Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★½

I have visited this one since my Endgame marathon, and I noticed a lot on the music side of things this time around. But I have a lot of thoughts in general so here we go.

First off, I think it was time to switch things up for the Thor franchise. Doing a binge through all of Thors stuff has been getting a little repetitive, and on that front Ragnarok is a breath of fresh air. But… while it does take the franchise in a new direction, I think it goes too far in the goofy direction. It felt like Taika was handed a wonderful sandbox with a ton of cool ass toys and his first instinct was to destroy as much of it as he possibly could. The warriors 3 probably being the best example, they deserved way better. I think they were underused in the MCU prior to this and it’s a shame they didn’t get the chance to shine in this film the same way Heimdall (who rocks in this film) did.

In terms of Loki, I’m fairly indifferent on him here, just as I was indifferent on where they left him off at the end of Dark World. I didn’t really feel the bond the same way I did in the first Thor. As per usual Hiddleston gives a great performance though. Love Korg, probably my favorite new addition to the film. Valkyrie wasn’t really as kick ass as I had a remembered, totally forgot about the whole alcoholism aspect and the fact that it’s totally played for jokes made her character feel a little undercooked. Hela is mediocre in terms of motives is pretty mediocre, but Cate Blanchett hams it up so much that to me she is one of the more memorable villains in the MCU. 

In terms of the aesthetic, the film pretty consistently looks ugly. It seemed like they wanted everything to be colorful and their way to doing so was just to make everything bright. God, the Star drenched stars of Asguard from the first Thor are un matched. 

It’s been said a million times, but the emotional moments are not given any time to sit. Many of them are undercut by jokes or cutting to some sort of action set piece. Hell, Thor is never even given a chance in this film to mourn his best friends who die. I find that insane. It’s not until Infinity War that he even brings them up. The thing about Thor (2011) that not a lot of people talk about is that it’s actually really funny. There’s a lot of humor in that film, and it almost always stems back to Thors character. There’s an occasional slapstick gag (like him getting hit with the car) but a majority of it is playing off the fish out of water aspect of the film. Ragnarok drops that in favor of mainly going down the slapstick and absurdist route. I wish they had found a way to keep the same sensibilities of humor the first Thor had, at least to an extent. 

Now for the music… I have a lot to say here. For one, I think there are some very cool instrumental choices. The more traditional instrumentation we are used to for Thor used at the start in Asguard, and then the synth-pop used for Sakaar. Then in the third act Mark Mothersbaugh blends both of them together, which sounds super neat. But another thing it does, which I really appreciate, is it calls back to multiple previous MCU scores. It plays a piece of Bryan Tyler’s Dark World score during the play scene. There’s also some Age of Ultron score during the arena scene, which I didn’t notice before, really nice touch. And last, but not least, they reprise the Patrick Doyle theme in the final scene which gives me goosebumps every single time. It’s a shame they decided to drop that theme in Infinity War/Endgame/L+T. 

But yeah, it’s an ok movie. Some really cool stuff, but a lot of things that really annoy me.

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