This is a guest review by Fernando Autran. DVD Street is not responsible for any of these views or opinions.
The Thor saga occupies a strange place within the Marvel universe. It’s like that weird cousin in your family or the mysterious friend of your friend that nobody quite likes, but they don’t hate either. What I’m trying to say is that the best way to describe the previous two Thor movies is they were average. Blame it on an uninspiring script or bad direction, but they didn’t leave much of an impression. The question is then, has Thor Ragnarok finally managed to shake the saga from its stupor? Well, I’m happy to say that it has.
The solution came by pouring a big glass of Guardians of the Galaxy essence into the mix, but don’t take this as a lack of originality. Director Taika Waititi managed to take the best elements, implant them seamlessly and make the movie truly his. The humour, the campiness, the colourful characters and settings, are all there to our delight. A feast for the eyes that oozes charisma.
However, an amazing setting is nothing without a good story filling it, and although it’s pretty good overall, there’s a bit of dissonance that drags the experience. You see, the problem is that Thor Ragnarok is two stories packed into one. On one hand, we have Thor and Hulk’s story on the planet Sakaar, and on the other, we have Hela’s conquest of Asgard. From the two, the first one is clearly the best, and the jumps to the second one feel more like an intrusion than a progression of the story. The movie could have been perfect for just the first story.
This is not fault of any of the actors, they all perform their roles perfectly. That said, I would like to give a special mention to Cate Blanchett. She does a fantastic Job as Hela, she devours every scene she’s in. In a movie with so many characters that fell larger than life, you truly believe her when she says she’s the goddess of death.
That said the stars of the movie are definitively the Hulk-Thor duo. The banter and puns between the two wouldn’t have work if there wasn’t chemistry between the actors, but they both deliver, giving us a hilarious performance. The sibling relationship between Thor and Loki also gets developed and although not as humorous, it carries a lot of the drama of the movie, and it helps develop Loki’s character.
I’m talking a lot about the acting and the story, what about the action? It’s pretty much what you can expect from a Marvel movie: frenetic, tense, and exciting without dragging too long. It doesn’t have anything to envy from Guardians of the Galaxy. It speaks volumes of Taika Waititi’s skill as a director that the serious and comedic moments never clash during the action, they nicely flow from one to the other.
Thor Ragnarok is probably the funniest Marvel movie to date. That is its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The virtues do outnumber the flaws, but they do not suppress them. Marvel has found a good equilibrium between comedy, action, and drama, but when the moments that stand out the most are the jokes you run out the risk of taking away the gravity of the story. So far, the movie manages to stay on balance with a few missteps. Time will tell if they’re capable of maintaining that balance with the rest of the movies.