Thor: Ragnarok Is the Break You Need from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Thor: Ragnarok Is the Break You Need from the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Let’s get one thing out of the way, this movie is not for everybody. If you don’t like the Whedonesque comedic banter that’s become a staple of the Marvel superhero genre, you will absolutely hate this movie. In fact, it may grossly offend you. So, you don’t need to keep reading. Just don’t watch Ragnarok. Stop. Close the page and move on with your life.

Now, let the rest of us begin. Thor: Ragnarok brings comic books back into superhero movies. With an incredible duo like Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost on the writing team… I want to say I’m not even surprised, but wow. I squealed when their name popped up on the screen, and I was not disappointed. Maybe the success of Guardians of the Galaxy convinced Marvel Studios to be more flexible with their superhero-movie formula, because they elevated Thor ever so slightly outside the superhero movie mold and allowed him to just let loose and be a comic book character. Marvel took this movie and had fun with it, they made Thor: Ragnarok a comedy, first and foremost, allowing a brilliant ensemble cast to poke fun at themselves and bask in their high-chemistry relationships. What better way to do that than with the two funniest (and, frankly, best) Avengers? Yes I said it. Fight me.

To be honest, my mind is a little all over the place, because I just loved the movie so much. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting for years. You don’t know, guys. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted this.


Firstly, its genre is perfect (comedy with a side of bad-assery), if you’re into that kind of sense of humor. If you’re not, then I already asked you to stop reading ages ago. GTFO I already helped you.

After years of dramatic plot lines where we’re all supposed to be consumed by the grey areas of being a superhero, the blurred lines between best friend and literally a killing machine, the trauma of going into space and envisioning all your friends' deaths, the guilt of innocent lives lost while you’re trying to protect the planet from LITERAL ALIENS BUT THEY STILL WANT TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE IT’S YOUR FAULT THAT PEOPLE ARE DYING FROM ALIEN ATTACKS? Stop. Stop trying to make me angry all the time. I’m so tired.

And they did stop. This movie is like a rejuvenating massage in between all the seriousness and epic ethical dilemmas of the Avengers timeline. Now that I think about it, they’re probably just prepping me for the upcoming Avengers dramania by calming me down first, but I’ll take it. I'll take it in all its glory.

I was excited when I walked into the theater, and I probably shouldn’t have been, in retrospect, because have you seen Thor: The Dark World? But I love Thor as a character too much, and someone spoiled the fact that the Hulk was going to be in the film (I found out the night before, and God it kills me to think about how close I was to actually being surprised to see him while watching the movie). Hulk is my favorite. He’s everything to me. It was great to see his character finally utilized to be a part of a film’s dialogue and chemistry, and for the Hulk/Banner dynamic to be more thoroughly explored, although I imagine that a lot of it has to do with the vastly improved performance-capture process and visual effects technology. And then to see that they borrowed elements from Planet Hulk? Good God I was practically delirious with joy when I understood the reference. I love understanding references. It makes me feel like I’m part of some elite little club where I’m friends with the Mark Ruffalo, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost. In fact, my love for understanding references is probably the only reason I like Batman v Superman, because that movie was literally only comic book references + gross Zack Snyder things. I’m digressing, but I really hate Zack Snyder. Man of Steel was our red flag and we should have stopped him then.

Despite the fact that the entire Thor movie is a tongue-in-cheek comedy, there’s still some very powerful emotion delivered at key points throughout the plot, [SPOILER] particularly the relationship between Thor and Loki. [/SPOILER] God I love Loki, and I’m really happy that we got to see some character depth and complexity this time around, which is something I don’t think we’d really seen since the first Thor film six years ago. Taika Waititi is brilliant to have been able to deliver genuine emotional revelation within a movie trying to make fun of itself. Let’s not forget that acting. Even newly introduced secondary characters and crossover cameos stamp their presence as meaningful players in the movie’s overall plot line.

OH and I need to tip my hat to Mark Mothersbaugh for the music, because it was definitely a standout soundtrack. It’s got the usual superhero epicness doused in nostalgia, and a lot of it felt like a nod to Stranger Things, which I didn’t hate.

I also noticed a couple of feminist touches that I personally enjoyed, and it’s not surface-level stuff. [SPOILER] Hela is obviously a fantastic villain, but I particularly love that her being female wasn’t a discussion point in the movie, it wasn’t a part of her origin story, nor did anyone make a punchline about how a girl kicked Thor’s butt - she was just an incredibly badass villain with the charisma to boot. The other point is about Valkyrie, specifically when Thor finds out who she is earlier on in the film, and his eyes just light up when he talks about how he’s always looked up to the Valkyrie and how this incredible army of women inspired him to become the fighter that he is today. [/SPOILER] Yes.


This movie was great, and if I had to pick at anything I didn’t like, it would honestly be the poster, [SPOILER] specifically the fact that they show us Thor’s new hairstyle, rendering the entire build-up during his haircut useless, [/SPOILER] and the fact that everyone knew the Hulk was in the film. Can you imagine the pure joy and hysteria of being genuinely surprised when Hulk shows up? The pain of possibilities.


But yeah, no, this movie was great, and I’m sorry that I can’t pick at it a bit more and be angry about certain things. I loved it. It was so good to just have everyone let loose for once, especially with Thor. This movie is the break you need, and your breather in between all the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero drama.

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