Short of boring you on the list of movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far, I’ll just say that we’re here on film number five of Phase Three (the 17th film altogether) and there are still a lot of films slated to be released for the next three years. Thor: Ragnarok is more or less a sequel of sorts after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and where Thor—and especially Hulk—went from there. If you’ve seen Doctor Strange, the post credits scene of that film is lengthened a bit in this film as well and all of that dialogue is explained here in this story.
Of course, I’m getting well ahead of myself and making this a bit confusing to the Marvel novices out there, so let me just get into this as easily as I can. Although, if you’re really new to these films and starting with this particular chapter, you may want to be more acquainted with this series of films and start from the beginning with 2008’s Iron Man. Believe me, it’s a lot of fun to go through each one, enjoying how they all tie together and seeing the little clues or cliffhangers at the end of each one as you wait for that extra scene (or scenes) in the middle of—or after—the end credits…all paying off with the eventual The Avengers film…as well as the subsequent chapters.
But…let’s dive into the summary of Thor: Ragnarok…
Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the Mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela (Cate Blanchett) from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.
Now, the story starts off with what may be perceived as Thor breaking the fourth wall, chronicling how he came to be in the predicament he finds himself and it’s kind of along the lines of Deadpool explaining to the audience the happenings in his film. But as the camera shows his plight in his confines, we see he’s talking to a skeletal corpse…and this is the beginning of the comedy we’re going to witness in this flick (more on that later).
Speaking of Hela, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this character, if we were going to get someone along the lines of the opponents of the other Marvel heroes or if it was going to be a boring character that Thor would easily defeat. It turns out that Hela is a very complex character who is very powerful and the story shows how dangerous she is from the moment she’s brought forth on screen. Cate Blanchett really shines as this evil adversary and is probably the most refreshing antagonist Thor has faced thus far.
Going into my favorite portion of this film and being somewhat familiar with the Hulk line of comic books, there has been one aspect not explored and that is the character’s ability to speak. In the late 70s, Lou Ferrigno famously brought the hero to life but had roars and growls dubbed in when he opened his mouth. In the 2003 Ang Lee film, there were a couple of scenes (one was a dream sequence) where the Hulk spoke a line or two and the 2008 film had a few words as well. In The Avengers, Hulk had his “puny god” line he delivered, but not much else…until now. Giving him many lines—mostly hilarious—makes it easy to build on the bond we see between the two heroes of the film. The anger, the tantrums…even the silly display of childishness in this film is so comical and uplifting. The moment he’s introduced in the gladiatorial match against Thor, yelling out his name along with the chants of the crowd, is the moment you’ll grow a grin from ear to ear.
Finally, Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster is perfect as he’s given the freedom to just be himself and just run the character as he sees fit. Being the ruler of the planet Sakaar, he plays the character as a giddy—yet likable—villain, but shows his bad side in ways that are both funny and extreme. Goldblum fits so well in this film and you’ll love it every time he gets screen time.
Overall, the emotion most of us comic book geeks have is the anxiousness we’re feeling for the future films to come: The Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and so many others. It’s a great time for us fans of Marvel Comics to be alive!
My final “bit” on Thor: Ragnarok?
By the way, make sure to wait for the mid-credits scene that will give you a taste of what’s to come in Avengers: Infinity War. However, it’s up to you if you want to wait until all of the credits finish up to view the last scene…it’s a bit amusing, but it’s a coin-flip if you want to sit through all that time to see it.
Thanks for reading!