The Marvel Cinematic Universe delivers its next installment with Thor: Ragnarok. In addition to being a great new adventure, it covers where Thor and Hulk were during Captain America: Civil War. We get a new kick-ass heroine to root for, and a few lingering plot lines dealt with. There are some spoilers here, so be warned.
Ragarok opens with Thor clashing with Surtur, the legendary fire demon. After dealing with this, he goes home to Asgard for the first time in quite a while. Remember Loki seizing the throne in Thor: The Dark World? That gets handled in short order with some creative uses of Thor’s power. A defeated Loki brings Thor to where he left Odin… but he’s not there. After a guest appearance and shove in the right direction by Dr. Strange, the brothers find their father. The reunion is brief as he warns of a great evil coming before disappearing.
Hela is apparently Odin’s firstborn, and now she’s back and insanely powerful. They demonstrate this by her dispatching a major piece of the Thor mythos in seconds. When Thor and Loki end up yanked home via the Bifrost, she follows and casts them out before arriving in Asgard. Her arrival is unwelcome, surprising, and deadly to supporting cast.
While Hela wreaks havoc in Asgard, Thor finds himself on a strange planet. Captured and forced to fight in a gladiator match, he reunites with two characters and meets a few new ones. It’s hard to keep a Thunder God down, and he eventually wins free, with some reluctant help from both the Hulk and Valkyrie. Eventually, there’s a huge showdown of massive proportions as Hela tries to claim the throne and a desperate Thor has to resort to a big gamble to defeat her. For all the humor, there’s a lot of loss along the way in this one. I’d put it at one of the best of the Marvel movies, with a lot of unexpected twists.
What I liked: Just about everything. Dr. Strange’s cameo was great, and nicely expanded the scene at the end of his own movie. The humor here was entertaining and helped move the movie along. Banner certainly seems to have a type when it comes to women. Valkyrie was fantastic, and Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster was delightfully over the top. Thor’s increase in power was well done and nicely timed, considering what’s coming for the Avengers. The first scene with Surtur showed great action and just how much Thor was relying on Mjonlir. We finally see Thor “not fall for that.”
What I didn’t: It makes no sense to me that not only was Sif not in this movie, but she wasn’t even mentioned. I get Jamie Alexander might be under contract for her show, Blindspot, but really, everyone forgot she existed? Mjolnir is such a big part of the character, I hope they find a way to bring it back for the upcoming Avengers movies. I tend to have a fondness for a lot of obscure characters, and the Warriors Three going down with two of them not even getting a strike in was kind of rough. And those few gripes were about it.
I’m giving this movie a very rare 5 out of 5. I loved it.
Trivia fact: The Defenders (comic book version, not Netflix) have several of their regular members in this movie, although not all together. Hulk and Dr. Strange were founding members of the team, and Valkyrie was a core part of the team for years.
Stealing a page from Talking Dead, here’s a brief listing of those we lost.
En Memorium: Mjolnir. Odin. Fandrall, Volstagg, and Hogun– The Warriors Three. The Quinjet. Thor’s right eye. Skurge the Executioner. Hela. Asgard.