Janus Film Review Presents: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

as reviewed by Lynz

Format Reviewed: Blu-ray/Marvel Studios (2018).

Thor: Ragnarok: A theatrical jolly that should in all regards appeal to comic book fans and the fans of one Chris Hemsworth; here sporting quite the different hairdo for the third instalment to revolve around our hammer-wielding hero. An interesting cast of old favourites return alongside the incredible thespian Jeff Goldblum, in a role that only he could so comfortably sashay his way through, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Beginning with another revelation (and exploitation) of Norse mythology, we see our blond, bearded, badass Asgardian banished to the back end of the universe by his ‘sister’ Hela, without his beloved Mjölnir. We the audience are then treated to parallel viewings of the ongoing destruction of Asgard and Thor, as he not only catches up with his Green bestie - the lovable rogue that is Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk - but also discovers a still-living Valkyrie, despite the stories told of their destruction. Cue some cheesy one-liners and a weak storyline with a lacklustre pace, which robs our flamboyant cast of a movie that could have been so much better.

I can practically hear the gasps of shock. Why the criticism, I hear you say? As a fan of not only Marvel comics but also Norse Mythology how can I, in good faith, sit and say: ‘Wow, what a great movie!’ For me, this was a shambolic rodeo of a film, seeking to cover the end of Asgard in Norse Mythology. It features an exceptionally well cast Cate Blanchett (as the aforementioned harbinger of the end of days), wearing what can only be described as a liquid latex body suit, alongside a very bored-looking Hemsworth (and Ruffalo) running around aimlessly, looking for a way to escape their current situation, and all without injecting a single iota of excitement. The worst part is the teasing of glimpses back at Idris Elba’s Heimdall - the real hero of this story - as he fights to save the remaining Asgardians from complete destruction. His presence is almost a saving grace.

Although Thor: Ragnarok is a fundamental cog in the (ever growing) Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is also one of the weakest. Granted, it’s nowhere near as poor as Iron Man 2, but still it had so much potential. The film foolishly fails to represent THE biggest battle of Nordic Myth. It has such an intriguing villain, but elects instead to make it all about ‘daddy issues’. This all turns what could have been a dramatic, twist filled adventure into a wet blanket of a storyline. The half-baked dialogue makes me feel like I’m watching a screenwriter’s desperate attempt to bring in an element of comedy at the expense of a very dark, dramatic plot line, as Asgard falls to it’s inescapable fate. All in all, a colossal, silver screen-sized failure. What could have potentially been the most pivotal event in Thor’s existence - jam-packed with dramatic action - is instead replaced with an awful attempt to crossover into comedy.

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