Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★★

This was as great as everyone said! Taika Waititi’s New Zealander sense of humor shines through all of this wonderfully. The lightheartedness is what keeps things from getting stale. It seems to me like the “cosmic” Marvel stories succeed more with humor, and the earth bound ones have more freedom to be serious and get away with it. 

I appreciated getting to see Hulk’s personality, as distinct from Bruce Banner’s. It makes perfect sense that he’d be comfortable in a world where he gets to constantly smash for his job and then go relax in his big ass room. Tessa Thompson is well cast as the last of the Valkyrie. And so is Cate Blanchett as Hela! All the newcomers are great. Oh and the director voicing Korg as an easy-going bulky Polynesian fellow is great. 

I love each film’s take on Loki. Our relationship with him is one of distrust but still we kind of like him for his weasely charm. He and the Winter Soldier feel like two sides of the same coin in that we’re not sure whether they’re being good or bad in any moment. But Loki’s presence in this film is the most joyful of the three. He’s over his angst and is instead just kind of an asshole that Thor has to deal with but he’s funny along the way. His reaction to Hulk’s presence was priceless. 

I thought perhaps Thanos was going to make an appearance in this, but I guess he is really only present in the last two films. Maybe it’s best that way. He’s still mysterious at this point. 

Last thing to mention: Mark Mothersbaugh’s score! He’s a prolific composer now but started out as the lead member of Devo (great early 80s electronic pop band for those who aren’t familiar) and alongside his typical orchestral marvel numbers we get a glimpse of his electronic roots, especially in the scenes on the artificial trash planet Sakaar (with Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster playing a short lead synth line at one point). It’s a great complementary addition to the film and makes every aspect all the more enjoyable.

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