Funny but formulaic


Courtesy of Marvel Studios Twitter

“Thor: Ragnarok” greatly benefited from the work of director Taika Waititi, who brought new life into the franchise in the form of improvisational humor.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) shows no end in sight, with various phases and feature films being planned for years to come.

The franchises have begun to blend more and more with each passing year, especially with films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” However, this streak of workmanlike films is broken by the much more outlandish and risky “Thor: Ragnarok,” which presents us with an apocalypse imbued with unprecedented levity.

However, the film follows some tropes that are now a bit commonplace in its genre.

“Thor: Ragnarok” follows the titular character (Chris Hemsworth), who has spent the years since the last “Avengers” film trying to find the Infinity Stones and to avert Ragnarok, which is the end of Asgard. However, the death of his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) frees Hela, the goddess of death (Cate Blanchett) from her prison.

Intent on stopping Hela from unleashing doom upon Asgard, Thor enlists the help of adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), fellow Avenger and gladiator Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the mysterious Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in taking on Hela, whatever the cost, and with boundless hilarity.

This film may quite possibly be the most fun anyone—cast, crew and audience—will ever have in a Marvel film, mainly due to the guidance of indie filmmaker Taika Waititi, who makes everything work together. Waititi’s touch is seen everywhere, from the plot’s hijinks to the special effects that are as colorful and remarkable as can be.

All the performances are magnetic, especially Hemsworth’s, which is at its best. The interplay with all the major characters are impressive and incredible with remarkable chemistry, whether they be heroes or villains.

The major issue is that while it is definitely an outlier amongst recent MCU films, it still begs the question as to why such a major event in both comics and folklore is treated with such immense levity. It would have been better if another, less intense event was the focus, and with another sneering Marvel villain, although Blanchett does a good job.

The plot itself is par for the course for this stage of the MCU, with all of the main three trilogies dealing with the destruction of what we most associate with each hero. Iron Man lost his arc reactor, Captain America lost his shield and now Thor loses his hammer.

In addition, the music is unmemorable save for the use of “Immigrant Song” in two pivotal scenes in the film. These small flaws don’t detract too much from the film, but they are still factors to consider in some way.

Overall, the film is another good piece in the Marvel Universe, but the formula is definitely beginning to wear thin.

Film: “Thor: Ragnarok”
Directed by: Taika Waititi
Release Date: Nov. 3
Rating: 4.5 out of 5