FILM REVIEW – ‘THOR: RAGNAROK’ (2017)

Friday, November 3, 2017 marked the official US theatrical release of Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the Thor franchise, and seventeenth in the official Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening October 27, 2017 courtesy of Mavel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.

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Directed by New Zealand filmmaker Taika “Cohen” Waititi (What We Do in Shadows), Thor: Ragnarok tells the story of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) coming face-to-face with his long-lost sister Hela (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett) and the impending Ragnarök (which in Old Norse means “Fate of the Gods”, the Norse doomsday).

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Along the way, Thor is stranded on the savage alien planet Sakaar (better known to comic book fans as Planet Hulk) and must escape in time to save Asgard from Hela and her forces of the dead. Alongside many familiar faces such as Loki, Hulk, and Doctor Strange, as well as a few new ones, can The God of Thunder prevent the long-foretold apocalypse of his people? Or will Ragnarök claim everything he holds dear? Well, given that this review is 100% SPOILER FREE, you’ll just have to go see for yourselves!

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The cinematography, score, and special effects are right on-par with just about every other MCU movie, and while impressive, have really come to be expected among these films. So while I won’t bother going into any sort of detail about them, I do hope that you dear readers don’t take that as my saying they weren’t good. They absolutely were. They were just pretty much even with everything else we’ve seen from Marvel. Nothing wrong with a good standard, but they were just that.

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No, what really makes this film stand out is, for better or worse, its fairly exxcessive use of comedy. This is, by far, the most comedic Avengers-based film we’ve seen to date, and really plays out more like a Guardians of the Galaxy in its comedic tone, than any previous Avengers film. This is a fun, refreshing change, but a very noticable one at the same time. A little humor to break up the tension is always nice in an action/superhero movie, but overuse of it can really take away from the overall gravity of the situations, especially surrounding something as important as Ragnarök.

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Particularly, the new, very-comedic spin on the Hulk was a bit jarring, as before he’s always been presented as far more of a monster, and far less of a joke, but that’s just one writer’s opinion. Nonetheless, the cast all do a stellar job of carrying their weight, and the mostly-comedic tone of the film does make for a fun movie, if a bit of a head-scratching one.

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The Bottom Line:
Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is a very fun superhero movie, and absolutely one worth seeing. It’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness, however, as the film is far more a comedy than it is an action/thriller. While it is a very good comedy, and a very enjoyable movie, it does seem to rely a bit too much on the comic relief and does take away from the main story a bit by being so heavy-handed. That is not to say it’s a bad film at all, quite the contrary, it’s just to say it doesn’t really fit here as much as it would in other Marvel films. All in all, Thor: Ragnarok ranks about right in the middle as far as MCU films go. It’s not the best, and it’s absolutely not the worst. My best advice? Go see this film, enjoy it for what it is, and make your own call. – 7.5/10

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-Dave Harlequin
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@DaveHarlequin

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