Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Saturday, November 18, 2017

'Thor: Ragnarok' owns its personality as one of Marvel’s unique films

The latest shows and movies coming to a screen near you. 

Marvel is an unstoppable machine in the movie business, with three films scheduled to come out every year until 2020. Each one is expected to be a surefire hit due to a devoted, widespread following, including the newest addition to Thor’s solo ventures. Marvel films have a generally positive track record but despite every film being a box office hit, there are flaws that exist.

Thor: Ragnarok” is the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and has already made over $100 million dollars overseas with a domestic opening weekend projection of roughly $125 million.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is the third installment of the Thor series and it is the best by leaps and bounds. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself without his trusty hammer, stranded on the universal trash dump planet, Sakaar. There, he finds himself imprisoned by Scrapper 142 (Tessa Thompson) and the delightfully strange Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Meanwhile, Hela (Cate Blanchett) attempts to seize and destroy Thor’s homeland, Asgard.

It has been nearly 10 years since the MCU launched with Iron Man, and it has since been a booming success. But as of late the flaws have begun to show themselves more blatantly in the form of formulaic plots, dull villains and quip dialogue.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a great superhero film because it slaps those norms in the face, presenting itself with as much quirky humor as possible. New Zealander Taika Waititi directs and instills his own flavor of offbeat comedy wherever he can, which is refreshing.

Goldblum is a standout in his role as the eclectic dictator of Sakaar. Hemsworth has his best performance to date, never failing to make the audience laugh. Tom Hiddleston as the fan-favorite Loki returns and keeps pace with the other stars around him.

Though Waititi succeeds where he is asked to, the film has major action beats that fall flat despite massive special effects and some amazing spectacle with the use of perspective. It seems as though Waititi was given full control of everything but the action sequences. Even the title card fight between Thor and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) that was marketed in every trailer and TV spot lacks bite.

One trope that manages to find its way firmly into the film is a boring villain trying to destroy the universe--as per usual.

It’s really hard not to watch two-time Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett as the central villain without feeling a bit weird; she just appears too out of place for a Marvel movie.

Mostly, the film is about redemption and while there is some of that, Thompson’s Scrapper 142 character arc is never completed. The script clearly ushers her in one direction but it never comes to fruition.

Taking everything into account, “Thor: Ragnarok” is privy to some Marvel faults but when you take a step back, it is hard not to admire and laugh at Waititi’s vision of a more tongue-in-cheek superhero movie.

Grade: B+

draju@theeagleonline.com


Comments powered by Disqus