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'Thor: Ragnarok'

Movie Analysis

The third installment of the Thor series was a complete failure. The over-use of comic relief was extremely unnecessary. There were seldom scenes of seriousness or depth that grasped you, not only emotionally, but also mentally. I found myself at times throughout the film asking, "What the fuck does that have anything to do with the plot?" Let's get into some deeper plot analysis.

Hela, Odin's first born and Thor's sister, was the main antagonist along with the lesser important Scourge. She used the Eternal Fire to bring back her dead army and the massive black wolf of Viking lore, Fenrir. So, Hela was locked away somewhere by Odin because at some point they couldn't agree on how to properly manage the enslaving of the multiverse. After Odin randomly turns into a cloud of golden sparkles, the power containing her vanished with him. She appears to Thor and Loki and after a brief introduction manages to destroy Thor's hammer, use the bifrost to gain access to Asgard, and casts both Loki and Thor from the rainbow bridge in route to the ancient city. Upon arrival in Asgard she quickly, as well as, single-handedly  dispatches all of the guards to include the warriors that fought by Thor's side in the previous films, and then ultimately raises her dead army. When the smoke clears she can't leave because at some point Heimdall retrieves his sword and escapes to the hills with what appears to be the remainder of the Asgardian populace.

The plot of Hela was, by far, what I had the greatest problem with in Ragnarok. Along with Odin, Hela dispatched some of the most beloved secondary characters in the franchise. These heroes helped protect Asgard and Thor on countless occasions and they received a very "lackluster" exit. Hela debuted on screen via a portal, but then has an issue finding a group of people and one man with a sword in a realm where she is supposed to be the most powerful (and also has ancient dead warriors and magical puppies at her disposal). Then, in the end she fails to over power Thor, Loki, a drunken Valkerie, and a fire giant; she then gets smashed by what could be considered to be the slowest sword strike in history. Now, the reason all of this is such an issue, she was over-powered when she first appears on screen and then seems to magically stop gaining power (as was stated many times throughout the film). Then, she gets beat by those she already bested and then is finally (probably) killed by Sutyr. There are some serious problems with story gaps here. Character development as a whole was non-existent with the introduction of the new heroes and villains, but worse than that the poor dialogue tried it's best to survive on wit, which at times was the part of the movie worth watching. The side plot of the Hulk as the champion of Sarkir was actually a welcomed distraction in this film. I kept thinking that plot could actually have been a stand alone feature on it's own, but like the rest of the plot, it felt rushed and roughly chapped. I always like the planet Hulk twist from lore, but with the overly sold comedy it lost much of it's impact. I also had high hopes for the grand-master, and he met my expectations. Ultimately when we finally left the trash planet I was left with one big question unanswered, "how exactly did Loki end up there when they fell out of the bifrost at two very different sections?

In the final moments of the film we see an extremely anti-climatic fight between all the parties involved with the most interesting plot twist being that the Asgardians caused the destruction of their own realm, triggering the movie title.

There some delightful surprises at certain parts, however. The most notable surprise was the short cameo of Dr. Strange. With Dr. Strange being one of the most thorough and beloved Marvel origin stories in the modern films, it was the best part of Thor. The only other portion of the movie that I found original, as well as truly funny, was the value rock gladiator. His humor and genuine persona made you connect with him on a very real level.

All-in-all I felt that Thor: Ragnarok was in one word, suffocated. It seemed to be a combination of bad acting, poor writing, and lazy direction. The brilliance of the first Thor installment and the seriousness of Dark World have not only faded, but have been cannon-shot into the tenth realm of irreverence.

This also branches into many other films in the Marvel universe. With the popularity of the comic book to film adaptations, I feel like much of the love of the actual story telling is being watered down to the point that you are always left wanting more. Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy stand leaps and bounds ahead of the Avengers and Thor. It seems that more creative writing and directing are evident in certain films and the other simply fall short. The entire film can be summed up in the scene of the All Father. Without much emotion what-so-ever, Odin passes, and just as Thor was about to have a potentially gripping (and memorable) scene, it ends as quickly as it was written or edited out.

I have hope for the future installments of the Avengers and Gaurdians, and ultimately Dr. Strange. Thor, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired and does very little for 'the feels' outside of some cleverly super-imposed music with CGI. Such a let down....

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'Thor: Ragnarok'
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