Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★

Even despite its blatant shortcomings, the most important of which being its shoddy televisual production quality (a signature of many MCU films), Kenneth Branagh's Thor remains one of the most interesting entries in this entire experiment. This is solely thanks to its central character, a fish-out-of-water embodiment of masculinity characterised by regal vocabulary and medieval manners. Unfortunately, as Thor was being shamelessly passed around between writers and directors and shackled to the big picture arc, as though he was a joint at a college party, slowly but surely he ended up stripped of his defining features.

Now, much like many other characters in the MCU, Thor is merely a costume and a hammer for rent by young hot shot writer/directors to fill with whatever they feel like.

This is by far my biggest problem with Thor: Ragnarok: Thor doesn't feel or sound like a mighty god of thunder. He sounds like Taika Waititi. He is a norse god with a voice of a Kiwi vampire explaining the merits of laying out newspaper on the carpet before killing his date. In fact, all characters in this film are like that, including Cate Blanchett's villainous Hela, which effectively removes stakes and suspense every single time events escalate, because the characters can't help but make self-aware comments all the time. It just goes to show that comedically inclined filmmakers find it hard to commit and revert to quips and off-handed one-liners at the earliest opportunity.

However, much to my delight and in contrast to the norm in the series, Thor: Ragnarok sports a few surprisingly cinematic touches. Granted, most of the action has a more video game-esque atmosphere but it is infinitely better-looking that Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 or Avengers: Age Of Ultron. But it's not enough to make me seriously consider Thor: Ragnarok a good film; it's a good entry in the MCU, but it's still an exhausting barrage of quips and formulaic set pieces designed with the sole purpose of tying pre-existing plot threads together and planting seeds for what's to come.

Therefore, as much as it can be seen as a proper character arc, Thor's journey to unlocking his potential and stepping up to the plate feels cheap simply because it wasn't written organically. It is there so that when the big baddie finally shows up, Thor's character would be 'ready'. And that really pisses me off because I believe that films should be able to exist outside of the framework they were designed for.

This one barely does that. At least it doesn't look like an episode of V.

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