Review: Thor: Ragnarok — One of the most funny, nonserious MCU instalments

thor ragnarok hulk bed still

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Movie review

Directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) and screenwritten by Eric Pearson (Agent Carter TV series), Christopher Yost (Max Steel, Thor: Dark World) & Craig Kyle (Hulk vs Wolverine animated series), Thor: Ragnarok is the 17th instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the third Thor title in the series. The story takes place two years after Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) where the titular god of thunder (Chris Helmsworth) is faced with the most powerful enemy yet — Hela (Cate Blanchett) — his very own sister who destroys his hammer Mjolnir and almost effortlessly taken over Asgard. He bumps into familiar faces on a planet called Sakaar and hopes to get their help to save Asgard. But before that, he must face one of them in a battle of gadiators — against Bruce Banner / Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

The plot is as simple and convenient as it sounds. An unknown, never-before-mentioned, elder sister popped out of no where (in the comics, she’s actually Loki’s daughter) and Thor just so happens to bump into Hulk and other allies on a planet he never knew. And everyone, aliens in the whole universe all seems to be English. But Marvel continues to do what it does best — entertain the heck out of its audiences. If there was a Marvel film that has the complete opposite tone to the DC’s dark, serious and depressing tone, this is the one. It’s almost like a Guardians of the Galaxy instalment but with no chill pill on the humour and delivers even the most serious moments lightly — which can be considered as one of the film’s downside as well.

thor ragnarok vs hulk still

Things like Thor losing Mjolnir isn’t really made into as big of deal as it should’ve been. There isn’t really like a dramatic journey or progress of Thor becoming a stronger or better hero. He’s lost more than his hammer and yet he’s still in the mood to crack jokes. And scenes with an important character dying or permanent losing a part of his/her body definitely should’ve been more serious. But this is Marvel and they’re continuing the super comedic approach after the likes of the two preceding instalments released in the same year — Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Almost every cast member are highly amusing in almost every scene they’re in, particularly Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum (as Grandmaster, the ruler of Sakaar), Mark Ruffalo and the director Taika Waititi (as the soft-spoken voice of Korg). Cate Blanchett gave a very committed performance but unfortunately her villainous role is not as menacing as the character could’ve been and ultimately wasted once again like most antagonists in MCU. Karl Urban is pretty good too as Skurge and he gets quite a decent amount of screen time but the character seems highly unnecessary to the plot.

Despite the odd inconsistencies (which might bother some hardcore Marvel fans), lack of emotional weight and unengaging action sequences, Thor: Ragnarok still manages to thorough entertain. Most MCU films have a great balance of laughter and drama but in this one, it’s like 90% comedy and for most parts it never failed to crack me up. The comedic timing, performances and editing are so slick that even predictable jokes are somehow hilarious. The visuals are good as always with certain scenes blending well to the retro, synth-cosmic music by Mark Mothersbaugh which made me felt like singing the theme of Never Ending Story (1984).

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Post-credit scene: The mid-credit scene shows a hint of what’s coming next while the post-credit is quite a waste of time to wait for, to be honest.

What I would’ve named the film: “Thor: Just Another Family Feud”

Malaysian censorship: I believe only a “son of a bitch” line was muted.

Second opinion: My girlfriend find the film extremely hilarious as well and felt that Hulk and Hela’s gigantic dog really cute.

Verdict: Thoroughly entertaining albeit some scenes should’ve been a little more serious.

Rating: 4 / 5

thor ragnarok movie poster malaysiaBased on: Marvel comic “Thor” by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

Genre: Superhero, fantasy, adventure, action, comedy
Running Time: 130 minutes
Director: Taika Waititi
Screenwriters: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins

Malaysia Release Date: 26 November 2017
Rated: P13
Local Distributor: (no info)
Production: Marvel Studios

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