This November, Thor: Ragnarok thundered its way into theaters, featuring the titular God of Thunder. This version iterates with a more colorful and more funny Thor than we’ve seen in past films. Humorously styling himself as “the strongest avenger,” he struggles with the oncoming threat of the goddess of death: Hela. Played by Cate Blanchett, Hela proves to be too much for the God of Thunder after she is released from her inter-dimensional prison. This is realized when she effortlessly destroys Thor’s hammer Mjolnir in an early melee in the film.
The humor and colorful set pieces were designed to homage the Thor comics of the 1980’s. This design largely worked well with the plotline of the movie, but the soundtrack felt out of place in some of the key moments of the movie. Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant song worked for the trailer, but not the climactic battle in Asgaard. The scene commanded too much importance and for me the song detracted from it. I also felt that the humor was a little stifling throughout some parts of Ragnarok, almost like they were trying too hard to be funny.
Thor’s forced on yet another journey of self-discovery not unlike the one he took in the first film. Meanwhile, Hela desires Odin’s throne and by extension, control of the nine realms themselves. It is also during this time that audience members are shown that Hela is actually Odin’s firstborn daughter, banished after she became too powerful. This time however Odin isn’t there to stop her, having died of natural causes in the opening scenes of the movie.
Back to Thor. He lands on the backwater world of Sakaar, ruled by the psychotic Grandmaster. Sakaar is a colorful planet riddled with wormholes that lead to other parts of the galaxy. Grandmaster is played by veteran actor Jeff Goldblum, who describes the character as a “hedonist, a pleasure-seeker, an enjoyer of life and tastes and smells.” Grandmaster controls Sakaar and forces various aliens to do battle in a gladiatorial tournament designed to entertain the people of the planet. It is here where fans got the immense pleasure of seeing the Hulk fight against Thor. During this fight, Thor displays the first abilities of his lightning powers without Mjolnir and uses them to almost beat the Hulk.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki also plays an integral part to the progression of the movie. He serves as Thor’s ticket off world, as Loki becomes well acquainted with the Grandmaster and earns his trust. I couldn’t shake the feeling, however, that Loki has very real and sinister plans in store for Thor. It was hinted at throughout the film that Loki still holds great animosity towards Thor, and that left me with an uneasy feeling after the conclusion of the movie. Tom Hiddleston has said that Loki has been an interesting character for him to portray. He’s said that, “I think the fascination for me about playing Loki is that, in the history of the mythology and the comic books and the Scandinavian myths, is he’s constantly dancing on this fault line of the dark side and redemption.” That being said, I feel it’s safe to assume that Loki has some evil ulterior motives for helping Thor in Ragnarok.
Hela is finally defeated when the crown of the fire demon Surtur is combined with the eternal fire of Asgaard. The combination results in Surtur destroying Asgaard in the prophesized Ragnarok, the destruction of Asgaard. Since Asgaard was the source of Hela’s power, she is also destroyed as a result.
Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo killed the movie with their dynamic performance. Director Waititi gave the Hulk speaking roles in this movie, and it was funny and interesting to watch the two interact together. Actress Tessa Thompson also gave an interesting performance of the role of Valkyrie. She also played the role of Thor’s new love interest, replacing the part Natalie Portman held with her already-forgotten character Jane Foster. Rotten tomatoes holds the movie at an astounding 98%, breaking all other previously established records for a Marvel cinematic universe movie. I left with a satisfied feeling that this movie was a fitting conclusion to the Thor trilogy.