Thor Ragnorok

Over this past weekend I finaly had a chance to checkout Thor Ragnarok and I've got to say I came out of it with higher spirits I had than when I went in. I've come to not expect much from Marvel movies anymore simply because of their iconic movie formula that admittetedly I am starting to get burnt out on. While Thor did follow this same formula, I found it to be a much more light hearted experience than usual even for Marvel standards. I can definitely see the criticism about it being too quippy, but I was willing to forgive most of this due to the strong humor that came from the writing itself. Without a doubt, this film is another hit for Marvel and probably the best out of all the Thor movies.

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The film starts out with Thor looking for infinity stones (and finding none) however he's troubled about these dreams he's been having about Asgard. He defeats a villain very easily early in the movie who is the herald of the ragnarok event, an apocalypse for the realm of Asgard. When he returns home he finds Loki impersonating their father Odin and outs him. Together they then quickly finds Odin abandoned on earth, who dies shortly after of natural causes. As natural as a deity gets anyways. This is when his unknown sister Hela shows up, easy beating Thor and Loki, breaking Mjolnir, and enslaving Asgard leaving Thor stranded on a mysterious planet which hosts gladiatorial fights. He runs into Hulk and a Sif, a Valkyrie (an ancient Asgardian warrior), and through twists and turns eventually forms a team to take back Asgard although to do this he has to actually trigger Ragnarok and destroy the realm, as Hela draws her power from its existence.

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The strengths of this film come not really from its plot, which is pretty straight forward on the whole, but from its character interactions and humor. One thing I really enjoyed about the humor, and what probably got the most laughs from me, was not in the little quips the characters would give each other sarcastically, but in the strength of the jokes and the delivery that seemed more natural to the narrative. For example a character named Korg is used for mostly expositional purposes in the beggining, but he spoke with overly zealous optimistic inflation given their situation. Another thing about him was it was very deadpan. Zealous deadpan. Honestly his character stuck out to me as the funniest because of this, and it was an exemplary example of how to make a character relevant, if even in a minor way, and use them as an info dump. Hela was a better villain than most of what we get in Marvel, her threat felt very real and she truly seemed to be competent and outclassed even Thor at every turn, although I feel they had to downplay Loki's mischievous nature in order to achieve this. Hulk/Banner talking was also funny, and I very much enjoyed the way they explained why Hulk would've been able to talk all this time, and they directly addressed why Banner seemed a little out of character throughout the film.

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All in all the main criticisms to draw from the film were it obviously took pages from Guardians of the Galaxy in both its tone and dialogue, and the humorous moments in the film are so frequent it can often jar immersion during the serious scenes. I didn't mind this too much, but if your looking for a more serious Marvel film this is definitely not it. It's much of the same, but the execution is well delivered which is why I never felt bored in the film. The other thing was the quips can be annoying at times, I honestly felt like clever writing in general landed stronger humorous moments than the actual dialogue. Like Korg mentioned above, there was a moment of anecdote from Thor and the group concerning if Loki could be trusted to be on the teams where Thor tells a relevant (to the moment) story about their childhood that really had me rolling. Overall, the film plays very much like a comedy rather than an action film, so draw what you will from that.

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I enjoyed Thor Ragnarok, I think general audiences will too, and I think it's much more accessible as a standalone film than the others in his trilogy so far. Director Taika Waikiti really made a good call about ignoring the narrative of the previous films in order to write the story from this one and arguably it made for the best one we've got. One thing I very much enjoyed was the characters personal growth by the end of the film, even addressed in a meta sense where Thor explains to Loki how he believes him, is betrayed, and the circle continues. By the credits, you truly fee like the characters are changing for the better and accepting the roles comic fans have come to know and general audience would expect from the near decades worth of films we've received. Thor Ragnarok comes greatly recommended, it pushes not only Thor's story forward but is a great step up as Infinity War draws closer and is definitely worth the price of admission.

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