Someone finally realized that Thor, as a franchise, is essentially a cosmic adventure of a realm-hopping God.
Ragnarok is filled with everything that set it aside from the rest of the MCU – royal family squabbles that lead to world destruction, love-hate buddy comedy, and Heimdall in action. These elements are mixed in an action-adventure plot. The script steers the movie in interesting ways so the plot remains engaging even when the proceedings become familiar.
On top of this, Taika Waititi injects self-aware humor that keeps things fun and funny. So when Thor throws a ball at the glass assuming it will impressively shatter in one throw, it bounces back and hits him in the face.
This extends to the immersive worldbuilding, brash action sequences, and colorful visuals. Sakaar is an amusing backdrop for Thor’s detour. He gets to do more here other than swing and summon the hammer. While the battle scenes are bloodless, the camera doesn’t shy away from showing its consequences. Special effects and production design give the visuals bright colors.
That being said, Ragnarok is still another obligatory Marvel movie in the pipeline. MCU has always had a villain problem, and this movie isn’t an exception. Hela is an underwritten character played by an underused Cate Blanchett.
Ragnarok still follows the same outline like any other Thor installment – Odinson gets kicked out of Asgard, temporarily weakened in some way, learns his lesson, and saves the day. Now with a gang because Marvel loves its Misfit Mobilization Movement as an excuse to add more characters.
The movie has to establish its connection with the MCU, so there are narratively pointless cameos here. Save for a great battle in the beginning, there aren’t enough action scenes as Thor eventually gets lost in the thick of things later on.
Sakaar is a great backdrop for him to fight in new ways. His dynamic with bounty hunter SR-142 is interesting to explore considering her real identity. But that would’ve cut Hulk out of the picture and mess with MCU’s M.O.
Ragnarok is the most Marvel movie to date with its irreverent humor and slapstick comedy. Come to think of it, the Thor franchise is cartoonish after all. Ragnarok is the most fun and fitting close to a trilogy that has, in hindsight, consistently developed its character. In the end, even though Thor is already a God, he shows us that leadership is a constant work in progress.
Thor: Ragnarok is a fun cosmic adventure thanks to its self-aware humor, colorful visuals, and a great cast.