, without further ado let’s get into the review of the film.
Thor Ragnarok takes place 2 years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron (Bet you forgot about that film) with Thor and Hulk in two very different places. Thor (Hemsworth) is fighting to save Asgard from Ragnarok from the fire demon Surtur. So where is Hulk in all of this? Well, Hulk (Ruffalo) is seemingly missing in action after being fired away in the Quinjet in the aftermath of the Battle of Sokovia. So, when Thor’s previously unheard of sister, Hella (Blanchett), he has to assemble a team to not only stop Hella but also to finally learn the truth about Ragnarok. As well as established MCU names like Loki (Hiddleston) and Hulk, Thor Ragnarok also introduces Valkyrie (Thompson), Grandmaster (Goldblum) and Skurge (Urban) amongst others. So, without further ado let’s jump into the actual review portion…..
Tone in Thor Ragnarok
To begin my analysis of Thor Ragnarok, I’m going to discuss the tone of the film and why it is better suited than the tones of the two prior Thor films. Now, if anyone has seen a Taika Waititi film you’ll know that he likes to have a very upbeat and comedic tone. So, what are some examples of this in Thor Ragnarok? How about Thor and Korg’s conversation about how they ended up fighting as gladiators on Sakaar? This conversation is filled with comedic offbeats, like Korg’s failed revolution and Thor’s realisation that the arena is a circle… all while Korg continues talking to himself.
Now, contrast this to the far more sombre tones in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor films and the difference is stark. And no I’m not talking about Tony… Anyway, Branagh’s Thor films tended to focus more on Asgardian structures of power (Thor) and the terrible Dark Elf/Convergence nonsense from The Dark World. Also, a lot of the more serious tones aren’t necessarily balanced out with jokes, unlike in Thor Ragnarok. Take Hulk and Thor’s heart to heart where despite them arguing there is always an underlying comedic element. Man, I love Taika Waititi…
Chris Hemsworth’s performance in Thor Ragnarok
For the next part of my Thor Ragnarok analysis, I’m going to discuss Chris Hemsworth’s performance as Thor. Now Hemsworth has always been a good actor but his performance in Ragnarok enhances his reputation as the God of Thunder. How so? Well, for a start his chemistry with the rest of the Revengers (Nice…) Hemsworth’s chemistry with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is once again on point. And there is no better example of this than the Get Help lift scene. Simply put, this scene consists of Thor and Loki heading up in a lift to try and locate a spaceship whilst debating the merits of the Get Help plan.
Oh, this plan involves Loki pretending to be sick… only for Thor to throw him at the guards. This scene genuinely convinces you that Thor and Loki (and by extension Hemsworth and Hiddleston) are brothers. And if you need more examples of Hemsworth’s great performance, look no further than the final bridge scene and his comedic reveal of Surtur. Not only did this spawn a meme but also it shows how adaptable his performance is. Again, just watching this scene not only shows his comedic chops but also the nonchalance to assume Loki hasn’t backstabbed him by not putting Surtur’s crown in the Eternal Flame.
The Bridge Fight Scene in Thor Ragnarok
To conclude my analysis of Thor Ragnarok, I’m going to discuss the bridge fight scene and why it’s one of Marvel’s better ones (Though that’s not saying much….) Anyway, the bridge fight scene really does feel like Waititi ripped it straight from a comic book. So what is some of the evidence of this? Well, firstly the slow motion wide shot of Thor brandishing lightning from his hands. One, that is just an objectively cool shot. Two, it is one of many examples throughout the film of shots that look like they were ripped out of a comic book. Another aspect of the bridge battle which makes it so good is the song playing over it. Now I never thought I’d see the day that Led Zeppelin and Thor would be combined but it just works.
With Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song playing in the background, Thor just gains another level of coolness. Besides the Led Zeppelin and the slow motion, the other major aspect of the bridge battle that makes it so good is the snapshots of the fight between Hulk and Fenris. Again, firstly who doesn’t want to see Hulk fight a giant zombie wolf on a rainbow bridge? Two, the snapshots of the fight we see again just reaffirm how this looks like it was taken out of the comics with them even fighting underwater… after Hulk throws Fenris off the bridge.
To summarise Thor Ragnarok, this is a wickedly fun, silly and hilarious film which made Thor into one of the funniest Avengers. Well worth a rewatch prior to seeing Thor Love and Thunder…
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good
Target Audience: 12+
Content Warning: Mild Sex and Nudity, Moderate Violence and Gore, Mild Profanity, Mild Alcohol and Drugs References