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Thor: Ragnarok spoiler-free review

 

 
Overview
 

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins
 
Theatrical Release Date: November 3, 2017
 
Synopsis: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!
 
Buy Tickets: Thor: Ragnarok Tickets
 
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The Good


  • On par with Marvel's best
  • As funny as it is action-packed
  • No character is wasted
  • Excellent pacing
  • Truly menacing villain

The Bad


  • 3D version takes away from the film's visual effects
  • Loki's eyebrows


Bottom Line

Thor: Ragnarok positions itself among Marvel’s best with excellent pacing, a menacing villain, a stellar supporting cast, and equal parts action and humor.

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Posted November 2, 2017 by

 
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Shirtless Thor

Action? Check. Humor? Check. Obligatory shirtless scene? Check.

Thor is mighty indeed

Thor: Ragnarok is Marvel’s third – and best – stand-alone film featuring the hammer-wielding god of thunder. Director Taika Waititi somehow managed to inject a heaping amount of humor into the film without resorting to the Scooby-Doo absurdity of Thor: The Dark World. The balance of action and humor in the film rivals my personal favorite Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor: Ragnarok even manages to dodge the pitfalls of other superhero films, including my beloved Guardians of the Galaxy.

Hela

Cate Blanchett’s Hela is truly menacing and one of the better Marvel cinematic villains.

Avoiding Pitfalls

A frequent complaint I have with the majority of modern superhero movies is that the villain is rarely villainous enough. Movie studios tend to tease bigger baddies to come by offering up what often amounts to henchman and thugs as the primary antagonist. Cate Blanchett’s Hela is no henchman.

I mean, come on. It’s Cate Blanchett. Her turn as the villain of Thor: Ragnarok is everything we’ve come to expect from the Oscar-winning actress. She’s ruthless, powerful, and just the slightest bit likeable (like I said, it’s Cate Blanchett). Hela is such a convincing villain, you’ll find yourself doubting the heroes’ ability to win. Now THAT’S what I want from my superhero movie bad guys.

Another common pitfall that Thor: Ragnarok avoids is poor pacing. While I often come out of action movies feeling like the film would have been better had it been 15-20 minutes shorter, Thor: Ragnarok wastes none of its 2:10 run time. It’s a credit to the editors that the film stays interesting from start to finish.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson joins Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, and Karl Urban in a stellar supporting cast.

No character left behind

One of the reasons that Thor: Ragnarok is so engaging is thanks to its supporting cast. Newcomers and returning characters alike are interesting throughout. Nobody seems like an afterthought and nobody’s talents go to waste. With a cast that includes the likes of Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum, Idris Elba, and Anthony Hopkins, that’s saying something.

Hulk smash!

You’re going to love him when he’s angry.

A tale of two visual experiences

My only gripe with Thor: Ragnarok is a big one, but one that’s easily avoided. DO NOT watch this film in 3D. Not only did I find the 3D version frequently hard on the eyes, the visual effects also suffered quite a bit. While the computer-generated effects in the 2D version blend well with the practical effects, the 3D version tends to highlight the CG effects, making them seem obvious and fake.

Another reason to choose the 2D over 3D is if, like me, you enjoy looking at everything in a scene. I like to look around the screen and take in the setting, background characters, and set pieces. The 3D version of Thor: Ragnarok makes this nearly impossible. The focus is always on a specific foreground element, leaving everything else blurry.

The 3D version of the film is such a different experience, I would remove at least a full star from my rating if it was the only viewing option. Fortunately, it’s not.

Risk and reward

Marvel has taken some risks with lesser-known characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy and lesser-known directors like Taika Waititi, and those risks are paying off big time.

Thor: Ragnarok is among the best Marvel has to offer, and earns its place in my top three favorite Marvel films to date. Five thundering stars.

Have you seen Thor: Ragnarok? Leave your own review!

Leave your own rating by clicking the USER RATING stars at the top of this review, and let me know what you thought of the movie (no spoilers, please) in the comments below!




Tim Wells

 

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.