Main cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Tessa Thompson (Scrapper 142/Valkyrie), Karl Urban (Skurge), Mark Ruffalo (Dr Bruce Banner/Hulk), and Anthony Hopkins (Odin)
Director: Taika Waititi
Remember Thor? When that movie came out, it introduced a rather dim but well-intentioned hero as well as his compelling, villainous, yet three-dimensional brother in a power struggle for the throne of Asgard. Then came the mandate from above that, given how Marvel Studios have found a blockbuster formula, every movie has to be even funnier, more action-packed, flashier – more, more, more to the point that every superhero becomes pretty much the same wisecracking guy who has only three default modes: feeling angst for two minutes before talking it out and hugging someone (and everything is okay after that), breaking things, and during the time when none of the previous applies, break out into one-liners. And no one has suffered character deterioration as badly as Thor. Here he is, in Thor: Ragnarok, basically playing the butt of jokes and the punching bag for practically two-thirds of the movie.
The story is… oh boy. Basically, Thor comes back after taking down Surtur, the king of fire giants destined to destroy Asgard during Ragnarok, the Norse version of armageddon, and retrieves the poor sod’s skull crown in order to prevent it. That scene is so cringe-inducing in just how desperate the one-liners are, perhaps in order to distract people from the really bad CGI overloading that scene. Then, he goes back to unmask “Odin” as Loki, who has been taking advantage of Thor’s absence to enjoy the life of a leisurely ruler. Yes, Loki, the former ambitious, Machiavellian villain is now an even bigger buffoon than Thor. And then, they two get humiliated by Dr Strange in a pointless cameo (watch that movie and buy the merchandise, people), because Norse gods are apparently full of suck now. And then, they find Odin, who is doing his best to reenact of that final scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens because Anthony Hopkins is probably miffed that there was one movie in which he couldn’t get paid to show up for minimal screentime in, and then he dies and Hela, the “Oh no, you all have an evil elder sister, and Odin is revealing her existence only shortly before he dies because… plot!” bad villain shows up and sends Thor and Loki out of her sight before she takes over Asgard.
As Hela spends what seems like her entire time on the throne of Asgard generally pouting and posing because she’s too cool to do anything else that may strain the CGI budget even more – look at the hilariously fake giant wolf Fenrir and try not to laugh – Thor finds himself in this garbage-infested planet of Sakaar where he gets his hair cut and becomes officially sex, before taking on Hulk who apparently flew all the way here in a plane that I thought wasn’t designed for space travel… you know what, whatever. Thor gets bitchslapped a lot by Hulk but they become friends again, they recruit yet another generic action girl Valkyrie into their new T-Squad, and then they beat Hela, bring all the Asgardians into this giant mothership, and this is how Star Trek: Diversity gets its start.
Characters change their minds or do things based on plot convenience rather than natural progression, and the story is shockingly flimsy. In fact, this isn’t a movie as much as it is just a string of action sequences cobbled together in between scenes of one-liners and people falling off their feet (haw, haw). The whole feels like a montage of deleted scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy.
The only reason to watch Thor: Ragnarok is if you have a thing for Chris Hemsworth’s ostrich neck and buff body, which is in nice display here and there in this movie, or you just want something dumb to laugh at. As someone who loves the first movie, though, following the bastardization of Thor and Loki into this caricatures of their old selves makes me die inside throughout every second of the entire two hours of this crap.