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Movie Review: “Thor Ragnarok” Hammers Home the Fun, Leaves Real Plot to Be Desired

By Mason Masotta; For the Clock
On November 11, 2017

There is arguably no movie franchise with a greater proven track record for hits than the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”). Since 2008, with the release of “Iron Man,” movies have never been the same, as the age of the superhero has gripped the industry. Combining non-stop humor with colorful action, the newest addition in this fall’s “Thor Ragnarok” follows the same fun, though repetitive, formula.

“Thor Ragnarok,” which was directed by Taika Waititi and released on November 3, brings the viewer back to the fantastical world of Asgard, as the god of thunder, Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth), looks to prevent the end of his world. With a long-trapped villain returning for vengeance and no way to signal earth for help from the Avengers, Thor must team up, once again, with his estranged brother, Loki. Little does our hero know that “a friend from work” has made a name for himself on the other side of the universe, when the Hulk arrives to add to the carnage.

This film is Chris Hemsworth’s sixth appearance as Thor in the MCU, and he brings a very different take on the Norse god this time around. Dropping the royal warrior demeanor and becoming more of a cheery adventurer both adds and detracts from the story. The title of the movie is supposed to evoke the Norse legend of the end times, but if our hero never takes it seriously, then it is hard to feel any kind of danger or consequence.

A similar theme is seen with the appearance of the Hulk. Played, once again, by the talented Mark Ruffalo, Bruce Banner’s (the Hulk’s true identity) inner struggle with his rage is put in the background of this comedy. With no real opportunity to shine, the Hulk becomes the big green set-up for jokes with Thor about his strength and little more. One has to wonder if the limited involvement of the Hulk in the story is due to a late inclusion in the original script.

Though the comedy can be distractingly childish at times, it also gives other characters the spotlight. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is a joy as the always double-crossing God of Mischief. The stand-out star is newcomer Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. Playing a drunken and disgraced warrior, Valkyrie serves as a mirror reflection of Thor’s earlier attitude and overconfidence.

“Thor Ragnarok” is an exciting entry into the Marvel lineup, featuring exhilarating fight scenes and entertainment throughout. The worlds shown are rich and colorful with more and more ridiculous characters to meet along the way. Unfortunately, the comedy, while enjoyable, tends to hold this film back from seeming like an authentic challenge for the immortal Avenger, but remains entertaining from start to finish. 

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