Thor: Ragna-Rocked!!!

This was a fun movie. I know that sounds like a lame first sentence but a fact’s a fact. Ragnarok lacked the Shakespearian influence of the first entry and vastly improved on the steaming pile of terrible that was Thor: The Dark World. Yet this one was a charmer. Director Taika Waititi was tasked with changing the image of the god of thunder. What had been routine and frankly a little stale by now needed a kick-starter. Waititi seized on the colorful 80’s theme making its resurgence in film these days.

That motif is equal parts psychedelic colors, outrageous wardrobe, humor, and Kick-Ass Soundtrack. This had all the elements and Marvel knows it. They have absolutely mastered the comic book movie. Evidence of their mastery can be seen when compared to the dour and “trying to hard” Justice League. I mean is the idea of playing to your strengths really a news flash for the creative team behind Justice League? Kevin Feige head genious at Marvel knows what works and works it.

They knew hits like Guardians of the Galaxy and both Avengers tells them they can have several heroes on screen and deliver action and drama simultaneously. Further, it demonstrated that outside the box characters could lead franchises. Having Thor and Hulk together is not a new concept to comic or cartoon fans.

In fact I would like to pause here for a moment to say, “Damn what a great time to be alive.”

We live in a Golden age of media where the kids who read about Wonder Woman or watched X-Men the Animated series can see these heroes come to life. Not to mention Ragnarok more than other movies answers the age old “Who would win in a fight” question we all asked of each other. Most asked as children on long car rides or if you’re like me you posed the query just the other day.

That’s not to say it didn’t have flaws. This Thor was a little slow moving at times and may have suffered from a bit of miscasting. First the stars, Cate Blanchett was a revelation as Hela. She transformed into a tractor-beam of interest cruising across the Asgard in an outfit that took tens years off her and we all noticed. Mark Ruffalo was as usual the perfect mix of cuddles and creatine. Our hero in the titular role Chris Hemsworth ramped up the lovable dunce whose more brawn than brain.

Deserving of his own little paragraph is the legendary and always peculiar Jeff Goldblum. This guy deserves ten minutes in every-major film being released in the next year. He is just fascinating to watch. I doubt he’ll win any awards given that I think he play himself for the most part. But he definitely earned the most captivating prize. Jeff himself is otherworldly and thus is perfectly cast to play an alien creeper.

Where I think they went wrong was Karl Urban and Tessa Thompson. Urban’s character was unnecessary and a little awkward. Tessa on the other hand just seemed a bit out of place. I’m all for strong female roles and think the pretty and powerful presence of Gal Gadot filled the Wonder boots perfectly. However, Tessa didn’t strike me as a competitor at that level. Her presence more than her acting or appearance seemed out of sync. In an otherwise rocketing success those minor issues were easily overcome. Is it the next Citizen Kane? No. But it’s a good time.

Go see it and enjoy it.

Stay Glued to the Screen

Neil Carroll

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