Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok ★★★

The best thing about Marvel’s output earlier this year is the way that the heroes’ journey were perfectly mirrored by their villains. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming grounded their conflicts as a direct challenge to their hero both physically and thematically, and gave those stories plenty of room to breathe. Sure, Ragnarok strips Thor of his trusty hammer (he has to find the power inside him) and strands him on an alien world, but there isn’t much that challenges his identity or virtues as a hero.

The closest this film gets to demonstrating any sort of interesting thematics is when Thor returns to Asgard. He discovers that Hela has destroyed a fresco honoring the royal family. Hidden underneath artwork of a smiling Thor, Loki, and Odin’s reign of peace is a different painting that shows Odin and Hela’s ancient conquest of the Nine Realms. Thor is confronted with his privilege, learning for the first time that his place in the universe is built on blood and subjugation. This is a really fascinating place to take the character, and presents a real challenge to Thor that is linked directly to Hela. It especially feels like a wasted opportunity since Cate Blanchett gives a great performance. She brings her fantastic on screen presence, but has little screentime, and even less to do. Hela, like all of the characters in the film, barely gets a story of her own. Because the film is packed with so many boxes to check, these aspects of the film are largely left unexplored.

Read the full review on Cinedelphia.

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