By: Matthew Silkin  | 

Thor: Ragnarok Hammers Home Another Marvel Hit

Dear Thor,

How have you been, man? It’s been some time since I’ve seen you on the big screen - two years, I think? Four since your last standalone movie? I heard that you have a third film that just came out, and that you’re gonna be back next year in Infinity War, so I just wanted to say congrats, man! That’s really good news, I’m proud of you!

Listen, I’m really sorry. I’m sorry that I haven’t seen either of your previous movies, Thor and Thor: The Dark World. I know you worked pretty hard on them (You even got Kenneth Branagh to direct your first movie!), but, based on what critics and audiences were saying about them, I didn’t think they would be that entertaining. I mean, you’re an alright guy, and you’ve got funny moments, but you tend to get overshadowed sometimes by the other Avengers, especially Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. That’s not your fault, though! You just needed a movie where you got to shine and a director who knows enough about comedic timing to be able to carry about 2-2.5 hours of jokes.

So with that said, let’s talk about your latest movie, Thor: Ragnarok. I was pretty excited when I saw Taika Waititi’s name attached as director. He’s a pretty funny guy; he made What We Do in the Shadows -- a mockumentary about vampires who live together in an apartment in Wellington, NZ -- back in 2014, and that was a blast! I’m sure you approved of him before letting him be a part of your movie, and I’m glad you did, because this movie was a riot from start to finish. You got to really show your comedic chops, while also keeping yourself reserved in the more dramatic moments of the film. You found yourself some great people to work with - Mark Ruffalo was a fantastic rollover from previous Marvel movies, and Tessa Thompson made a great addition as the newcomer Valkyrie. It was also a treat seeing Tom Hiddleston as Loki again, and let’s not forget Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, who had one of the greatest post-credits scenes that Marvel put to film, even though his wasn’t as lore-heavy as some of the others.

And boy, oh boy, that color palette! I know that people have complained, especially in your earlier movies, that the colors in the film seem muted and drab, and from the pictures I’ve seen of Thor and Thor: The Dark World, I would have to agree. This movie, however, cleared that (admittedly) low bar by a wide margin! The colors in this movie just popped and added to what was already a stellar visual presentation. The audio, too, had an awesome synth motif to it, and the use of “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin in the bigger action set pieces was just plain fun. Even the credits and credit music were treats to sit through while waiting for the post-credits scenes.

I’ll be honest, though, your movie wasn’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong, the film was hilarious, but some jokes intruded into the more dramatic moments, which hurt those scenes a bit. Cate Blanchett made quite the intimidating Hela, although she ultimately suffered from being a serviceable, yet forgettable, Marvel Cinematic Universe villain. Listen, I get it, I really do. The studio spends most of its time building up the hero, which doesn’t leave a lot of character developing moments for the villain to shine. You also peaked, and peaked hard, with casting Tom Hiddleston as Loki, who does reprise his performance in this movie. All I ask for is that you kind of wean off Loki for a little bit and get some more interesting villains, okay? And maybe ease up a bit on the cliches too; I don’t want to sit in the theater predicting every single moment or line in your movie! I didn’t for the most part this time, which was great, but the few that creeped in there were a little too noticeable.

I really think you redeemed yourself in this one, Thor. The first two movies weren’t so hot with fans or critics, but this one has all the right ingredients to end that slightly mediocre streak with a real winner. I look forward to seeing it again, because, who only sees a Marvel movie once, am I right? And I can’t wait to see you square it up with Captain America and Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War next year -- now that I know what you’re capable of comedically.

One more thing, you’re a deity, right? Can I ask a favor of you? Let God know to maybe intervene on my behalf on a midterm or two, I don’t think I did so hot on a few of them.

All the best,