Thor:Ragnarok Is More Like 'Asgardians Of The Galaxy' Than Need Be
Ah, Thor, what a wicked spell you weave!
For all intents and purposes, your first cinematic adventure was quite grand, balancing just the right mix of wit and weight for even casual superhero fans to go along for the ride. Thor: The Dark World tried really hard to recapture some of what made the original a winning feature, but I’d be hard pressed to tell you much of what came down the pike in that theatrical outing. (If memory serves, your mom died, no?) Here we are already with your third picture – Thor: Ragnarok – and I find myself where I usually am with most Marvel experiences: I’m not quite interested in all you have to do, but it does make the popcorn go down easily.
The truth is Ragnarok is looking and performing most likely exactly the way the MouseHouse wanted. It’s keeping butts in the seats, clocking up solid box office numbers week after week, and it’s far too soon to say whether or not it’ll be as forgettable as The Dark World was. I suspect it won’t, as its writers coopted some of the bigger elements of Marvel’s epic “Planet Hulk” storyline – now there’s a tale that deserved a big budget telling!
But I digress …
Rather than run the risk of nitpicking the film to death (as some online critics tend to do these days), I’m content with saying that Ragnarok – much like the other chapters in the ongoing Thor saga – is about as solid a popcorn film as one would expect from Marvel Entertainment. It’s been put together with about as much love and affection as it could, and all involved (mostly) turn in acceptable work, showing just how comfortable they’ve become in these grand disguises. The pace is practically nonstop, and – unlike Thors I and II – III has an appreciable amount of comedy added into the tale. Not all of it works perfectly – the God of Thunder has suddenly become as ‘quippy’ as Deadpool, if I don’t say so myself – but it’s as harmless as can be when you’re pretty much assured everyone is getting out alive come the big finish even though the script occasionally implies they won’t.
The balance, nonetheless, is provided by saga newcomer Tessa Thompson, a big debut for Valkyrie, a fallen Asgardian warrioress who must reconcile her past with the present in order to secure her own destiny. Though her predicament is a bit formulaic, she’s a breath of fresh air against the usual testosterone, and it’d be terrific to see where she can take the part as Marvel expands their titles in the cineplexes throughout its next phase. Could she get a standalone flick? Don’t count her out just yet.
Otherwise, Jeff Goldblum shows up playing Jeff Goldblum – has there ever been a greater career theft in the history of film – as an all-too-Goldblumesque kinda/sorta dictator with a taste for violence.